Kenneth W. Mack is the inaugural Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the co-faculty leader of the Harvard Law School Program on Law and History. From 2016 to 2017, he was a Radcliffe Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. During the 2015-16 year, he served as co-faculty leader of the Workshop on the History of Capitalism in the Americas at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American history. His research and teaching have focused on American legal and constitutional history with particular emphasis on race relations, politics and economic life. His 2012 book, Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer (Harvard University Press), was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, was a National Book Festival Selection, was awarded honorable mention for the J. Willard Hurst Award by the Law and Society Association, and was a finalist for the Julia Ward Howe Book Award. His is also the co-editor of The New Black: What Has Changed – And What Has Not – With Race in America (New Press, 2013), and the forthcoming In Between and Across: Legal History Without Boundaries (Oxford University Press).
He has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Georgetown Universities, and the University of Hawai’i, and has served as a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Centre for History and Economics at Cambridge University. In 2020, he received the Harvard Law School Student Government Teaching and Advising Award. In 2007, he was named a Fletcher Fellow by the Fletcher Foundation. In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise, and he was elected as a member of the American Law Institute. He also served as a Judge for the 100 & Change $100 Million grant competition for the MacArthur Foundation. He has commented on history and politics on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, the PBS News Hour, the Diane Rehm Book Club, and other media outlets, and has written opinion pieces for TIME, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, The Root, Baltimore Sun, and other general interest publications.
He began his professional career as an electrical engineer at Bell Laboratories before turning to law and history. Before joining the faculty at Harvard Law School, he clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of the firm Covington & Burling.
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