Video: Welcome GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew

The new dean aims to train the next generation of lawyers to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

September 25, 2020

Dayna Bowen Matthew

Dayna Bowen Matthew, a leader in public health and civil rights law who focuses on racial disparities, will serve as GW Law dean.

Although the world has dramatically changed since Dayna Bowen Matthew was announced in February as GW Law’s new dean, she plans to charge forward in this time of “real and constant change” to prepare students to compete and lead in the “new normal.”

“Pandemic or no pandemic, I am thrilled to serve as dean of the George Washington University Law School,” Dr. Matthew said. “This is a school with a proven history of not only overcoming the greatest societal adversity, but also for training students who become leaders who do the same.”

Dr. Matthew, who will also serve as the Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, has spent her first weeks at GW steering a comprehensive listening tour of the law school, conducting one-on-one meetings with faculty, holding bi-weekly town halls with students and meeting with alumni groups.

Prior to joining GW, Dr. Matthew was most recently on the faculty of the University of Virginia Law School, where she served as co-founder and inaugural director of The Equity Center. The cross-disciplinary research center seeks to address racial and socioeconomic inequality in the surrounding Charlottesville community.

Before academia, she practiced as a civil rights litigator. She also held a number of public policy roles, including co-founding the Colorado Health Equity Project, a medical-legal incubator aimed at removing barriers to health care for low-income patients. 

Currently on her to-do list is turning an anti-racism resolution passed in June by the GW Law faculty into action items for the law school in addressing one of the nation’s most difficult issues through curriculum; faculty training and experiences for students, including a new “Racial Justice Speaker Series.”

Meet Dr. Matthew: