Christopher Edley, Jr.

Co-Founder and President, The Opportunity Institute

Christopher Edley, Jr. has spent 40 years influencing public policy and teaching law at Harvard and Berkeley.

He is also the Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law, after serving as dean from 2004 through 2013. Before Berkeley, Edley was a professor at Harvard Law School for 23 years, where Gary Orfield and he co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights Project.

Edley co-chaired the congressionally chartered National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence (2011–13). He served in White House policy and budget positions under presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He also held senior positions in five presidential campaigns: policy director for Michael Dukakis (1988); and senior policy adviser for Al Gore (2000), Howard Dean (2004), Barack Obama (2008), and Hillary Clinton (2016). In 1993, he was a senior economic adviser in the Clinton Presidential Transition, responsible for housing and regulation of financial institutions. In 2008, he was a board member for the Obama presidential transition, with general responsibility for healthcare, education, and immigration.

Edley is a fellow or member of: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; the National Academy of Public Administration; the Council on Foreign Relations; the American Law Institute; the Advisory Board of The Hamilton Project, the Brookings Institution; and the board of Inequality Media. He is a National Associate of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academies of Science, for which he recently chaired a committee to evaluate NAEP performance standards, and a committee to design a national system of education equity indicators.

Edley is a graduate of Swarthmore College (mathematics), Harvard Kennedy School (public policy), and Harvard Law School.