Jennifer Mason McAward, associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, has been appointed director of the University’s Center for Civil and Human Rights by R. Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs.
“I am delighted that Professor McAward has agreed to lead our efforts in the Keough School and the law school to strengthen Notre Dame’s longstanding commitment to human and civil rights,” Appleby said. “Her expertise in civil rights and commitment to recruiting world-class international human rights scholars to join our faculty make her an ideal person to build on the foundations laid by her predecessors.”
A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2005, McAward teaches and conducts research on civil rights, constitutional law and habeas corpus. Her scholarship addresses the relationship between Congress and the federal courts with respect to protecting individual rights.
McAward earned her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame with a major in political science and a minor in theology. After graduation, she spent a year in service with the Holy Cross Associates, a Notre Dame program that from 1978 to 2007 sent volunteers to serve in parishes, drug and alcohol centers, homeless shelters and schools in six cities in the U.S. and Chile.
After earning her juris doctor from New York University School of Law, where she was managing editor of the law review, McAward clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She practiced law and completed a public service fellowship with Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C., before joining the Notre Dame faculty.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights was founded in 1973 by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., then-president of Notre Dame and a charter member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The center is now an integral part of the new Keough School of Global Affairs.