Martha Minow
Martha Minow
300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University

Martha Minow has been a professor at Harvard Law School since 1981, serving as the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Dean from 2009 to 2017. In 2018, she became the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University. In addition to teaching courses on subjects such as civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, and technology, fairness, and privacy, Ms. Minow is also an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities, and for women, children, and persons with disabilities.

Ms. Minow served on both the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and the CSIS Commission on Countering Violent Extremism. She helped launch Imagine Coexistence, a program of the UN high commissioner for refugees that promotes peaceful development in post-conflict societies. Additionally, her five-year partnership (1999–2005) with the federal Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard that opened access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities.

The recipient of nine honorary degrees (in law, education, and humane letters) from schools in three countries, Ms. Minow also received the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award in 2005 from the graduating class at Harvard Law School.

She currently serves on the boards of the Advantage Testing Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the SCE Foundation, and public broadcaster WGBH Boston, as well as on the governing council for the American Bar Association Center for Innovation. Ms. Minow is a member of the advisory boards for the new College of Computing and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the past, she served as a member of the American Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission; as chair of the board of directors for the Revson Foundation (New York); as vice-chair of the Legal Services Corporation; and on the boards of the American Bar Foundation; CBS Corporation; the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; Covenant Foundation; the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center; and Facing History and Ourselves, where she chaired the Scholars’ Board. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1992.

After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ms. Minow received a master’s degree in education from Harvard and her law degree from Yale. She clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. Minow is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including When Should Law Forgive? (2019); The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (coeditor, 2015); In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark (2010); Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good (2002); Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence (1998); and Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (1990).

Her husband, Joseph W. Singer, is the Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and their daughter, Mira Singer, is a writer and artist. Ms. Minow enjoys watching and discussing movies and keeping in touch with current and former students.

TOP Credit: Harvard University