Non-Profit CEO Alan Jenkins Appointed Harvard Law School Professor

Harvard Law School Library

Former Harvard Law School Lecturer Alan Jenkins ’85 will join the school’s faculty as a professor of practice in July and teach courses on race, communications, and social justice, the Law School announced Tuesday.

Jenkins, who taught a course entitled "Communications, Law and Social Change" at the Law School in 2016, is the co-founder and president of The Opportunity Agenda — a civic engagement and social justice communication lab that “uses a unique combination of communication expertise and creative engagement to help social justice leaders tell a better story,” according to the organization’s website.

“I am excited to join the Harvard Law School faculty at this pivotal moment for our constitutional democracy,” said Jenkins in a press release. “Preparing emerging leaders to uphold fairness and equal justice is as important now as at any time in our nation’s history.”

Jenkins studied Psychology and Social Relations at the College, holds a J.D. from the Law School, and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Public Engagement in New York. After finishing his law degree, Jenkins subsequently clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Carter and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun ’29.


Before founding The Opportunity Agenda, Jenkins worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant to the Solicitor General. His work included representing the United States before the Supreme Court in constitutional and other litigation. He also acted as associate counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund, defending low-income communities from exploitation and discrimination, according to the release.

Law School Dean John F. Manning ’82 said in a press release that Jenkins brings significant experience and the legal expertise to Harvard’s campus.

“Alan is one of the country's leading thinkers on the relationship between media, public opinion, law, policy and ensuring opportunity for all Americans,” Manning said. “I am thrilled that he will be bringing to Harvard Law students his expertise on what today’s lawyers and leaders need to be effective communicators for their cause.”

Jenkins has also served as a commentator on broadcast outlets including MSNBC and CNN, and print publications such as the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

—Staff writer Connor W. K. Brown can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ConnorWKBrown.