Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice, Harvard Kennedy School
Cornell William Brooks is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also Director of The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the School’s Center for Public Leadership, and a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity.
Brooks was formerly a visiting professor of social ethics, law, and justice movements at BU’s Schools of Law and Theology. He was a 2017 visiting fellow and director of the Campaign and Advocacy Program at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Brooks served as the 18th NAACP president from 2014 to 2017, and was president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. He also served as senior counsel and acting director of the OCBO at the FCC, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington , and trial attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the DOJ. Brooks served as judicial clerk for the Chief Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, on the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Brooks holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Master of Divinity from BU’s School of Theology, and a B.A. from Jackson State University. Brooks is a fourth-generation ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.