Alasdair Roberts Named to Rappaport Chair at Law School


Alasdair Roberts, a professor of public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, will join Suffolk University Law School this fall as the first holder of the Rappaport Chair in Law and Public Policy.

“Alasdair Roberts is one of the leading scholars in law and policy studies in the country today,” said Suffolk Law School Dean Fred Aman. “His stellar accomplishments as a scholar and a teacher and his creative approach to law and policy issues will ensure that the Rappaport Center at Suffolk University Law School will play a leadership role in some of the most important law and policy issues of our times.”

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve as the first Rappaport Chair in Law and Public Policy,” said Roberts. “Suffolk Law School has three great advantages: talented people, a tradition of public service, and a perfect location. It is the ideal place to have conversations about the intersection of law and public policy.”

Research & teaching

In addition to serving on the Syracuse University faculty, Roberts is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and an honorary senior research fellow of the constitution unit at the School of Public Policy at University College London.

Roberts previously taught in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. He has held visiting appointments at Georgetown University’s Graduate Public Policy Institute and at the University of Southern California’s Washington Public Affairs Center. He has been a visiting scholar at the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington D.C., a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., and an individual program fellow of the Open Society Institute in New York. He was director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University from 2001 to 2006.

Award-winning publications

Roberts’ book, Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age, received the 2006 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration and the 2007 Book Award from the Section on Public Administration Research of the American Society for Public Administration, among other honors. His new book, Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government, examines the Bush presidency in the larger context of recent U.S. history.

“His award-winning books have made significant contributions to the scholarly literature and concrete proposals on how best to cope with issues ranging from transparency in government to a proper balance of executive and legislative power,” said Aman.

Roberts, a native of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, received his juris doctor degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1984, a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1986, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University in 1994.

The Jerome Lyle Rappaport Chair in Law and Public Policy was established in 2006 as part of a $5 million gift from Phyllis and Jerry Rappaport and the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation. The gift helped establish the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service and provided permanent funding for the Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy.

Back to News »