California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin H. Liu Elected Board Chair of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin H. Liu has been elected as the next chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Board of Directors, effective July 1. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others, the academy is one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies that recognizes global leaders across diverse fields who are addressing societal challenges and advancing the public good.
Justice Liu was elected a member of the academy in 2019, the state's third Supreme Court justice to join the academy.
“I am honored and delighted to serve as the next chair of the Academy board,” said Justice Liu. “Since the founding of our republic, the Academy has recognized and celebrated the excellence of scholars and leaders across the entire range of disciplines, including the arts, humanities, sciences, law, business, and medicine. And it has played an important role in bringing knowledge, inquiry, and learning to bear on the most pressing problems facing our nation and the world. I look forward to advancing this vital mission in close collaboration with the Academy’s board, staff, and increasingly diverse members."
Said academy President David W. Oxtoby: “Every non-profit benefits from volunteer leaders who are committed to good governance, principled guidance, and an ambitious vision for the future. Everyone who has worked with Justice Liu on events, committees, and projects knows—as I do—that he is a wonderful leader, colleague, and mentor."
Nominated by Governor Jerry Brown, Justice Liu was sworn into office in 2011 and retained by the electorate in 2014 and 2022.
Before joining the state’s highest court, Justice Liu was professor of law and associate dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and diversity in the legal profession. Justice Liu continues to teach constitutional law as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and Stanford Law School.
He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Law Institute, and the American Philosophical Society. He also serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, on the Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation, and as president of the Yale University Council. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center, and the California Commission on Access to Justice.
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Justice Liu grew up in Sacramento and attended public schools. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford, a master’s degree in philosophy and physiology from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and a law degree from Yale. He clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also worked in the litigation practice of O’Melveny & Myers, served as special assistant to the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and helped launch the AmeriCorps national service program as senior program officer for higher education at the Corporation for National Service.