Christopher Edley Jr.

Co-Founder and President

Christopher Edley, Jr. is the president and, with Ann O’Leary, co-founder of the Opportunity Institute. He co-chaired the congressionally chartered National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence (2011-13), appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan.

Chris was Dean of UC Berkeley Law School (2004-13) and continues there as the Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law. He teaches Administrative Law and  Education Law.  

Before Berkeley, Chris was a professor at Harvard Law School for 23 years, where Professor Gary Orfield and he co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights Project.

Chris served in White House policy and budget positions under presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He also held senior positions in five presidential campaigns: policy director for Michael Dukakis (1988); and then senior policy adviser for Al Gore (2000), Howard Dean (2004), Barack Obama (2008), and Hillary Clinton (2016).  In 1993, he was a senior economic adviser in the Clinton Presidential Transition, responsible for housing and regulation of financial institutions. In 2008, he was a board member for the Obama presidential  transition, with general responsibility for healthcare, education and immigration.  

Chris is a fellow or member of: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; the National Academy of Public Administration; the Council on Foreign Relations; the American Law Institute; the Advisory Board of the Hamilton Project, the Brookings Institution; and the board of Inequality Media. He is a National Associate of the National Research Council, National Academies of Science, for which he currently co-chairs a committee charged with designing a national system of education equity indicators.

Chris is a graduate of Swarthmore College (mathematics), Harvard Kennedy School (public policy), and Harvard Law School.

edley@theopportunityinstitute.org