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E. Thomas Sullivan, President Emeritus of the University of Vermont, elected President of the American Bar Foundation

September 1, 2020, Press releases

E. Thomas Sullivan

CHICAGO, Sept. 01, 2020 - E. Thomas Sullivan, President Emeritus and Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Vermont, has become the new president of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) for the 2020-2022 term. For the past two years, Sullivan served as the vice president of the ABF Board of Directors.

As president of the ABF, Sullivan will supervise efforts in fundraising and, in conjunction with the ABF board of directors, provide oversight to the foundation’s empirical and interdisciplinary research and programing. ABF research projects are of unmatched scale and quality focusing on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world. 

Sullivan is President Emeritus and Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Vermont. He has authored 13 books and over 50 articles and is a nationally recognized authority on antitrust law, complex litigation, and constitutional law. Sullivan has been an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI) since 1984 and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 1994. He is also a Life Fellow member of the Cambridge University Clare Hall College (UK).

“It is with great honor that the ABF welcomes Tom Sullivan as our new board president. His longstanding support of the ABF and expertise in higher education administration make him an excellent President of the Board of Directors to help lead research that matters,” ABF Executive Director Ajay Mehrotra said.

Sullivan has served as board member, chair, co-chair and consultant in various organizations and public services. Most notably, he has been a consultant to the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee on judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, and to the U.S Senate Commerce Committee on mergers. In addition, Sullivan chaired the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and the Association of American Law Schools Section on Antitrust and Economic Regulation.

His longtime commitment to the field of law has led Sullivan to receive various honors and awards. Last year, he received a Proclamation of Honor and Recognition from the Vermont House of Representatives for distinguished leadership and accomplishments as President of the University of Vermont, and an honoree from the 2019 Vermont Council on World Affairs. In 2003, he received the J. William Elwin, Jr. Award for leadership and contributions to law school development from the ABA. In 2015, he received the ABA’s Robert J. Kutak Award for his contributions to the legal academy, the bench, and the bar.

“After several years on the Board, I am pleased to serve the ABF in the role of the President of the Board of Directors,” Sullivan said. “The goal of the Board is to support and enhance the reputation and status of the ABF, a premier empirical research center on law and social policy.”

Upon obtaining his JD from Indiana University School of Law, Sullivan became involved in legal education. Most recently, Sullivan was President of the University of Vermont (UVM) from 2012-2019. Prior to joining UVM, he served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and as Dean of the law school at the University of Minnesota for eight and seven years, respectively. Sullivan also served a six-year term as Dean of the University of Arizona College of Law and as Associate Dean of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.

Serving with Thomas E. Sullivan for the 2020-2022 term are Jimmy Goodman, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as vice president and secretary; and Walter L. Sutton, of Dallas, Texas, as treasurer. The ABF also welcomes Logan Murphy, a representative of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, as the newest member of the Board of Directors.


About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world’s leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.

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