Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Dwight A. McBride announced Mary Anne Bobinski as the next dean of Emory Law School according to a May 23 University press release. Bobinski will be the first woman to hold the position since the law school’s founding in 1916 and will start in August 2019.
Bobinski will replace Interim Emory Law School Dean James B. Hughes Jr., who has served since 2017.
Bobinski is currently a professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law of the University of British Columbia, where she researches and teaches subjects focusing on comparative health law and bioethics. Bobinski also served there as dean from 2003 to 2015, according to her biography.
Bobinski also previously served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Houston Law Center, a board member of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, and a visiting scholar at multiple universities.
Bobinski holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
McBride previously announced the launch of a search committee to fill the position in September 2018. Dean of Goizueta Business School Erika James led the committee, which consisted of various Emory professors, alumni and community members appointed by the provost.
Former President of Emory Student Bar Association Nicole ElMurr (19L) was the only student to sit on the committee. According to ElMurr, the committee held meetings with various students and professors in the school to determine the best qualities for a new dean.
“Everybody … wanted someone who was charismatic, someone who could really engage the alumni and also engage the student groups to come together behind the community, behind a mission,” ElMurr said.
Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer used information from the committee and students to develop an application for the position. Candidates could apply directly or be nominated for the position. The committee narrowed the search to 11 applicants, held interviews and a final three made a visit to campus, after which Bobinski was chosen, according to ElMurr.
ElMurr also highlighted Bobinski’s background as a hallmark of her resume.
“Her expertise and her experience in transforming a law school is… it’s uncanny,” ElMurr said. “There’s a lot of untouched potential, and I think she recognizes that.”