Senior Advisor to the Provost, Brandeis University Professor of Law,
Public Policy and Women’s Studies, Heller Graduate School of Policy and Management,
Advocate for equality and civil rights.
Anita Hill: Biography
The youngest of 13 children from a farm in rural Oklahoma, Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980. She began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C. with the firm of Wald, Harkrader and Ross with a focus was on banking law and litigation. Before becoming a law professor, she worked as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Education Department and the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. There she taught contracts and commercial law and authored scholarly articles on international commercial law and bankruptcy.
In 1991, Anita Hill was thrust into the public spotlight when she testified about sexual harassment before the Senate Judiciary Committee during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing. After the hearing, she began speaking to audiences throughout the United States as well as in Canada, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and Japan about social and political problems facing the world. Despite a demanding speaking schedule, Hill continues her teaching and research. She believes that the combination of popular and scholarly work keeps her ideas fresh, relevant and well grounded.
Altogether, Professor Hill has nearly 25 years of teaching law students, graduate students and undergraduates. In the last 15 years she has made presentations to hundreds of business, professional, academic and civic organizations in the United States and abroad. She has a proven ability to express complex issues in ways the public easily grasps. Her goal is to encourage creative, equitable and positive resolution of race, gender and class issues. Hill’s expertise and experiences make her a highly sought after public speaker.
In 1995, Hill wrote her biography, Speaking Truth to Power, which was published by Doubleday Press. She also has written commentary for Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine and appears regularly on national television programs including Good Morning America, Meet the Press, The Today Show, The Tavis Smiley Show and Larry King Live.
Anita Hill has been profiled by a number of national media outlets including CNN, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour and Essence. Hill is also a regular interviewer for the City Arts & Lecture Series of San Francisco. Her onstage conversations with filmmaker Spike Lee and authors, Anna Quindlen and Stephen Carter were broadcasted by 160 public radio stations around the country.
Anita Hill is a faculty member at the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Currently on leave from Brandeis, Professor Hill is a visiting scholar at Wellesley College where she is working on an analysis of the over 20,000 letters and emails that she has received since her testimony during the Thomas confirmation process.
Professor Hill is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and honorary degrees. She recently received the Ford Hall Forum’s First Amendment Award for her promotion of race and gender equality. She is especially proud of receiving the Fletcher Fellowship for her work aimed at ending educational disparities among poor and minority students. That award was created in 2004 on the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education and is given to institutions and individuals working to improve race relations in America.
Her civic contributions include membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In addition, as a consultant to AARP, Hill has advised on finance, health, diversity and lifestyle issues facing the Baby Boomer Generation.
Anita Hill lives in Massachusetts.