Former President, New York University
John Edward Sexton, the fifteenth President of New York University, also is the Benjamin Butler Professor of Law and NYU Law School’s Dean Emeritus, having served as Dean for 14 years. He joined the Law School’s faculty in 1981, was named the School’s Dean in 1988, and was designated the University’s President in 2001.
President Sexton is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of both the Association of American University Presidents (where he is a member of the Executive Committee) and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2003–2006) and Chair of the Federal Reserve Systems Council of Chairs (2006). He served as a Board Member for the National Association of Securities Dealers (1996-1998), and was Founding Chair of the Board of NASD Dispute Resolution (2000–2002). He is Vice Chair of the Board for the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Treasurer of the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities of NY. He also serves on the Boards of the Institute of International Education and the Association for a Better New York. While Dean of the Law School he was President of the Association of American Law Schools.
President Sexton received a B.A. in History (1963) from Fordham College; an M.A. in Comparative Religion (1965) and a Ph.D. in History of American Religion (1978) Fordham University; and a J.D. magna cum laude (1979) from Harvard Law School.
He is an author of the Friedenthal, Miller, Sexton, Hershkoff Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials. He also is the author of Redefining the Supreme Court’s Role: A Theory of Managing the Federal Court System (a treatment of the Supreme Court’s case selection process) in addition to several other books, numerous chapters, articles and Supreme Court briefs.
He holds honorary degrees from Fordham University, Saint Francis College; Saint John’s University, Syracuse University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The student editors of NYU’s Annual Survey of American Law dedicated their Volume 60 in his honor. He was named by Emory University the “Outstanding High School Debate Coach of the Last 50 Years” for work he did from 1960-1975. He has been the honoree at the Harvard Law Review Annual Banquet, and has been named “Alumnus of the Year” both at Fordham and at his high school, Brooklyn Prep.
Before coming to NYU, President Sexton served as Law Clerk to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court (1980–1981), and to Judges David Bazelon and Harold Leventhal of the United States Court of Appeals (1979–1980). For ten years (1983–1993), he served as Special Master Supervising Pretrial Proceedings in the Love Canal Litigation. From 1966–1975, he was a Professor of Religion at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, where he was Department Chair from 1970-1975.