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Paul Brest

Paul Brest is emeritus professor and former dean of Stanford Law School, having recently returned from a twelve-year stint as President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Together with Professor Deborah Hensler, he is developing the law and public policy laboratory at the Law School, and he is a faculty co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.Paul received an A.B. from Swarthmore College in 1962 and an LL.B from Harvard Law School in 1965. He served as law clerk to Judge Bailey Aldrich and Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan, and practiced with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., in Jackson, Mississippi, doing civil rights litigation.In 1969, he joined the faculty of Stanford Law School, where he was the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law. His research and teaching focused on constitutional law, including articles on constitutional interpretation, race discrimination, and affirmative action. From 1987 to 1999, he served as the dean of Stanford Law School where he spearheaded the expansion of the School’s curriculum in business, environmental law, high technology, and negotiation, and led a $115 million capital campaign.Paul is co-author of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy (Bloomberg Press, 2008); Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Professional Judgment (Oxford University Press, 2010); and Processes of Constitutional Decision Making: Cases And Materials (Aspen Publishers, 2006)

Posts by Paul Brest

The world Creative Commons is fighting for


Be a voice for sharing. Support CC. 2014 was a big year in the open movement. Both the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approved open policies requiring grantees to publish their content under CC BY, the most open Creative Commons license. That means that for any content funded…

Welcoming Creative Commons' new CEO, Ryan Merkley


Ryan Merkley / Rannie Turingan / CC0 After an extensive search, the Creative Commons board of directors is pleased to announce that Ryan Merkley will be our new CEO. He’ll start work on June 1, and we’re all looking forward to working with him. Ryan joins us after a career working to advance social causes…

A letter from Paul: New directions at CC


As we prepare for the December board meeting, I’d like to reflect on Creative Commons’ biennial Global Summit in Buenos Aires last August and report on developments in Cathy Casserly’s transition as CEO. It was inspiring to be among the several hundred who gathered in Argentina, meeting with the global affiliate network, CC staff, and…

CC Board Meeting: New Directions and Opportunities


On Saturday, April 27, the Creative Commons Board of Directors met at the Safra Center at Harvard. We discussed the accomplishments of the past 12 months, both in the organization and in the broader open movement, and the new opportunities on the horizon, including creating an Advisory Council to complement the Board itself. The State…