Press Releases
August 13, 2020 |

Professor Eric Christiansen Named Interim Law Dean at Golden Gate University School of Law

GGU to continue strong momentum in supporting student learning and bar passage


Media Contact:
Michael Bazeley
Director of Communications

Long-time Golden Gate University Law Professor Eric Christiansen has assumed the role of Interim Dean of the law school. 

“I have great confidence in the current trajectory and long-term future of GGU’s School of Law, and I have selected Eric because I believe he possesses the talent, experience, and commitment necessary to maintain the school’s current direction and momentum,’’ GGU President David Fike said of the appointment. 

Under his interim leadership, GGU will continue to build on the strong progress made in supporting student learning and bar passage. This includes: 

  • Continuing to differentiate GGU by integrating legal and business education (exemplified by the deeper collaboration between the MS and LLM in Tax programs and the elevated work related to Intellectual Property, Trademark and Privacy Law, including establishing the McCarthy Institute at GGU); 
  • Expanding and deepening the use of education technology and remote learning (as seen with GGU’s exclusive Themis bar prep partnership and the law faculty’s recent endorsement and impressive planning around the JD hybrid program); 
  • Executing enrollment strategies that maintain the high quality and rich diversity of the Law School’s student body. 

“This is an exciting time to become dean at GGU Law,’’ Professor Christiansen said. “This moment in history speaks precisely to GGU’s longtime commitment to diversifying the legal profession and giving law students the practical skills they need to become, as our mission states, ‘exceptional lawyers and socially responsible members of the global community.’ “ 

Professor Christiansen has served as a distinguished member and respected leader of the Law School faculty since 2005. During the past decade and a half at GGU, he served as Associate Dean for International Partnerships (since 2019), as Faculty Chair (2012-2016), and as Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship (2009-2012). In these roles, he designed the International Visiting Scholars Program, co-founded the Law & Leadership Program, directed the Honors Lawyering Program, and has led efforts related to pedagogy design and curriculum reform, law faculty hiring, strategic planning, post-tenure review redesign, and enrollment. 

 Over the course of his career, Eric’s leadership and scholarship has led to numerous appointments and recognitions. The U.S. Department of State appointed him as a Senior Fulbright Research & Teaching Scholar in Spain, and The National Endowment for the Humanities named him an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow. He was also a Root-Tilden Public Interest Law Scholar, a Fellow with the U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Language and Areas Studies, and a Fellow with the NYU Center for Transitional Justice. He has won the Jerome Lipper International & Comparative Law Prize, and the Flora S. and Jacob L. Newman Publication Prize. 

 He also has a strong management background, having served in leadership roles at the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, the AIDS Emergency Fund, the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and the Center for AIDS Services. 

Professor Christiansen has a J.D. from New York University School of Law, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. 

Professor Christiansen succeeds Dean Anthony Niedwiecki, who accepted an offer to become the president and dean at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. GGU will begin the process for a nationwide search for a permanent dean this summer. 


Golden Gate University School of Law is an award-winning, ABA-accredited law school with a prime location in the heart of San Francisco. GGU Law offers an innovative and personalized learning experience that produces a diverse group of graduates with the skill, judgment, and knowledge to become exceptional lawyers for today’s truly global market. 



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