Anita Hill is an attorney and University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. Her research interests are anti-discrimination law and policy (gender and race); exploring the broad capacity of Title IX (the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women), particularly in STEM; initiating legal and policy reforms which will further ensure educational equity for girls and women of all races and economic backgrounds; merging public policy, social science, and legal research methods and theory.
Hill's latest book, Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011), combines the study of commercial and anti-discrimination law with an examination of culture and society to address the 2008 foreclosure crisis and its ongoing impact.
She holds a B.S. in Psychology (1977) from Oklahoma State University and a J.D. (1980) Yale University's School of Law. Hill also holds Honorary Degrees from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Lasell College, Smith College, Simmons College, Dillard University, and Mt. Ida College.
From 1983 to 1986, she served as Assistant Professor of Law Oral Roberts University. Thereafter, from 1986 to 1997, Hill was appointed Professor in the College of Law at the University of Oklahoma, where she also served as Faculty Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Provost from 1991 to 1992.
Hill became a national figure in 1991 when she presented a testimony of sexual harassment against then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, her boss at the United States Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of sexual harassment. The high-profile political battle captured the nation’s attention and changed Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
In 1999, she joined the faculty at Brandeis University, where she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy and legal history. While her appointment is in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Hill has affiliations in the Legal Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Social Justice and Social Policy Programs, and the Department of Afro-American and African American Studies. In administrative roles, she has chaired the university’s Communications Committee and the Provost’s Steering Committee on Campus Diversity. Hill has also directed the Diversity Initiative to enhance and foster inclusion in research, teaching and public engagement at the Heller School.
Her other academic experience includes visiting appointments at University of California, Berkeley (1997-98); Brandeis University (1998); and Wellesley College (2007-08). In the public and private sectors, Hill has worked as Summer Law Associate at O'Melveny & Myers (1978); Associate Attorney at Wald, Harkrader & Ross (1979, 1980-81); Special Counsel in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (1981-82); and Special Assistant to the Chairman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1982-83).
She is currently an active member of the District of Columbia Bar Association; the Board of Directors of the National Women's Law Center; the Board of Governors at Tufts Medical Center; and the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in Boston.
Hill has worked with MacArthur Genius Award-winning artist Mark Bradford to create an exhibit for the 2017 Venice Biennale International Arts Festival in Venice, Italy. They are also collaborating on an exhibit to be shown at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. The show is inspired by the text of women civil rights activists and their various contributions to the iconic 1963 “March on the Mall” and the Civil Rights Movement more generally. Hill's research, writing and public talks in connection with the exhibit will focus on the contemporary importance of restoring women’s civil rights movement experiences through art, public engagement, and scholarship.
Hill's current work engages academics and business professionals to develop “The Gender/Race Imperative,” a project which explores the broad capacity of Title IX, the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women. “The Gender/Race Imperative” is a research and implementation project aimed at initiating legal and policy reforms which will further ensure educational equity for girls and women of all races and economic backgrounds. The work is multidisciplinary, merging public policy, social science, and legal research methods and theory.
As an MLK Visiting Professor, Hill will be hosted by Professor Muriel Medard in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT.