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Ganesh Sitaraman

New York Alumni Chancellor's Chair in Law
Director, Program in Law and Government

Ganesh Sitaraman teaches and writes about constitutional law, the regulatory state, economic policy, democracy, and foreign affairs. He joined the Vanderbilt Law faculty in 2011 and was named to the New York Alumni Chancellor's Chair in Law in 2021.

Professor Sitaraman has been a longtime advisor to Elizabeth Warren, including serving as a senior advisor on her 2020 presidential campaign, her senior counsel in the Senate, and her policy director during her 2012 Senate campaign. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the co-founder of the Great Democratic Initiative, which develops bold, innovative and detailed policy plans. He has been profiled in The New York Times and Politico for his work at the nexus of politics and ideas.

Sitaraman is a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a member of the American Law Institute, and he serves on the boards of The American Prospect, the American Constitution Society, and Foreign Policy for America. He was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2018, and he was a visiting assistant professor at Yale Law School in 2016. At Vanderbilt, he was awarded a Chancellor’s Award for Research and a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellowship. Before joining Vanderbilt, Sitaraman was the Public Law Fellow and a lecturer at Harvard Law School, a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center – Afghanistan in Kabul, and a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Sitaraman’s most recent book is The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy and Unite America (Basic Books, 2019). He is also the author or co-author of The Public Option, written with Ann Alstott in 2019; The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic which was one of The New York Times’ 100 notable books of 2017; and The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, which won the 2013 Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

An Eagle Scout and a Truman Scholar, Sitaraman earned his A.B. in government magna cum laude from Harvard College, a master’s degree in political thought from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar, and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Research Interests

Constitutional law, constitutional theory, foreign relations law, administrative law, regulation, political theory, institutional design, international law

Representative Publications

  • The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy, and Unite America, Basic Books (2019)
    Full Text | WWW
  • The Public Option, Harvard University Press (2019) (with Anne Alstott)
    Full Text | WWW
  • The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution, Alfred A. Knopf (2017)
    Full Text | WWW
  • The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in an Age of Small Wars, Oxford University Press (2012)
    Full Text | WWW