In addition to holding the title of Chancellor Faculty Fellow, class members receive unrestricted allocation of $40,000 a year for two fiscal years beginning July 1. They can use the funds to support innovative research, scholarship and creative expression that will further propel their careers. Fellows meet as a group during the course of their awards to exchange ideas on teaching and research, building a broader intellectual community that advances trans-institutional scholarship.
Sitaraman‘s current research addresses issues in constitutional, administrative and foreign relations law. He is the author, most recently, of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution (Knopf, 2017), which argues that a strong and sizable middle class is a prerequisite for America’s constitutional system. The book was included in the New York Times 2017 list of 100 Notable Books. His previous book, The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press, 2012), was awarded the 2013 Palmer Prize for Civil Liberties. He has commented on foreign and domestic policy in the New York Times, The New Republic and the Boston Globe.
Sitaraman was on leave from Vanderbilt‘s faculty from 2011 to 2013, serving as Elizabeth Warren‘s policy director during her campaign for the Senate, and then as her senior counsel in the Senate. He also served as an adviser to Warren when she was chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP). Before joining Vanderbilt‘s law faculty, Sitaraman was the Public Law Fellow and a lecturer at Harvard Law School and a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has also been a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center – Afghanistan in Kabul, and a visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
An Eagle Scout and a Truman Scholar, he earned his A.B. in government magna cum laude at Harvard, 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. He is a principal of the Truman National Security Project and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program was launched in September 2014 under the Trans-Institutional Programs, or TIPs, initiative to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. In its brief history, the program has notable success. Previous fellows among the law faculty include Sean Seymore, professor of law, a member of the inaugural 2014 class; Daniel J. Sharfstein, professor of law, a member of the 2015 class; and Terry A. Maroney, professor of law, a member of the 2017 class.
“Our world-class faculty are the heart of Vanderbilt, and investing in our faculty is also an investment in the university community, today and for years to come,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program recognizes these academic leaders early in their careers and provides a lasting foundation for their scholarly research. We are committed to our faculty and their discovery of new knowledge that keeps Vanderbilt moving forward.”
Chancellor Faculty Fellow candidates are nominated by their deans and colleagues, and selected by the TIPS Council, which is co-chaired by Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Affairs John Geer, Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Executive Vice President for Research Jennifer Pietenpol.