Anthony Eudelio Varona — an attorney and educator who specializes in administrative law, communications and media law, and sexuality and gender law — has been named the new dean at the University of Miami School of Law.
Varona currently is a professor of law at American University Washington College of Law where he teaches contracts, administrative and public law, and media law, and also serves as faculty advisor to the Latino/a Law Students Association and the Lambda Law Society. He previously served two years as vice dean at Washington College of Law and was associate dean for faculty and academic affairs for six years.
Varona has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, including the 2014 American University Outstanding Teaching Award in a Full-Time Appointment. He also has helped plan various national and regional legal scholarship conferences, most recently serving as host/planning committee chair for the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference in March 2019, thought to be the largest gathering of minority law scholars ever to take place in the United States.
He will begin his new role as dean of Miami Law on Aug. 1, filling the vacancy left by Patricia White, who retired as dean at the end of the academic year following a decade of visionary leadership. Varona’s appointment was announced by Jeffrey Duerk, the university’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.
“Tony is a consummate and respected professional in the area of law and is immersed in critical issues impacting our country and culture,” Duerk said. “His insightful and innovative approach to educating the next generation of lawyers will have a profound impact on the School of Law and in courtrooms across the country.”
Varona has been with American University Washington College of Law since 2005, also serving as the Doctor of Juridical Science program director and a member of the faculty advisory boards of the Administrative Law Review and the Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. He entered teaching full-time as an associate professor of law at Pace University School of Law in 2002.
Born in Cuba, he left the island with his mother and grandparents at age 3, living for a short time in Spain before the family reunited with his father in Newark, NJ. Varona has strong ties to South Florida; he has relatives in the region and, with his husband John Gill, an internet communications expert, has maintained a residence in the area.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be joining the University of Miami School of Law community, and look forward to immersing myself in Miami Law’s tremendously vibrant, culturally rich environment,” Varona said. “We — our faculty, staff, students, and alumni — have an extraordinary opportunity to grow together and make our law school among the very best in the country.”
Varona spent nearly five years as chief counsel and then general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. He represented HRC and the HRC Foundation in various coalition work groups, including the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights judicial nominations task force. Earlier in his career, Varona was an associate at Skadden Arps and Mintz Levin, and an honors program enforcement attorney at the Federal Communications Commission.
Since January 2018, Varona has served as co-editor of the Association of American Law Schools’ Journal of Legal Education. He serves on the national board of directors for Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA), for which he co-founded and for its first year co-chaired the SNMA National Advisory Council. He is co-author of the second and third editions of the casebook Administrative Law: A Contemporary Approach, author or co-author of many law review articles and essays, and editor and contributor to Teaching from Practice: A Guide for New Full-Time and Adjunct Law Professors, which will be published by Elgar in 2020.
Varona is also a contributor to Huffington Post and the press organization Shadowproof, which supports a model of independent journalism and a diverse range of young freelance writers and contributors. He has appeared in interviews or as a guest commentator on various broadcast media including CNN, CourtTV, Fox News Channel, and Pacifica Radio, and has also appeared as an expert source in various print and online media outlets including the Boston Globe, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Politico.
He is a member of the Bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Society of American Law Teachers; the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington; and the National LGBT Bar Association.
Varona earned his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School, where he worked as a student attorney at the Greater Boston Legal Services-affiliated poverty law clinic BC Legal Assistance Bureau in Waltham, Massachusetts, and later earned a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center with a focus in civil rights and civil liberties. He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and French from Boston College.