Eric Dannenmaier to lead NIU College of Law

Eric Dannenmaier
Eric Dannenmaier

A widely published Indiana University law professor with broad national and international connections has accepted an offer to become dean of the NIU College of Law.

Members of the NIU Board of Trustees will consider the appointment of Dr. Eric Dannenmaier, professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, at their next meeting. The recommendation follows a national search.

Lisa Freeman, executive vice president and provost, is excited to welcome Dannenmaier to NIU.

“Eric Dannenmaier is well-positioned to work with students, faculty and staff to enhance the reach and reputation of NIU’s law school,” Freeman said.

“His expertise in environmental law is informed not only by academic experience but also by work in private practice, and in public service with the United States Agency for International Development,” Freeman added.

“His reputation as a collaborative, interdisciplinary scholar has led to a number of prestigious non-academic leadership roles, including an appointment by President Obama to the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.”

Dannenmaier earned a doctorate and master’s degree in law from Columbia University. He also holds a master’s degree in law from Oxford University, a Juris Doctor from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in biology and political science from Drury University.

At IU McKinney, where he teaches law classes in property, natural resources, water law and the Constitution, he also serves as director of J.D. Graduate Programs and is the founding director of the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law Program.

His research focuses on environmental democracy. He has also researched and published widely on legal and institutional frameworks for sustainable development, water security and energy policy. His work has taken him to more than three dozen countries.

Swen Parson Hall
Swen Parson Hall, home to the NIU College of Law

Last fall, as a visiting scholar at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, he examined institutional mechanisms for governing the Mississippi River basin and offered courses on energy law, river law and international environmental law.

Dannenmaier said he is “excited about the prospect of joining such a dynamic and engaged intellectual community” at NIU.

“The NIU College of Law’s commitment to diversity and the public interest, and the resources it devotes to experiential learning, interdisciplinary inquiry and specialized legal studies are essential ingredients for preparing the next generation of lawyers and leaders,” Dannenmaier said.

“The College of Law is clearly on the rise,” he added, “lifted not only by the talent and dedication of its faculty and staff, but also by its location near a major American city and within a major public research and teaching university offering interdisciplinary perspectives and connections that will define success in the 21st century legal marketplace.”

Beyond his career in higher education, his professional experience includes private practice as an environmental attorney and a litigator in the Boston office of Chicago-based law firm McDermott, Will & Emery and in the Washington, D.C. office of St. Louis-based law firm Bryan Cave.

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