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Sheila Foster Named Vice Dean


Sheila Foster has been appointed Vice Dean of Fordham Law School.Vice Dean Sheila Foster

“Without question, Sheila is an outstanding scholar-professor and an extraordinarily gifted administrator, and this appointment is a fitting recognition of her contributions to our School,” said Fordham Law Dean Michael M. Martin. “Since assuming the mantle of academic affairs, Sheila has provided principled and effective leadership that has strengthened our curriculum and our centers, institutes, and programs. She also is a fierce advocate for our faculty and students, as well as a champion for our alumni.”

Foster joined Fordham Law in 2002 after visiting the prior year from her post on the tenured faculty at Rutgers Law. A graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Berkeley Law at the University of California, and a former associate at Morrison & Foerster, she is an expert on the intersection of land use and environmental law, particularly in urban settings. Her authoritative work on environmental justice and urban land use led to her appointment as the inaugural holder of the Albert A. Walsh ’54 Chair in Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law in 2005. She also serves as a co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics and has served as faculty moderator of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. In 2008, she was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Foster is the author of numerous publications on land use, environmental law, and antidiscrimination law. She is the co-author, with Luke Cole, of From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement (N.Y.U. Press, 2001) and co-editor, with Michael Gerrard, of the 2nd edition of The Law of Environmental Justice (ABA, 2009). She has consulted with many community-based groups in New Jersey and New York on environmental justice issues. She has also received two Ford Foundation grants for projects related to her work on environmental justice and urban development.

Her most recent work explores and challenges the legal and theoretical frameworks in which land use decisions are made, especially in the urban context. These works include Collective Action and the Urban Commons (Notre Dame Law Review, 2011), Urban Informality as a Commons Dilemma (U. Miami Inter-American Law Review, 2009), Integrative Lawyering: Navigating the Political Economy of Urban Development (California Law Review, 2007), andThe City as an Ecological Space: Social Capital and Urban Land Use (Notre Dame Law Review, 2006).


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