Rutgers Law School appoints new dean (updated)

Bond to help bring national prominence to program

Jessica Perry//March 24, 2023//

Rutgers Law School appoints new dean (updated)

Bond to help bring national prominence to program

Jessica Perry//March 24, 2023//

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Rutgers Law School will welcome a new dean this summer, tasked with helping to elevate the school to national prominence, when Johanna Bond joins The State University of New Jersey.

Rutgers announced Bond as the new leader March 23. She will assume the post July 3, taking over for Newark-based interim Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor, who has served in the role since May 2021, and Camden-based Dean Kimberly Mutcherson, who has served in the role since 2019 and been on faculty for more than 20 years.

When she stepped into the role, after co-Dean David Lopez stepped down, Cuison-Villazor became the first Asian-American woman dean at Rutgers Law and the first Filipina-American dean of any law school in the United States. Lopez, who became dean in 2018, remains a professor at the law school.

Both Mutcherson – the school’s first woman, first African-American, and first LGBT law dean – and Cuison-Villazor will return to the faculty at their respective campuses following a year-long sabbatical.

Bond is the first person appointed to the newly created, singular dean position for both Rutgers Law School locations, in Camden and Newark. Last summer, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway announced a search for a single dean to strengthen and simplify the leadership structure of the law school.

“An accomplished legal scholar and a strong academic administrator, Professor Johanna Bond is uniquely qualified to serve as the dean of Rutgers University Law School,” Antonio Tillis, chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, said in a statement. “Professor Bond brings an intellectual trajectory that complements the scholarly focus of law faculty in Camden.”

Johanna Bond, dean of Rutgers Law School

Bond comes to Rutgers after serving as Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law, an endowed chair in the School of Law at Washington and Lee University, where she previously was associate dean for academic affairs, according to Rutgers. Additionally, she serves as an affiliate faculty member at the Virginia school’s Africana Studies and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs.

“As an academic administrator, she has a proven track record with leading a diverse faculty, financial management, pedagogical innovation, fundraising, and alumni development,” Tillis continued. “Further, her commitment to a student-centric approach to legal education and focus on civically engaged and experiential learning aligns well with the values of Rutgers-Camden. I look forward to welcoming Professor Bond to campus.”

Rutgers Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Prabhas Moghe described Bond as a visionary and inclusive academic leader in her appointment announcement, saying that she will build on the strengths of the Law School and help to build its reputation nationwide.

“Johanna Bond’s scholarly and administrative experience fit perfectly with the culture and ethos of Rutgers-Newark and our law school,”  said Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark. “Her scholarly expertise positions Bond to support the importance of the publicly engaged legal and interdisciplinary scholarship of our faculty, and her commitment to experiential learning in legal education complements our longstanding focus on public service for our students, faculty, and professional staff.”

“Bond clearly appreciates the prominence of social justice in the history of our law school and in the ongoing centering of inclusive education, practice, scholarship, and engagement as an anchor institution in and of the City of Newark, and its resonance well beyond our borders,” Cantor added. “We look forward to her leadership as we move collectively to promote the public good, and to train the next diverse generation of changemakers.”

Getting to know you

At W&L, Bond chaired the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion on the President’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee, served on presidential and provost search committees, restructured the first-year curriculum, and designed a new first-year legal writing program. Her scholarship as a tenured professor is focused on women’s rights in sub-Saharan Africa, women’s rights within the United Nations, and the application of critical race feminism in the context of human rights, according to Rutgers.

Her most recent book, “Global Intersectionality and Contemporary Human Rights,” is the result of more than 20 years’ of research surrounding intersectionality in global human rights.

According to her LinkedIn account, Bond received her Doctor of Law from University of Minnesota Law School, a Master of Arts in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center. She is the recipient of the Lewis Prize for Excellence in Legal Scholarship, the Ethan Allen Faculty Award for Scholarship, and was twice named a Fulbright Scholar, Rutgers said.

“I am thrilled to lead Rutgers Law School, an extraordinary institution with an outstanding faculty and a long history of justice-oriented community engagement,” Bond said in a prepared statement. “Rutgers Law has a deep commitment to access, diversity and inclusion, public service, and excellence, and I am honored to join the Rutgers Law community as its next dean.”

Bond’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Governors, which will next meet April 20.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:44 p.m. ET on March 24, 2023, to include additional details and correct Rose Cuison-Villazor’s title.


Rutgers Law School recently launched a cannabis certificate program for business owners looking to gain a better understanding on the rules and regulations of the burgeoning industry in the Garden State. Read more here.