You are here: American University Provost Undergraduate Education Dean Waters’s Biography

Dean Jessica L. Waters

Jessica L. Waters, J.D., is Dean of Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost for Academic Student Services at American University. Dean Waters oversees the Academic Support and Access Center; first-year academic advising; the AU Core Curriculum; the university’s living-learning communities; and the Honors and Scholars programs. She is also charged with oversight of undergraduate academic policies and practices and serves on the President’s and Provost’s Councils.

Dean Waters, a faculty member in the School of Public Affairs since 2008, served as Associate Dean of the School of Public Affairs from 2014-2016, and an adjunct faculty member at Washington College of Law from 2007 - 2015. Prior to joining the AU faculty, she was a litigator at WilmerHale, where she specialized in criminal defense litigation, internal investigations, and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy.

Dean Waters’ research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law and policy. Her recent work has explored questions related to the legal impact of women’s medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, abortion access, employment-based conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers.

Her work has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the American University Journal of GenderSocial Policy and the Law, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. She is a regular commentator for national news programs and publications and gave a 2016 TedX talk focused on reproductive rights.

Dean Waters clerked for the Honorable Emmet Sullivan on the federal D.C. District Court. Dean Waters previously worked at a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care.

Additionally, Dean Waters previously served on the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and as a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts. She is a “Double Eagle”, having earned both her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor Degrees from American University. Her office (Anderson 140) is in the same residence hall where she lived as a first-year student.

JD American University Washington College of Law
BA American University

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