Jamienne S. Studley

Jamienne S. Studley

“My notions of justice were formed at the dinner table, especially occasions with my grandparents, Polish and Russian immigrants who worked their way through law school at night. I learned to love a righteous fight. That’s why I’m so proud to be part of Public Advocates, with its profound mission, fearless and creative style, and inspiring team.”

Jamienne S. Studley

Jamienne S. Studley is President Emerita of Public Advocates and a consultant for the organization. 

Previously, Jamienne served as Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Before joining the U.S. Department of Education, Jamie was the president and CEO of Public Advocates Inc. from 2004-2013, drawn by its dual mission of advancing civil rights and strengthening community voices. In addition to leading the organization, she contributed her extensive experience to Public Advocates’ higher education team, working on student aid policy and strengthening private postsecondary school oversight. During this time, she was also chair of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality & Integrity (NACIQI) of the U.S. Department of Education, appointed by Secretary Duncan.

Jamienne was president of Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and deputy and acting general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton Administration. She has taught law as associate dean and lecturer in law at Yale Law School, where she helped establish the loan forgiveness program. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Stanford Law School, teaching Public Interest Law & Lawyers, and at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

She served as executive director of the California Abortion Rights Action League-North, and as the first executive director of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) she led its race, gender and sexual orientation equity programs. She is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and practiced law there with Bergson, Borkland, Margolis & Adler (litigation) and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (administrative law).


  • Distinguished Alumna Award, Barnard College (2012)
  • Champion for College Opportunity, Campaign for College Opportunity (2007)
  • Innovation in Government Award, Career College Association (1998)
  • Presidential Leadership Award, Trinity College D.C.


Jamienne is a graduate of Barnard College (1972 magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in American studies) and Harvard Law School, where she was president of the student-faculty government.

Current Board Service

  • San Francisco Ethics Commission
  • San Francisco Education Fund
  • American Craft Council

Past Board Service (Selected)

  • American Association of Colleges and Universities
  • California Coalition for Civil Rights (co-chair, 2005-09)
  • San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design
  • The Urban School
  • Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund

Past Committee/Commission Service

  • American Bar Association Commissions on Women in the Profession and Loan Forgiveness and Repayment
  • Carnegie Foundation National Professor of the Year Award Selection Committee
  • Equal Justice Works E-Guide Project Advisory Committee (chair)
  • Harvard Law School Visiting Committee
  • Universityof Alabama Law School/Skadden Morris Dees Award Selection Committee