e. christi cunningham

Professor of Law and Director of Educational Right Center

J.D., 1992, Yale University
B.S., summa cum laude, 1989, Southern Methodist University


e. christi cunningham is a professor at the Howard University School of Law and Director of the Education Law Institute. She served as Associate Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs at the Department of Labor as part of the Obama Administration from 2009-2012. In that capacity, she served as the regulatory officer managing the Department’s relationship with the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and chairing the Regulatory Council.

As a professor at Howard Law School, she has received awards for teaching and service and directed the Legal Reasoning Research and Writing program. She has taught a variety of subjects, including Education Law, Workforce Development, Labor Law, Employment Discrimination, Collective Bargaining, Employment Law, Administrative Law, Torts, Law and Poverty, and Gender and the Law. She also taught Human Rights in South Africa for several summer terms and served as a consultant to the South African government’s asset forfeiture division.

She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Constance Baker Motley in the Southern District of New York and was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City prior to entering academia. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Yale Law Journal and Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. She received a B.A. and B.S. from Southern Methodist University, graduating summa cum laude with distinction and as a Truman Scholar.

As a social entrepreneur, she founded a non-profit anti-violence organization that worked to coordinate faith-based social services in Northeast and Southeast Washington, D.C.. In addition, she worked as the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center and mediates disputes between consumers and service providers for the D.C. Department of Mental Health. She writes plays with the Black Women Playwrights’ Group. Her short works have been read or produced at the NY Theatre Workshop, the Kennedy Center, and the Studio Theatre. She has presented papers at universities internationally, including Yale, Columbia, Wisconsin, George Washington, and the University of Lancaster, England. She has several publications, including The Rise of Identity Politics I: The Myth of the Protected Class in Title VII Disparate Treatment Cases, 30 CONN. L. REV. 441 (1998); Identity Markets, 45 HOWARD L. J. 491 (2002); and The Identity Formerly Known as Race.


Preserving Normal Heterosexual Male Fantasy: The “Severe or Pervasive” Missed-Interpretation of Sexual Harassment in the Absence of a Tangible Job Consequence, 1999 Chi. Legal Forum 199

The “Racing” Cause of Action and the Identity Formerly Known as Race: The Road to Tamazunchale, 30 Rutgers L.J. 707 (1999)

The Rise of Identity Politics I: The Myth of the Protected Class in Title VII Disparate Treatment Cases, 30 Conn. L. Rev. 441 (1998)

As a law student she published Unmaddening: A Response to Professor Angela Harris, 4 Yale J.L. & Feminism 155 (1991)