Gene Nichol is a professor of law and director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina. Previously, he was the president of the College of William and Mary, a professor and dean of the law school at the University of North Carolina, and law dean at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Nichol has written books and articles on constitutional law, poverty, civil rights, and politics that have been published in an array of the nation's leading journals. Previously, he was a political columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and a monthly op-ed writer for the Raleigh News & Observer. He has also written for The Washington Post, The Nation, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. From 1994 to 1995, he hosted a public affairs television show, Culture Wars, for KBDI in Denver.
Active in public affairs, he was appointed by a federal court in Colorado to mediate a redistricting dispute between the governor and the legislature. The settlement accord was later ratified by statute. He also helped lead the Colorado Reapportionment Commission.
In 2003, Nichol received the American Bar Association's Edward Finch Award for delivering the nation's best Law Day address. In 2004, he was named Pro Bono Professor of the Year. In 2008, he received Oklahoma State University's Distinguished Alumnus Award; the Courage To Do Justice Award from the National Employment Lawyers Association; and the Thomas Jefferson Award, for courage in the defense of religious liberty, from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.