Professor K. Sabeel Rahman Named President of Demos

Professor K. Sabeel Rahman, a widely published constitutional and administrative law scholar and expert in democratic participation and civic engagement in the United States, has been named the next president of Demos, a public policy organization focused on ensuring equality in the American democratic process and economy.

“Demos is an incredible organization committed to advancing a more inclusive economy and democracy,” said Rahman, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of Democracy Against Domination (Oxford University Press 2017), which explores questions of economic inequality, political dysfunction, and the future of American democracy. “In my scholarship and throughout my teaching, I have focused on questions of inequality, exclusion, and democracy, and how law plays a major role in constructing these challenges, and their remedies. I can't think of a better organization with which to link these ideas to the on-the-ground realities, especially at this urgent time in our politics.”

Rahman’s scholarship has focused on the interactions between law, political economy, economic inequality and racial exclusion, and on the ways in which law can create more inclusive democracy—making him the ideal choice to lead an organization whose mission is “to reduce both political and economic inequality, deploying original research, advocacy, litigation, and strategic communications to create the America the people deserve.”

“It was clear to us throughout his career that Sabeel has dedicated himself to the power of progressive ideas,” said Amelia Warren Tyagi, board chair of Demos. “As a thought leader he has demonstrated the power of ideas to shape public discourse; as a convener of leaders he’s demonstrated the power of progressive ideas to influence policy. In an age of unprecedented political and economic upheaval, Sabeel Rahman has the intellectual rigor, clarity of character and breadth of experience to guide Demos forward.”

“Sabeel is a superb choice to lead Demos at this critical time for our nation,” said Brooklyn Law School Interim Dean Maryellen Fullerton. “As an intellectual he is unparalleled in his field, working at the intersection of research on democracy and economic inequality. He is praised by his students as an inspiring and devoted teacher and mentor, and he is highly respected by his colleagues at the Law School where he is an integral member of our community. We look forward to bearing witness to the great work Sabeel will do at Demos as president. On behalf of the Brooklyn Law School community, we congratulate Sabeel on this exciting new chapter in his career.”

In a white paper he co-authored last fall, Rahman highlighted a major democratic participation problem in the United States, particularly among the young, people of color, and lower-income people. “For several years now, the institutions of American democracy have been under increasing strain,” he wrote. “Widening economic inequality, the persistence and increased virulence of racial and ethnic tensions, and the inability of existing political institutions to manage disputes and solve problems have all contributed to a growing sense of crisis in American democracy.”

At the Law School, Rahman teaches constitutional law and administrative law. He previously served as a special advisor to New York City on economic development issues and has worked and consulted for a variety of organizations on issues of democracy reform.

Read the Demos press release here.