The University of California Monday announced that Michelle Deutchman — national campus counsel for the Anti-Defamation League — will be the first executive director of the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.
Deutchman will start her new job May 29 and will report to UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman, co-chair of the center’s advisory board.
“Michelle has extraordinary experience addressing issues of free expression and campus climate and has worked extensively with campus constituencies to improve the national debate,” Gillman said. “Her passion and expertise make her a perfect fit for this important role.”
In her current job, Deutchman provides guidance to the ADL’s 24 regional offices on matters related to speech on college campuses.
The new center was launched by UC President Janet Napolitano last October, with Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, as co-chairs of an advisory board of noted elected officials, journalists, academics and corporate leaders.
As executive director, Deutchman will be responsible for planning and executing center activities, including advancing its fellows program, establishing national conferences, and serving as a liaison to UCI, the UC Office of the President and sister UC campuses, as well as other universities and organizations engaged in shaping national discourse about free speech. She will be based in the UCDC Center in Washington, D.C., and at UCI.
“The National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement is developing into a vital resource advancing research, education and advocacy in these areas so key to American democracy, and Michelle will provide the leadership essential to its future success,” Napolitano said.
Deutchman has served as a lecturer at the UCLA School of Law since 2014.
“I am excited by the prospect of leveraging my energy and expertise to advance the dialogue around free speech and civic engagement,” she said. “It will be a privilege to help further establish the center and to grow its influence as a vital resource on the national stage.”
A Los Angeles native, Deutchman earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at UC Berkeley and a law degree at USC. She was in private practice before being hired at ADL.