Jessica L. Waters is the Vice Provost for Academic Student Services and Dean of Undergraduate Education at American University. As Dean, she directs the undergraduate living learning communities and the university's general education program. She also provides academic leadership on undergraduate curricular development and reform, and oversees implementation of the university's academic regulations and policies.
Prior to becoming Dean of Undergraduate Education, Waters was Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the School of Public Affairs, and the inaugural director of the Politics, Policy and Law Scholars Program.
Dean Waters is also faculty member in the School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law and policy. Her recent work has explored questions related to the legal impact of women's medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, employment-based conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers. Her work has been published in the
Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the
American University Journal of Gender,
Social Policy and the Law, the
Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and
Prior to joining to joining the AU faculty, Dean Waters was a litigator at WilmerHale, where she specialized in criminal defense litigation, internal investigations, and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy. She also clerked for the Honorable Emmet Sullivan on the federal D.C. District Court. Dean Waters previously worked at a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care.
Dean Waters is a "double eagle," earning both her Bachelor's degree (SPA/CAS '98) and law degree (WCL '03) from American University. She has previously served as chair of the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and as a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts.