Jessica L. Waters is Dean of Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost for Academic Student Services at American University. Dean Waters oversees the Academic Support and Access Center; first year academic advising; the AU Core Curriculum; the university’s Living-Learning-Communities, including the Honors and Scholars programs; and the Undergraduate Academic Regulations. She sits on the President’s and Provost’s Councils, is Co-Chair of the RiSE Leadership Steering Committee, and sits on the Sexual Assault Working Group.
Dean Waters, a faculty member in the School of Public Affairs since 2008, served as Associate Dean of the School of Public Affairs from 2014-2016, and an adjunct faculty member at Washington College of Law from 2007 - 2015. Prior to joining the AU faculty, she was a litigator at WilmerHale, where she specialized in criminal defense litigation, internal investigations, and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy.
Dean Waters’ research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law. 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 Civil Liberties.
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.
Additionally, Dean Waters previously served on the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and as a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts. She is a “Double Eagle”, having earned both her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor Degrees from American University. Her office (Anderson 140) is in the same residence hall where she lived as a first year student.