Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Jon Gould

Professor Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

Jon Gould returns to American University in 2017 from his appointment as a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Justice. Previously, he was director of the Law and Social Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation.

At American University, Gould is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law. He was inaugural director of the Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research, chair for the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology, and principal investigator for the Preventing Wrongful Convictions Project, a multi-year research initiative funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Professor Gould is an internationally known expert on justice policy, social change, and government reform. An author of four books and over 50 articles, he has written on such diverse subjects as erroneous convictions, indigent defense, prosecutorial innovation, police behavior, hate speech, sexual harassment, and international human rights, among others. His first book, Speak No Evil: The Triumph of Hate Speech Regulation, was a co-winner of the 2006 Herbert Jacob award for the best book in law and society. His second book, The Innocence Commission: Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Restoring the Criminal Justice System, was named an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association. Professor Gould has won awards for his teaching and service as well and is a regular contributor to The Hill newspaper.

Professor Gould’s research has been supported by more than $2 million in external funding and has been cited in multiple court pleadings and judicial decisions. He has received grants from the National Institute of Justice and the National Science Foundation and has been supported by several private foundations, state and local governments, and the Embassy of Canada. He is regularly called upon to serve as a consultant to governments and non-governmental organizations alike, both domestically and abroad.

Prior to joining American University, Professor Gould was associate professor and director of the Center for Justice, Law and Society at George Mason. He has practiced law with the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer, Brown and Platt; helped to direct programming for the International Human Rights Law Institute; and worked on the national staffs of two presidential campaigns.

Professor Gould is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is a former U.S. Supreme Court Fellow. He has served on multiple non-profit boards and is a trustee of the Law and Society Association. In 2015, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts appointed him as reporter for a committee of the federal courts evaluating the operation of the Criminal Justice Act. Professor Gould received the Administration of Justice Award from the U.S. Supreme Court Fellows Association in 2017.


Ph.D. Political Science, University of Chicago
J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude
M.P.P. Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
A.B., University of Michigan, highest honors

SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology
Ward - 266
Contact Info
(202) 885-6535

Send email to Jon Gould

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


  • Fall 2017

AU News and Achievements