Renée M. Landers, Vice Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors, is Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches administrative law, constitutional law, and health law. Landers also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
The focus of Landers’s work has been on health care regulation, gender, and racial and ethnic bias in the legal system. Prior to joining the Suffolk University Law School faculty in 2002, she served as counsel in the health law group at the Boston law firm of Ropes and Gray for five years. From 1993 until 1996, she served as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration.
“I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and collaborating with Renée Landers since we worked closely together in the Department of Health and Human Services in the mid-‘90s,” said Bruce Vladeck, Senior Advisor of Nexera, Inc. “Even then, her clear-eyed understanding of the importance of Medicare and Medicaid to all Americans, and especially to the disadvantaged, made our efforts to solve tough political/legal problems much easier and more fruitful. We worked closely together as well on the Academy Study Panel on Medicare and Disparities, from 2004 through 2006, a process in which she contributed in many important ways to the shaping of our final report. Renée gets viscerally, as well as intellectually, the simple truth that equal justice under the law requires not only formal equality, but substantive justice as well. That’s what social insurance is all about, and her powerful blend of expertise in the law and social insurance programs have thus made her an especially-valued colleague and friend.”
Landers has served on a number of boards and committees at the intersection of health and law. She was the first woman of color and the first law professor to serve as President of the Boston Bar Association from 2003-2004. In August she will be elected to a one-year term as Chair of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association after her terms as Chair Elect (2015 – 2016), Vice Chair (2014 – 2015), and Secretary (2011–2014). She was a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct and served as Vice Chair of the Commission from 2009 to 2010, and she served on the task force that drafted the revised Code of Judicial Conduct effective in 2016. Currently, she is a member of the Committee on Judicial Ethics. She has also been a member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s committees studying gender bias and racial and ethnic bias in the courts.
Landers was a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance Study Panel on what Medicare can do to eliminate health care disparities in 2005. In 2014 she served on the Disability Review Panel for the Social Security Advisory Board. She has been a consistent, respected voice on legal developments in constitutional law, health law, and administrative law for media organizations. She has received awards from Radcliffe College, Boston College Law School, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network. Landers received an AB degree from Radcliffe College and a JD degree cum laude from Boston College Law School. Prior to attending law school, she served as Deputy Secretary of State in charge of the Commercial Bureau and the Public Records Bureau.
A prizewinning pie-maker, Landers started baking at the age of nine. She has won the annual apple pie contest in Watertown, Massachusetts twice (in 2013 and 2014), and has placed three other times. Landers’s other avocation is choral singing and she currently sings with the Cambridge Community Chorus.