Ken Gormley, president, Duquesne University
Ken Gormley is the 13th president of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he previously served as professor of law before being named dean of the Duquesne University School of Law. He joined the faculty in 1994 following a career teaching at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law; working in private practice at the firm of Cindrich & Titus; and clerking for U.S. District Judge Donald E. Ziegler and Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ralph J. Cappy.
Gormley earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977, summa cum laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his juris doctor from Harvard Law School in 1980 and was a teaching assistant in constitutional law to Professor Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.
Gormley's work has earned him a national reputation as a highly respected constitutional scholar. In 1997, he published Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation (Perseus Books), the authorized biography of one of the leading lawyers and public servants of the 20th century. The Cox book was awarded the 1999 Bruce K. Gould Book Award for an outstanding publication relating to the law.
In 2010, Gormley published The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr (Crown), a New York Times bestseller chronicling the scandals that nearly destroyed the Clinton presidency. The Death of American Virtue received a 2011 Silver Gavel Award (honorable mention) from the American Bar Association as well as critical acclaim in publications including the New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice), Washington Post Book World, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic magazine and dozens of others. Gormley's latest book, American Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History, was published by NYU Press in May 2016 to national acclaim.
Gormley has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, National Public Radio's Fresh Air, and hundreds of television and radio shows in the United States and worldwide. He has testified in the United States Senate three times and has testified in the Pennsylvania Senate on state constitutional matters. A past president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, Gormley was the first academic to hold that position in the organization's history.
As president of Duquesne University, Gormley has emphasized the university's historic mission to foster ethical behavior and dialogue through a series of public events focused on civil discourse. Gormley continues to bring major political figures, public officials, newsmakers and journalists to campus for special programs examining legal issues and commemorating key events in American history. These have included programs featuring U.S. Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Samuel Alito, Jr., Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and most recently, an appearance by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Gormley also organized the first "National Conference on the First Amendment," co-presented by the Pittsburgh Foundation in cooperation with the National Constitution Center.
Gormley and his wife, Laura, have four children and live in Forest Hills, Pa., where he served as mayor from 1998 to 2001.