The Harvard Law Review has elected the first black woman to serve as president in the legal journal’s 130-year history.
ImeIme A. Umana, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., will serve as the 131st leader of the organization, and the Harvard Crimson reports that as an undergraduate in Harvard’s Lowell House, she earned a double major in government and African American studies, and she served as the president of the Institute of Politics.
In an email to the Crimson, outgoing Law Review president Michael L. Zuckerman wrote that he is excited to see where Umana will take the publication in the coming year.
“ImeIme is one of the most brilliant, thoughtful, and caring people I’ve met, and the Law Review is in phenomenally good hands,” Zuckerman wrote.
Umana was selected from a field of 12 candidates, 8 of whom were women, and 8 of whom were people of color, Zuckerman wrote. All candidates for Law Review president must answer questions from a forum of editors, write responses to submitted questions and participate in mock editorial activities.
“ImeIme’s election as the Law Review’s first female black president is historic,” Zuckerman wrote. “For a field in which women and people of color have for too much of our past been marginalized or underrepresented, her election is an important and encouraging step toward a richer and more inclusive legal conversation.”
In her job as Law Review president, Umana will oversee the work of 90 student editors and staff members as well as communicate with a group of writers that includes faculty members.
“Knowing ImeIme, I can’t wait to applaud her in a year’s time for the extraordinary work that I am certain she will do,” Zuckerman wrote.
The Crimson reports that Umana’s election comes just as the Law Review seeks to accept editors from a wider variety of backgrounds, and last year, it elected the most diverse class of editors in its history. Additionalluy, in 2013, the journal expanded its affirmative action policy to include gender as a factor in its admissions process.