Chief Judge James E. Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to Deliver Villanova Law’s 2023 Commencement Address


Villanova, Pa. – Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, announced that Chief Judge James E. Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2023 and will also receive the Villanova Law Medallion Award in recognition of his achievements. This year’s commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 20, beginning at 10 a.m. on the Rowan Campus Green at Villanova University.

Chief Judge James E. “Jeb” Boasberg was appointed to the District Court in March 2011. Chief Judge Boasberg is a native Washingtonian, having graduated from St. Albans School in 1981. He received a BA, magna cum laude, in history in 1985 from Yale College, where he also played basketball. Chief Judge Boasberg then received an MSt in modern European history from Oxford University in 1986 and a JD from Yale Law School in 1990.

Chief Judge Boasberg next served as a law clerk to Judge Dorothy W. Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Following his clerkship, he was a litigation associate at Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco from 1991 to 1994 and at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans in Washington from 1995 to 1996. In 1996, Chief Judge Boasberg joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as an assistant United States attorney, where he served for five and a half years and specialized in homicide prosecutions.

In September 2002, Chief Judge Boasberg became an associate judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court, where he served in the civil and criminal divisions and the domestic violence branch until his appointment to the federal bench in 2011.

Chief Judge Boasberg also served a seven-year term on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court beginning in May 2014. Appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts, he was the Court's presiding judge from January 2020 to May 2021. He is currently the president of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court and the past chair of the governing board of St. Albans School.


About Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law: Founded in 1953, the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law provides broad-based legal education that is grounded in academic rigor, practical hands-on training and a foundation in business that prepares graduates for diverse and rewarding legal careers. Accredited by the American Bar Association, Villanova Law offers seven in-house clinics and more than 330 externship opportunities that immerse students in real-world applications of their legal skills to help them become principled leaders. The school is also home to the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy; the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance; the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship; the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law; and the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation. These centers of excellence provide students the opportunity to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary legal fields through study, practical experience and mentorship.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit