Christopher L. Eisgruber is an academic and one of America's top legal minds. A renowned constitutional scholar, he spent two years at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and then received his law degree from the University of Chicago. After clerking for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Eisgruber taught at New York University Law School for eleven years, from 1990 to 2001. His expertise on constitutional law, with an emphasis on law & religion and federal judicial appointments, has led to Eisgruber testifying multiple times before legislative bodies. As an acclaimed author, his books include Constitutional Self-Government (2001), Religious Freedom and the Constitution (with Lawrence Sager, 2007), and The Next Justice: Repairing the Supreme Court Appointments Process (2007). In 2014, Eisgruber was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the following years he also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and was elected an honorary fellow of University College, Oxford. Currently, Eisgruber serves as a Steering Committee Member of the American Talent Initiative and a Member of the Global University Leaders Forum of the World Economic Forum.
As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Eisgruber got his first taste of the legal world. Although he majored in physics, Eisgruber studied political theory with Jeffrey K. Tulis and constitutional interpretation with Walter F. Murphy, the latter of which would inspire Eisgruber to pursue a career in constitutional law. While at Princeton, Eisgruber also got some real world experience by working on John B. Anderson‘s campaign in the 1980 presidential election. A top student, in 1983 Eisgruber completed his senior thesis, which addressed topics in the theory of general relativity. That same year he received his A.B. in physics from Princeton, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
For more than two decades, Eisgruber has been a major contributor to the Princeton community. In 2001, he returned to his alma mater, joining the Princeton faculty as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2004, he was named Princeton’s 11th provost, making him the school's second-ranking official, chief academic, and budgetary officer. In 2013, Eisgruber was formally installed as Princeton's 20th President, a position he continues to hold. During his inaugural ceremony that year, Eisgruber articulated what his alma mater has meant to him over the years, stating, “As an undergraduate, faculty member, and provost, I have developed a heartfelt appreciation for Princeton’s distinctive mission as a great research university with an unmatched commitment to liberal arts education... Yet one of Princeton’s most attractive characteristics is its drive not only to sustain past successes but also to build new strengths in response to changing needs and opportunities."