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New York Times columnist, legal scholar David French appointed distinguished visiting professor of public policy at Lipscomb University

French brings extensive experiences in law, politics and the military to the classroom

Kim Chaudoin | 

David French headshot

New York Times columnist, former constitutional litigator and Iraqi War veteran David A. French has been appointed distinguished visiting professor of public policy in Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service. 

French, who holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Lipscomb, is an opinion columnist for the New York Times. As distinguished visiting professor, French will teach traditional and short-courses as well as support special events and engagements. He will begin his two-year faculty appointment on Sept. 1 while continuing his work with the New York Times. 

“David's vast experience in law, politics and the military and his deep faith offers students a unique blend of legal expertise, thoughtful analysis and an extensive understanding of contemporary issues," said Lipscomb President Candice McQueen. “As a university that prepares students for purposeful lives through a rigorous academic experience, it is important to have scholars such as David with his extensive background to enrich this academic landscape.”

French said he is looking forward to this opportunity to return to his alma mater.

“Lipscomb played an indispensable role in my spiritual and intellectual growth, and I’m honored by the opportunity to become a member of the community that has given me so much,” said French. 

Prior to beginning his work with the New York Times in January, French was a senior editor at The Dispatch, which he helped launch, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He also served as a senior writer for National Review and as a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. The majority of French’s career was devoted to practice law, working in both commercial and constitutional litigation. In 2006, he joined the United States Army Reserve as a judge advocate general. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 and served in Diyala Province, where he was awarded a Bronze Star. During his legal career, he litigated in federal courts and served as a lecturer at Cornell Law School. He is a former president of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. French is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book is “Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.” 

French will be on faculty in Lipscomb’s College of Leadership & Public Service, which offers programs in law, justice and society; conflict management; leadership and public service; public administration and sustainability among others. 

“David brings a unique perspective at the local, state and national levels” said Steve Joiner, dean of the college. “I look forward to our work together and the tremendous impact he will have in this role as we prepare the next generation of leaders who will serve Tennessee and beyond.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, French lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Nancy. They have three children.

About Lipscomb University
Lipscomb University is a vibrant Christian, liberal arts community with a student body of nearly 5,000 students that offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. Located in the heart of Nashville, Lipscomb University is a Christ-centered community preparing learners for purposeful lives through rigorous academics and transformative experiences. The institution also includes Lipscomb Academy, a PreK2-12th grade college preparatory school of nearly 1,300 students. For more information, visit