Neomi Rao, '99: The Scholar Who Will Help Lead Trump's Regulatory Overhaul

WASHINGTON — When George Mason University changed the name of its law school last year to honor Antonin Scalia, the late conservative Supreme Court justice, the tribute rankled many liberal faculty members and students. That the naming was tied to a multimillion-dollar donation from the conservative Charles Koch Foundation only heightened concerns.

One outspoken advocate for the name change was Neomi Rao, an associate law professor who had come to know Mr. Scalia while serving as a clerk for Clarence Thomas, another conservative member of the court. Ms. Rao, a Republican, publicly celebrated the legacy of Mr. Scalia and praised the Koch donation as “game changing” for the law school.

But quietly, Ms. Rao also worked to win over liberal critics.

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