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Biography of Chancellor Emerita Phoebe Haddon

Respected nationally as a constitutional scholar and a leader in higher education, Phoebe A. Haddon served as chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2020.


Phoebe A. Haddon became chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden on July 1, 2014. She had direct responsibility for the daily administration of a campus with more than 1,300 employees and 7,350 students in 39 undergraduate programs and 28 graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. Under her leadership, Rutgers University–Camden greatly widened affordable access through its innovative Bridging the Gap program, which provides full or significant tuition coverage for New Jersey’s working families. She also amplified Rutgers–Camden’s role as an anchor institution in Camden and the Delaware Valley by expanding the institution’s nationally recognized civic engagement program.

On July 1, 2020, Haddon returned to the law faculty at Rutgers University–Camden after a successful six-year tenure as chancellor of the campus.

Haddon is the recipient of the 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of American Law Schools and the 2019 Smith College Medal. In 2015, she received the Trailblazer’s Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association, and was similarly honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners in South Jersey in 2016. In 2014, Haddon was an invited speaker at the 91st annual meeting of the American Law Institute, where other invited speakers included U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

She is the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Board of Directors. Haddon is on the Boards of Trustees for the Cooper University Health System, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Camden Health & Athletic Association, and HERS (Higher Education Resource Services).

NJBIZ named her among the “Top 50 in Higher Ed” in New Jersey in 2019, while Philadelphia Business Journal named her to its “Power 100” list for 2019 and the Philadelphia Inquirer selected her as a winner of its 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Pioneer Award.

In 2014, Haddon was an invited speaker at the 91st annual meeting of the American Law Institute, where other invited speakers included U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  In October 2014, she was named among the “Women of Distinction” to be honored by Philadelphia Business Journal. In December 2014, she delivered the keynote address for the Sisters for the Cure event sponsored by the Susan B. Komen Foundations in Philadelphia. In 2015, she received the Trailblazer’s Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association, and was similarly honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners in South Jersey in 2016.

She has served on the ABA’s Diversity and Inclusion 360 Working Group and the ABA’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Additionally, she has held membership on such boards as the Delaware Valley Community Reinvestment Fund, the Women’s Law Project, the William Penn Foundation, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Philadelphia Education Fund, and the Smith College Board of Trustees.

Haddon previously served as dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. In 2011, the school received a $30 million commitment from the W.P. Carey Foundation. Prior to joining UM Carey Law, Haddon served for more than 25 years as a distinguished faculty member at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. During her years at Temple, she fought racial and gender bias on the Pennsylvania bench and bar, serving on several state and city bodies, including the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics. Previously she practiced at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C., and clerked for the Honorable Joseph F. Weis Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  She has written extensively on equality and access in education issues as well as on matters related to access to counsel for civil litigants.

In 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, Haddon was honored by The National Jurist as one of the “25 Most Influential People in Legal Education.” In 2011, she received the Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). Haddon earned an LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1985 and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Duquesne University School of Law in 1977. She received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in 1972 and served as vice chair of the Smith College Board of Trustees until 2009.

Born in Washington, D.C., Haddon spent much of her childhood in Passaic, New Jersey, where her mother was a public school teacher and her father served as a dentist.  She is married to Frank McClellan, a 1967 graduate of Rutgers University–New Brunswick and a professor emeritus at Temple University law school. She has a daughter and two sons.

Chancellor Haddon offers her thoughts on being named “Trailblazer of the Year” by the National Association of Women Business Owners in New Jersey in 2016 in this video.