Professor Ashraf Ahmed smiling. He wears glasses with a blue suit and necktie.

Ashraf Ahmed

  • Associate Professor of Law

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2022
J.D., Yale Law School, 2019
M.Phil., Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2012
A.B., Harvard College, 2011

Areas of Specialty

Constitutional Law, Theory, and History
Election Law
Administrative Law
Democratic Theory
Political Philosophy
History of Political Thought

Ashraf Ahmed is a legal theorist who works primarily in public law. He studies constitutional law, theory, and history, election law, and administrative law. His work draws on political philosophy, democratic theory, and intellectual history to study the nature and materials of legal argument and issues of representation, equality, and freedom in public law. His current projects examine the conceptual foundations of election law doctrine and the historical origins of presidential primacy in administrative law. In prior work, Ahmed explored the character of constitutional norms, the tensions between presidential power and democratic legitimacy, and the anti-majoritarian turn in election law. 

Ahmed received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. While at Yale Law School, Ahmed served as articles editor on the Yale Law Journal. He has consulted for Demos and was a graduate organizer for United Auto Workers.

Ahmed joined Columbia Law School as an academic fellow and lecturer in law in 2020 and was appointed associate professor of law on July 1, 2022.


  • "Building Presidential Administration" (with Lev Menand and Noah Rosenblum), Harv. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2024) 
  • “Democracy and Disenchantment,” 75 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 223 (2022)
  • “A Theory of Constitutional Norms,” 120 Mich. L. Rev. 1361 (2022)
  • “Presidential Administration Amidst Democratic Decline” (with Karen Tani), 135 Harv. L. Rev. F. 39 (2021)


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