Ekow N. Yankah is the associate dean for faculty and research, the Thomas M. Cooley Professor of Law, and a professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan. His work focuses on questions of political and criminal theory and, particularly, questions of political obligation and justifications of punishment. 

Yankah’s work has appeared in law review articles, peer reviewed legal theory journals, books, and medical journals, including NOMOS, Ratio Juris, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy, Stanford Law ReviewTexas Law Review, and the Harvard Law & Policy Review, among others.

He has been a distinguished visiting faculty member at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a visiting fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, among others. His work has been translated into Italian and Spanish.

Yankah’s interests have also led him to develop expertise in voting rights and election law. He served for years as the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC), the voting rights arm of the New York State Democratic Committee and the coordinating arm of the DNC. In 2020, the NYDLC honored him with the Guardian of Democracy Award. That year, he was appointed to the New York State Public Campaign Finance Board, which he served as chairman for nearly three years. He also sits on multiple nonprofit and start-up boards, including the Innocence Project, where he was recognized as an Advocate for Justice in 2017.

He maintains a public presence writing for publications spanning The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, among others, and has been a regular commentator on criminal law and policing issues on television and radio, including NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, BBC International, NPR, and PBS

His students have recognized Yankah numerous times for his dedication to teaching, including an Inspiration Award from the Cardozo student body. He also received the Cardozo Alumni of the Year Award from Cardozo BALLSA, becoming the first non-Cardozo graduate or faculty member to be recognized.