Anthony E. Varona

Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Office: Room 364
Phone: 202-274-4196
E-mail: vCard


Dean Tony Varona teaches Contracts, Administrative Law, Media Law, and Introduction to Public Law, in addition to serving as associate dean for faculty and academic affairs. Before becoming associate dean, he was the director of the SJD Program. Prior to joining the WCL faculty in 2005, he was an associate professor of law at Pace Law School in New York. Before that, he served as general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights organization. He built HRC's legal department, directed its legislative and regulatory lawyering and appellate amicus work, launched national law fellow and pro bono attorney programs, and served as counsel to HRC's board of directors and the organization's corporate, educational, and media initiatives.

Dean Varona taught as an adjunct law professor for three years at Georgetown University, and served as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. He serves on the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers and the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington. He has served on the boards of the Human Rights Campaign and the Alliance for Justice, was on the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society, was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Council's Legal Advisory Board, and served as a member of the Judicial Selection Steering Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Dean Varona practiced communications law at the Washington offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC. He began his legal career as an honors program attorney for the Federal Communications Commission.

Dean Varona's scholarship has included articles concerning media and communications law, civil rights, employment discrimination, and hate crimes, published in a variety of notable law journals. He has lectured widely on these topics, and has appeared as a legal commentator on CNN, Headline News, Fox News Network, Court TV, MSNBC, and in a variety of major daily newspapers and legal periodicals.

Dean Varona serves on the Faculty Review Board of the Administrative Law Review, and as faculty advisor to the Latino/a Law Students Association (LaLSA). He was honored with the 2009 Hugh A. Johnson, Jr., Memorial Award by the Washington Hispanic Bar Association, was named the 2007-08 Washington College of Law Professor of the Year, and was profiled by the National Law Journal in May 2000.



Areas of Specialization

  • Administrative Law
  • Communications and Media Law
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues

Degrees & Universities

  • LLM, Georgetown University Law Center
  • J.D., Boston College Law School
  • A.B, Boston College

  • Selected Publications

    • + More Publications...

  • + Selected Presentations

    • Anthony E. Varona, Paper Presentation, Gays, God and Marriage (Legal, Secular and Religious Perspectives on Marriage Equality/Marriage Protection/Same-Sex Marriage Symposium, St. John's U. Sch. of L., New York City, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Commentator, Delivered comments on Prof. Macarena Saez’s paper, "The Legal Meaning of Marriage: Comparative Perspectives on the Regulation of Same-Sex Unions" (WCL Faculty Scholarship Colloquium, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Oct. 1, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Delivered Work in Progress, Taking Initiatives: Reconciling Race, Religion, Media and Democracy in the Quest for Marriage Equality (Université de Paris X Ouest, La Défense – American University WCL 2010 Faculty Scholarship Colloquium, Nanterre, Fr., June 18, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Reader/Commentator, Served as reader/commentator for Prof. Carlos Ball’s "From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation (2010)" (Law and Society Association 2010 Annual Meeting, Chi., Ill., May 29, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel Moderator, New media (Shaping Social Opinions: Media and LGBT Discourse Symposium, Cosponsored by American University Lambda Law Students Association, Latino/a Law Students Association, School of Communications and GLAAD, Apr. 19, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Discussionist & Panel Moderator, Law Teaching in the 21st Century and moderated panel on Crisis Management and the Media (American University Washington College of Law and Kogod School of Business Conference: Practicing Law in an Interconnected World: Exploring Trends and Opening Dialogue, Wash., D.C., Apr. 8 - 10, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Colloquium Presentation, Broadband Public Interest Regulation (Ritsumeikan U. - Am. U. 2010 Faculty Exch., Kyoto, Japan, Mar. 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel Moderator, Regulatory Change in the Communications Sector (Admin. L. Rev. 2010 Annual Symposium, Reg. Change Under the Obama Administration, D.C., Feb. 16, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presentation, Taking Initiatives: Reconciling Race, Religion, Media and Democracy in the Quest for Marriage Equality (Yale L. Sch. 16th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conf., New Haven, Conn., Feb. 10, 2010).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Host Committee Chair and Opening Roundtable Moderator, Latina/o Critical Leg. Theory 14th Annual Conf. (LatCrit XIV, D.C., Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presenter, Introduction to American Legislative Process (Am. U.-Ritsumeikan U. (Kyoto, Japan) D.C. Seminar, Aug. 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Featured Speaker, Toward a Broadband Public Interest Standard (Am. Assn. of L. Lib. (AALL) Latino Caucus Annual Meeting, D.C., July 27, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel Moderator and Symposium Organizing Committee Chair, Til Ballot Initiatives Do Us Part: Marriage, Equality, Religion and Civil Rights (Am. U. Wash. C. L. Program on L. & Govt., Apr. 19, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Moderator/Speaker, Internet and Media: A New Outlook for Communications Law in the Obama Era? (Am. U. Wash. C. L. Commun. & Media L. Socy., D.C., Apr. 6, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panelist, Is Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell the Best Amelioration? (Natl. Assn. L. Placement Annual Conf., D.C., Apr. 3, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Moderator/Panelist, Marginalized Issues in the LGBTQ Community – Race, Class and Domestic Violence (Am. U. Wash. C. L. 1st Annual Lambda L. Soc. Symposium, D.C., Feb. 4, 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Commentator on Professor's Dawn Nunziato's Presentation, Virtual Freedom: Net Neutrality and Free Speech in the Internet Age (Am. U. Wash. C. L. Distinguished Faculty Speakers Colloquium, D.C., Jan. 2009).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presentation, Out of Bounds: The Role of Gay Politics in the 2008 Presidential Elections (St. John’s U. Sch. L., Symposium, Making History: Race, Gender and Media in the 2008 Elections, N.Y., Sept. 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presenter, Introduction to American Legislative Process (Am. U.-Ritsumeikan U. (Kyoto, Japan) D.C. Seminar, Aug. 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Chair and Speaker, Works-in-Progress Workshop on Media Access (Natl. Conf. on Media Reform, Scholarship Pre-Conf. , Minneapolis, Minn., June 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Plenary Panel Moderator, Looking Forward – The Process and Potential of Curricular Transition (Am. U. Wash. C. L., Innovations in the First-Year Curriculum Conf., D.C., Apr. 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Moderator/Speaker, Emory L. Sch. & Am. Const. Soc. Symposium Commemorating 5th Anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas (Atlanta, Ga., April 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Toward and Internet Public Interest Standard (Panel on Media Regulation, American Association of Law Schools (AALS) 2008 Annual Meeting, Section on Telecommunications and the Internet, Race, Ethnicity, Language and Socio-Economics, N.Y.C., N.Y., Jan. 2008).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speaker, Panel on Integrating International Law Into First-year Curriculum (American University Washington College of Law International Law Week, Wash., D.C., Nov. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel Moderator, Panel on Media Dversity and Public Iterest Communications Regulation (LatCrit XII (2007) National Scholarship Conference, Oct. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presenter, Introduction to American Legislative Process (Am. U.-Ritsumeikan U. (Kyoto, Japan) D.C. Seminar, Aug. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Discussant, Internet Regulation And Media Diversity Research Roundtables (2007 National Media Law Reform Conference, Sponsored by Social Science Research Council, Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 12, 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Plenary Panelist & Breakout Group Discussion Facilitator, The Ratings Game (American Association of Law Schools 2007 Annual Meeting Workshop, Wash., D.C., Jan. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Discussant, Internet Regulation and Media Diversity Research Roundtables (2007 National Media Reform Conference Scholarship Pre-Conference (sponsored by Social Science Research Council), Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Plenary Panelist, The Ratings Game (American Association of Law Schools 2007 Annual Meeting Workshop, Jan. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presentation, Toward an Internet Public Interest Standard (“Reclaiming the First Amendment: Constitutional Theories of Media Reform,” co-hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Hofstra University, N.Y., Jan. 2007).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presenter, Introduction to American Legislative Process (Am. U.-Ritsumeikan U. (Kyoto, Japan) D.C. Seminar, Aug. 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Out of Thin Air: Media Regulation in an Era of Technological Convergence” and “Who Decides? The Role of Courts in the Struggle for LGBT Equality (American U., Wash. Coll. of Law Spring 2006 Program on Law and Government Panel Discussions, Spring 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, 9th Annual Hispanic Law Conference Experts Panel (Washington, DC, March 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, The Modern American 2006 Symposium on Diversity Law (American U., Wash. Coll. of Law, 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Workshop on Preparing for Law School (American Bar Association (ABA) Council on Legal Educational Opportunity 2006 Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program, 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Faculty-Student Dialogue on Hurricane Katrina (2006 Mid-Atlantic People of Color Scholarship Conference, 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Faculty-Student Dialogue on Hurricane Katrina (Mid-Atlantic People of Color Scholarship Conference, Washington, D.C., 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Current State of Healthcare Regulation (Administrative Law Review 2006 Symposium on Healthcare Regualtion, 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Current State of Healthcare Regulation (Administrative Law Review 2006 Symposium on Healthcare Regulation, 2006).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Presenter, Introduction to American Legislative Process (Am. U.-Ritsumeikan U. (Kyoto, Japan) D.C. Seminar, Aug. 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Latino/a Legal Identity Panel (National Latino/a Law Students Association 2005 National Conference, 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, First-Year Student Workshop (National Latino/a Law Students Association 2005 National Conference, 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, 2005 Workshop for New Law Teachers (Association of American Law Schools, 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Panel (2005 First Annual National Campus Progress Conference, 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel/Debate, Same-Sex Marriage (Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) 2005 Annual Conference, 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Out of Thin Air: Using First Amendment Public Forum Analysis to Redeem American Broadcasting Regulation (University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 2005 Media Regulation Symposium, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2005).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Exhibition on Connecticut & Yale Lesbian and Gay History (Yale University, New Haven, Conn., 2004).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Entering Legal Academia (Hispanic National Bar Association 2004 National Conference, 2004).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Discussion on Lawrence v. Texas (Seton Hall University School of Law, S. Orange, N.J., 2004).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Lawrence v. Texas and Same-Sex Marriage (American Constitution Society, First Annual National Conference, 2003).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Debate, ACS v. Federalist Society Debate on Lawrence v. Texas (Cardozo Law School, N.Y.C., N.Y., 2003).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Workshop for New Law Teachers (Association of American Law Schools (AALS), 2003).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Symposium on Gay Civil Rights (Ohio State University College of Law, Columbus, Ohio, 2002).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speech, Summer Institute Featured Speaker (Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Summer 2001).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Lecture, Guest Lecturer to Professor David Westfall's 1L Section (Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., 2001).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Panel, Marriage and Domestic Partnership Law Panel (Boston College Law School, Bos., Mass., 2001).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Speaker, Public Interest Law Panel (Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., 2001).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Lecture, Annual Human Rights Lecture (University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio, 2000).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Lecture, Gender Nonconformity Law Symposium (William and Mary School of Law, Williamsburg, Va., 2000).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Debate, Debate Against Former Deputy Solicitor General Roger Clegg (University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Tex., Mar. 1999).
    • Anthony E. Varona, Lecture, Gender and the Law Symposium (Cornell Law School, Ithaca, N.Y., 1999).