Law Professor, Shawn Akers, appointed New Dean of the Helms School of Government

June 14, 2010

Liberty University Acting Provost, Ronald Godwin, announces Shawn D. Akers as the new Dean of the Helms School of Government.   Outgoing Dean George Buzzy has been granted his request to be allowed to relinquish his role as Dean and return to the classroom with the rank of Full Professor.  Dr. Akers regularly works with national conservative faith-based and public policy leaders and organizations on matters of public policy, lobbying and elections.  He serves on the advisory counsel of National Public Policy Strategy Coalition, which convenes a weekly teleconference, and he regularly participates in the Military Culture Coalition, a coalition of national experts and leaders on national defense and military readiness, headed by Elaine Donnelly.  Dr. Akers has served as a Policy Analyst with Liberty Counsel, has drafted a variety of scholarly and popular articles and policy analyses and has frequently been a guest or co-host on national radio programs discussing political and public policy issues.  Dr. Akers provides counsel to public officeholders and has served as a consultant to political candidates and campaigns.  

Dr. Akers earned his Juris Doctorate and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Regent University.  Dr. Akers served as a member of the Regent University Law Review and represented the law school in Trial Practice competitions.  He began his legal career in private practice with the Law Firm of Snellings, Breard, Sartor, Inabnett and Trascher, in Monroe, Louisiana, and later owned and operated The Law Offices of Shawn D. Akers.  Dr. Akers represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the Louisiana Supreme Court. While in private practice, Dr. Akers served as a member of the Louisiana Bar Association House of Delegates.

In 2008, Dr. Akers joined Liberty University School of Law as Director of Academic Support.  During his tenure at the law school, Dr. Akers designed and launched the law school’s first public policy courses which cover all aspects of public policy, including running political campaigns, and election law, lobbying, grassroots activism, nonprofit and political organizational structures, political action committees, and proposing and drafting public policy.  In one of the courses, Dr. Akers brought in national experts on campaigns and elections, such as former Ohio Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, J. Kenneth Blackwell.  While at the law school Dr. Akers taught the LSAT Preparation course and participated in the Advanced Bar Preparation course.

“Dr. Akers is well-quipped to lead the Helms School of Government to train a new generation of world leaders and conservative political and public policy activists,” said Mat Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law and Founder of Liberty Counsel.  “Dr. Akers shares the vision of Liberty University’s founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, to train Champions for Christ to impact America and the world.  I am looking forward to working with Dr. Akers and the School of Government in developing cooperative and joint programs with the School of Law to advance our mutual interests in the area of public policy and conservative activism,” Staver concluded.

Dr. Akers resides in Lynchburg, VA, with his wife, Shanna, and their three children.  Shanna is a member of the faculty at Liberty University’s School of Nursing.