Professor Thornton Appointed Director of Government Procurement Law Program

March 13, 2017

Karen ThorntonThe George Washington University Law School is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Da Ponte Thornton as director of the Government Procurement Law program, effective May 1. Thornton succeeds Daniel I. Gordon, who led the program for many years and previously served as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. 

"We are very pleased that Karen is taking on this important new role," said GW Law Dean Blake D. Morant. "She brings exactly the right mix of experience, intellect, and dedication to our Government Procurement Law program, which has been an integral part of the law school community for nearly 60 years." 

As program director, Thornton will be responsible for administering the LLM program in Government Contracts and supervising student work in the program, assisting with the administration of the Master of Science in Government Contracts program, coordinating alumni outreach and advancement, organizing and participating in numerous conferences, overseeing student competitions and awards, and assisting in the management and supervision of the Public Contract Law Journal (PCLJ) and Journal of Contract Management

"It is my dream job, and my goal is to make the Government Procurement Law experience one that shapes our students into leaders in the legal profession," said Thornton. "There is something undeniably special about the GW Law community, and within that, the Government Procurement Law community is one of the most generous and well-established in its mentorship and support of current students and alumni. I'm very excited to champion this program." 

Thornton is currently Professor of Legal Research and Writing (LRW), and associate director of the LRW program responsible for upper-level writing. Prior to joining the law school, she was Deputy Assistant General Counsel at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she served as legal advisor to numerous audits of Department of Defense procurement programs conducted at the request of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. She joined GAO after serving as a Procurement Attorney for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, first as a JAG officer in the Chief Counsel's Honors Program, and then as a civilian. Before entering the Army JAG Corps, Thornton clerked for Chief Judge Walter Cox on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. 

Thornton earned a Master of Laws in Government Procurement Law with highest honors from GW Law in 2001. Her thesis was selected for first place in the PCLJ Writing Competition (Professional Division). 

Thornton began teaching Scholarly Writing and Thesis as an adjunct in the 2008–2009 academic year. Since joining the full-time faculty in 2009, she has supervised dozens of student notes for the PCLJ and supported LLM candidates writing their theses in the Government Procurement Law program. She frequently publishes and presents at national conferences on topics at the intersection of professional development and experiential learning.