The Temple Law School community welcomes back Rue Landau ’98, who will join the faculty for the Spring 2021 semester as the Beck Chair, teaching Housing Law.

The appointment comes as Landau completes more than a decade of service to the City of Philadelphia as executive director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC). She was first appointed as Executive Director by Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008 and again by Mayor Jim Kenney in 2016. While leading the agencies, Landau has overhauled and expanded the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance to add civil rights protections including wage equity, fair chance hiring for people with criminal records, and reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, among others. She also oversaw many efforts to strengthen existing laws by creating added protections for marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ community. In addition, Landau worked on amendments to the Fair Housing Ordinance, including groundbreaking “good cause” eviction protections. She also launched a revitalized Interagency Civil Rights Task Force and initiated a Rapid Response Team—consisting of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and community partners—to address intergroup tension, hate crimes, and bias incidents in Philadelphia.

“Rue Landau is among the fiercest advocates for civil rights and issues of social justice that I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my decades in City government,” said Mayor Kenney in a press release issued by the City. “In her dual roles as Executive Director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission, she has helped shape and enforce some of our city’s most consequential anti-discrimination laws. Rue’s passion for her work is ever-present and will be missed by her colleagues in the administration, on City Council, and at partner organizations outside of government.”

Dean Gregory Mandel also expressed his admiration for Landau’s accomplishments in service to the City and excitement for the perspective she would offer to Temple Law students. “Over the course of her service with PCHR and the FHC, Professor Landau has exemplified the very best of what we refer to as ‘The Temple Lawyer’- she has been tenacious, innovative, and laser-focused on increasing justice and equality within our communities. We’re proud of her as a graduate and excited for the opportunity our students now have to learn from an exemplary advocate.”

“It has been a great honor to serve two mayoral administrations and the people of Philadelphia over the past 12 years,” said Landau. “A great deal has changed since I assumed these roles in 2008, but the need for strong local anti-discrimination measures remains. In recent years, we’ve seen how critical these local laws are as politicians at the federal level have attempted to chip away at the rights of our most marginalized communities. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done through the PCHR and FHC—elevating Philadelphia’s reputation as a national leader in civil rights protections, while helping our residents who are most in need. And while it will be hard to leave the City of Philadelphia, I am excited to play a role in developing a pipeline of future advocates and legal professionals who will be able to continue this work for generations to come.”

The Beck Chair in Law was established through the support of the Independence Foundation for the purpose of bringing to the faculty notable leaders or outstanding scholars in law or a field related to law. It is named in recognition of the many contributions of the Hon. Phyllis W. Beck, Chair of the Independence Foundation. Recent Beck Chair holders include Robert Schwartz, co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center, and Nan Feyler, executive director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.