Leadership & Staff

Henry N. Butler
Henry G. Manne Professor of Law and Economics
Chairman, Law & Economics Center

E-mail: hnbutler@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8644

Henry N. Butler is the Henry G. Manne Professor of Law and Economics and Chairman of the Law & Economics Center at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.  For over 30 years, Professor Butler has developed and led educational programs that teach the basics of economics, finance, accounting, statistics, and the scientific method to federal and state judges, as well as other legal professionals and scholars. He served as Dean of the law school from 2015 through 2020 and achieved unparalleled success including raising record-breaking gifts, establishing a host of new centers, institutes, and clinics, boosting the law school’s national and international reputation, and naming the school after the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

From 2007 to 2010, Professor Butler served as the first Executive Director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law. He has held prior appointments at the Brookings Institution, Chapman University, the University of Kansas, the University of Chicago, and Texas A&M University. From 1986 to 1993, he was a law professor at George Mason and, during that period, also served as an Associate Dean and Director of the Law & Economics Center.

He received an MA and PhD in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a JD from the University of Miami School of Law. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Richmond.

Donald J. Kochan
Professor of Law
Executive Director, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: dkochan2@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8321

Donald J. Kochan is Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Law & Economics Center (LEC). Before joining the Antonin Scalia Law School faculty, he was the Parker S. Kennedy Professor in Law at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law from 2004 to 2020. From 2003 to 2004, Professor Kochan was an Olin Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law. During 2002-2003, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason’s Scalia Law School.

Professor Kochan received his JD from Cornell Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics and managing editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. During law school, he also served as editor and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy symposium issues in 1997 and 1998. He received his BA from Western Michigan University, magna cum laude, with majors in both political science and philosophy, where he studied as the John W. Gill Medallion Scholar and was honored as the Presidential Scholar (awarded to the top graduate in the political science department).

James C. Cooper
Professor of Law and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy
E-mail: jcoope20@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9582

James C. Cooper brings over a decade of public and private sector experience to his research and teaching. Prior to joining the faculty at Scalia Law, he served as Deputy and Acting Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, Advisor to Federal Trade Commissioner William Kovacic, and as an associate in the antitrust group of Crowell & Moring, LLP. Cooper returned to the FTC in 2018-19 to serve as a Deputy Director in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

His research focuses on the law and economics of privacy, data security, and consumer protection, as well as on wide variety of topics surrounding competition policy, and it regularly appears in top academic journals, such as the Journal of Law & Economics, International Review of Law & Economics, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Antitrust Law Journal, and the Virginia Journal of Law & Technology. Professor Cooper has a BA from the University of South Carolina, received his PhD in economics from Emory University, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he was a Levy Fellow and a member of the George Mason Law Review.

Ashley Evaro George
Assistant Director, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: aevaro@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9964

Ashley Evaro George is Assistant Director of the Law & Economics Center. She is responsible for managing all course offerings for state and federal judges. Prior to joining the LEC, Ashley served as a federal outreach associate for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Ashley earned her BA in political science and was a member of the Torrey Honors College at Biola University in Southern California. She also received her MPP from the Schar School of Policy and Government and is pursuing her JD at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School.

Jolene Sears
Director of External Relationships, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: csears3@gmu.edu

Jolene Sears is the Director of External Relationships of the Law & Economics Center. Jolene comes to the LEC with over 18 years of experience in higher education and the corporate world, including serving as Board Operations Coordinator for the Texas A&M System Board of Regents, and directing operations and outreach for the Texas A&M School of Innovation. She was Director of Strategic Operations at A&M Innovation Partners, providing support and managing projects to assist faculty researchers in commercializing their IP. Most recently, she worked at National Instruments in Austin, Texas, working with the global Analytics Commercial Group in the office of the Chief Technology Officer and supporting efforts of NI’s Long Term Innovation program. Jolene graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.


Emily Shaheen
Judicial Education Program Assistant, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: eshahee@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9960

Emily Shaheen is the Judicial Education Program Assistant at the Law & Economic Center. Prior to joining the LEC, she worked for a non-profit organization advocating for substance abuse prevention for minors and new drug legislation within the Virginia General Assembly. Emily recently graduated from the University of Arizona where she received her Bachelor of Science in Public Management and Policy with a pre-law minor.

Angelica Sisson
Program Coordinator, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: asisson2@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.2566

Angelica Sisson is the Program Coordinator at the Law & Economics Center. Previously, she was the Content Marketing Manager at a design agency. There, she managed websites, created publications, and assisted in the planning and facilitation of executive education workshops. Angelica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Classics from The Catholic University of America.

Ian Spears
Judicial Education Program Coordinator
E-mail: ispears2@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8008

Ian Spears is the Judicial Education Program Coordinator for the Law & Economics Center. He is pursuing his MA in political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. Ian graduated from the Torrey Honors College at Biola University in May 2020 with a BA in political science. Prior to joining the Law & Economics Center, Ian worked for advocacy organizations that concentrated on religious freedom and prison reform. Ian has contributed research to a variety of primary and secondary academic projects, including developments of democracy in the 19th century, terrorism studies, and transhumanism. His research interests lie in the areas of political philosophy, civic education, and the law.

Heather Vignali
Associate Director, Events
E-mail: hparris@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9961

Heather Vignali joined the LEC in June 2021, where she manages hotel sourcing and logistical elements for all LEC programming. Previously, she was a project manager with a contractor for the US Army’s Strong Bonds Program. There, she managed a team of event planners and the logistics for 1,500 events annually across the globe. She began her career in hotel operations and events, including two years as a hotel’s General Manager before focusing on event management. Heather graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management from James Madison University.

Gwendolyn Watson
Program Assistant, Law & Economics Center
E-mail: gwatson4@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8388

Gwendolyn Watson joined the Law & Economics Center in August of 2023 as the Program Assistant. Prior to joining the LEC, she attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where she graduated in May of 2023. Gwendolyn graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management on the Policy & Law track and with minors in Technical Writing & Communications and Sustainability Studies.