Leadership & Staff

Henry N. Butler
Professor of Law
Executive Director, Law & Economics Center

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

Henry N. Butler is Professor of Law and Executive Director 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 Kochan
Deputy Executive Director
E-mail: dkochan2@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8321

Donald Kochan is Professor of Law and Deputy 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).

Mary C. Jones
Chief of Staff
E-mail: mjones34@gmu.edu
Phone: 202.689.5798

Mary C. Jones is the Chief of Staff at the LEC, which she rejoined in 2018 as the Associate Director of Events and Communication. Prior to the LEC, she was the Assistant Director of Outreach Communications at the Mercatus Center where she worked to enhance the organization’s influence with federal and state policymakers. Mary has worked in academic organizations for over 10 years. She first served at the LEC from 2012 to 2016 as the Event and Communication Manager and as a project manager at The Brookings Institution. Mary holds a MA in Communication from George Mason University and a BA in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

James C. Cooper
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.

Myiah Gatling
Judicial Education Program Assistant
E-mail: mgatling@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9964

Myiah Gatling joined the LEC in February 2021 as the Judicial Education Assistant. She graduated from Rutgers University- Camden with a BS in Business Management. Myiah previously worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist for a marketing firm.

Ashley Evaro George
Judicial Education Coordinator
Phone: 703.993.9964

Ashley George joined the LEC in May 2018 as the Judicial Education Coordinator, where she helps manage the LEC’s course offerings for federal and state judges. Previously, she worked at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University as a Federal Outreach Associate. Ashley graduated from Biola University in sunny Southern California with a BA in Political Science.

Kaitlin N. Groundwater
Events Manager
Phone: 703.993.9961

Kaitlin Groundwater joined the LEC in July 2019 as the Events Coordinator, where she helps manage logistical elements for all LEC programming. Previously, she worked in the hospitality industry in Washington, DC and Montana. Kaitlin graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

Jonathan E. Lee
Program Assistant, Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies
Phone: 703.993.8388

Jonathan Lee is the LEC’s Program Assistant for the Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies. Immediately prior, Jonathan was a Research Assistant in Development at the LEC, where he conducted research and managed projects related to the organization. In addition, Jonathan served as a Law Clerk at Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, where he conducted legal research and analysis on Workers’ Compensation law and aided attorneys on a number of cases. Jonathan also worked for a number of other law firms and government agencies. He earned a BA from George Mason University and a JD from the George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law.

Sharon Parker
Executive Assistant
E-mail: sparke7@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8329

Sharon Parker joined the LEC in March 2020 as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and brings twenty years of experience as a Coordinator and educator in a variety of settings, including six years internationally. Her expertise includes managing and developing programs, event planning, and coordinating special projects. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Sharon holds a BA in history and a masters in secondary education, as well as extensive professional development in the areas of leadership, research, and teaching.

Alexandra Perez
Coordinator, Attorneys General Education Program and Civil Justice Caucus Academy
E-mail: aperez35@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9962

Alexandra Perez joined the LEC in March 2021 as the Coordinator for the Attorneys General Education Program and the Congressional Civil Justice Academy. Previously she worked at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and 340B Health, a hospital trade association. Alexandra is graduate of Pepperdine University, and holds a BA in political science and masters in public policy.

Carlye Poljacik
Administrative Assistant and Office Manager
E-mail: cpoljaci@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.8040

Carlye Poljacik joined the LEC in April 2021 as the Administrative Assistant and Office Manager. She has worked in the airline, hotel, and restaurant industries. Carlye is graduate of Auburn University.

Michael Reksulak
Director of Online Programs
E-mail: mreksula@gmu.edu

Michael Reksulak is Director of Online Programs at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he manages online course offerings that teach economics to law students at over 100 universities nationwide. He was previously a Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Economics, a tenured Associate Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern University, a Director of the National Science Foundation’ Economics Program, and a Senior Social Scientist at the NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

From 2014 until 2017, Dr. Reksulak served as the Director for Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities at the Qatar National Research Fund and, for most of 2017, as Director of Research Policy at the Qatar Foundation Research and Development. He was also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Melton Foundation between 2012 and 2016.

Dr. Reksulak’s research has been published in leading journals, such as Theory and Decision, Public Choice, Constitutional Political Economy, Economics & Politics and the Review of Industrial Organization. He is the lead editor of The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, 2nd Edition. He received an MA and PhD in economics from the University of Mississippi, and a Diploma in European Management Science from the University of Kent at Canterbury. He earned a bachelor’s degree (equiv.) in economics from the University of Jena in Germany.

headshots for GMU School of Law Faculty and staffJeffrey T. Smith
Associate Director, Development
E-mail: jsmithq@gmu.edu

Jeffrey Smith is the LEC’s Associate Director of Development. Immediately prior, Jeff was the Assistant Director of the LEC’s Henry G. Manne Programs in Law & Economics Studies, where he organized research and educational programs for law professors and other legal professionals that promote improved understanding and competency in the use of economics in teaching and research. In addition, Jeff has served as the Director of Special Programs and interim Chief of Staff at the LEC. Prior to this, Jeff worked for businesses in the employment testing field. He earned a BA from the University of Maryland and a JD from the George Mason University School of Law.

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

Ian Spears joined the LEC in February of 2021 as an education assistant for the Judicial Education Programs. Ian graduated from the Torrey Honors College at Biola University in May of 2020 with a BA in political science. Prior to joining the LEC, Ian has worked in different areas such as religious freedom, terrorism studies, and prison reform. His research interests lie in the areas of political philosophy, civic education, and the law.

Kaylie Wray
Events Assistant
E-mail: kwray2@gmu.edu
Phone: 703.993.9044

Kaylie Wray joined the LEC in April 2020 as the Events Assistant. Kaylie graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Events Management and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Development. Prior to joining the LEC, Kaylie had multiple internships within the events industry planning conferences, meetings, trade shows and university events.