Richard O. Lempert is the University of Michigan's Eric Stein Distinguished University Professor of Law and Sociology emeritus. He is a nonresident senior fellow in Governence Studies at the Brookings Institution. From June 2008 until July 2011, he served as chief scientist in the Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division of the Science and Technology Directorate in the Department of Homeland Security; and from June 2002 through May 2006, he took leave from the University of Michigan to serve as the division director for the Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation.
Currently he does business as RLempert Consulting, LLC. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past president of the Law & Society Association and current secretary for Section K (Sociology, Political Science and Economics) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research interests are broad, encompassing, among other things, matters related to national security, government bureaucracy, juries, race relations and social science methods.