Lecturer in Law
Neil Makhija is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Executive Director of Indian American Impact, the nation’s leading South Asian civic organization.
In 2021, Mr. Makhija was one of 13 civil rights leaders invited to the White House to advise President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on voting rights. He was named by City & State PA as one of the “40 under 40” most influential people in Pennsylvania politics alongside some of the state’s highest-ranking government leaders.
In his former law practice, Mr. Makhija has an experienced background on issues of mental health & addiction. He represented Pennsylvania counties in opioid litigation and notably, children and parents in an early class action against Big Tobacco companies who marketed flavored e-cigarettes to children. In 2019, Neil inspired and advised a U.S. House Oversight Committee panel on an investigation into the youth e-cigarette epidemic, which led to a nationwide ban of flavored e-cigarettes.
Mr. Makhija has spent over a decade in national politics and is frequently called upon expert on issues of voting rights and Pennsylvania. His opinions and commentary have been featured in Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN, The Intercept, Foreign Policy, POLITICO, and other media outlets across the country.
Mr. Makhija earned his JD at Harvard Law School on the Horace Lentz Scholarship, which was endowed by a 19th century Pennsylvanian. While at Harvard, he founded the HLS Homelessness Coalition and was a Senior Policy Editor on the Harvard Law & Policy Review. He received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied neuroscience and served as co-president of his class and 2009 commencement speaker.
As the son of Indian immigrants who made Pennsylvania home, Mr. Makhija is passionate about enfranchising underrepresented communities and engaging new citizens in state and local politics.
Mr. Makhija lives with his wife, Dr. Rachel Nash, an internal medicine physician born and raised in Lafayette Hill, Pa, in Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pa.