Cathy Cox. (Photo: Nicole Tyler) Cathy Cox. (Photo: Nicole Tyler)


Mercer University School of Law announced Thursday that Cathy Cox, the former Georgia secretary of state and current president of Young Harris College, will take over as dean in July.

Cox will succeed Daisy Hurst Floyd, who has served as dean since 2014 after serving in the position from 2004 to 2010.

Cox graduated from Mercer’s law school in 1986. A native of Bainbridge, Cox served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993 to 1996. She served two terms as Georgia’s secretary of state and was the first woman in the state’s history to be elected to the post, first in 1998 and again in 2002.

“I am very excited about building on the deep foundation and rich heritage at Mercer’s School of Law to educate practice-ready lawyers who want to make a genuine difference for their clients and have a positive impact in their communities,” Cox said. “The opportunity to do this at my alma mater makes it even more meaningful.”

“I am very pleased that Cathy Cox has accepted our invitation to serve as the next dean of Mercer Law School,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood in a press release. “She has provided extraordinary leadership at Young Harris College over the past decade, is well-known and highly respected throughout the State of Georgia, and has a deep affinity for our School of Law and Mercer University. We look forward to great things from Mercer Law School under her leadership.”

Senior U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands, who chaired the law school’s search committee, said Cox’s broad and extensive experience as a lawyer, elected official, public servant, leader and administrator in the private and public sectors, and higher education make her well-suited to effectively and successfully lead the law school as it approaches its 150th year.”

Floyd was quoted in the release saying, “I am thrilled that Cathy Cox will be the next dean of Mercer Law School and am excited about the future of the Law School under her leadership. She brings extraordinary experience, talent and skill to the position.”

Cox is married to attorney Mark Dehler, who recently served as director of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.