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University of San Francisco School of Law Appoints John Trasvina as Dean
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Early in May, the University of San Francisco School of Law appointed John Trasvina, the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the law school’s new dean. This is an important step taken by USF, because Trasvina is known as an extremely able administrator and learned lawyer who enjoys huge social capital in San Francisco and the Bay Area.


Currently, in his position in the Obama administration, Trasvina oversees more than 580 employees across 43 offices in the country.

Trasvina is expected to become dean effective from June 17.

He  is also known for significant fundraising skills – an ability which would surely be welcome at any law school faced by predicaments of the current market. In his previous position as the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Trasvina supervised six litigation and policy offices, and was lauded for significantly increasing fundraising activities which led to expanded services.

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The new dean can really help out deserving students and the law school, as he has deep roots in the local community of legal professionals as well as politicians.

He has the experience and connections gathered from working as a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, as president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and in his work as a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, Latino Issues Forum, Lowell High School Alumni Association, Pacific Coast Immigration Museum, and Campaign for College Opportunity.

Speaking on Trasvina’s appointment, USF Provost Jennifer Turpin said, “As one of the nation’s leading civil rights advocates, Assistant Secretary Trasviña brings to this position a unique combination of executive management experience, fundraising acumen, institution building skills, and strong relationships with legal, business, and government leaders both locally and nationally.”

Turpin further added about Trasvina, “Underlying all of his work is a deep commitment to public service, education, and social justice. I am confident that his proven track record of successful organizational change and revitalization will serve the law school well as it begins its second century.”

John Trasvina has served in the Obama administration since 2009 and is an Obama appointee whose nomination was unanimously approved by the Senate. He started his career working as a deputy city attorney in San Francisco before joining MALDEF in Washington D.C.

He is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School, and has a strong connection with the academia. He previously taught immigration law at Stanford and also worked as the director of the Discrimination Research Center in Berkeley.

Speaking on his appointment, Trasvina said, “It is an exciting opportunity to train the next generation of lawyers and to serve San Francisco and the greater community as the law school begins its second century. I care deeply about the cause of legal education and about this institution, which has produced leaders for social justice in our courtrooms and communities locally, nationally, and internationally.”


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