John Trasviña has devoted his professional and personal life to public and community service in California and nationally. A San Francisco native, John is a graduate of Lowell High School, Harvard University and Stanford Law School. President Biden appointed him to be Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He served from January 20 through September, 2021. Previously, he was California Executive Director of Generation Citizen.
President Obama appointed John to be Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). President Clinton appointed John to be Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices at
the U.S. Department of Justice. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate for both appointments. Previously, he was general counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
In community service, he was President & General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), Vice President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 29 national and regional organizations that develops a national policy platform in U.S. presidential elections.
He also served as a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, Redistricting Task Force and chaired the Voting Rights Subcommittee of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections. He was one of the first student members of the Board of Education in 1976. As an educator, he was Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law and taught immigration law and policy at Stanford Law School. Until joining the Biden Administration, he was President of the Lowell High School Alumni Association, Vice Chair of California Law Pathways (to diversify the legal profession) and a member of the Board of Counselors of the U.S. Senator Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. Over his career, he has been honored for his civil rights work by leading organizations in the Latino, Asian American and African American communities.