MALDEF President and General Counsel Tapped to Serve as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary

President Obama selects John Trasviña to lead HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Division

March 27, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) President and General Counsel John Trasviña to be the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Trasviña started his career at MALDEF in 1985 and has been at the helm of the organization since November 2006.

MALDEF Chairman of the Board Patricia A. Madrid said, “John Trasviña is a true champion for the Latino community and has made an enormous contribution to the growth and positive impact of MALDEF over the last four years. While we are saddened to lose him, we are overjoyed that such a capable and extraordinary leader will be serving in the Obama Administration. The economic downturn has been especially difficult for Latino families facing high unemployment and ever-increasing home foreclosures. In his new post, John will be leading the way combating lending and housing discrimination and bringing justice and equality in a time of great need.”

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said, “In the midst of a foreclosure and economic crisis, it is crucial that we have someone of John Trasviña’s experience and vision in this position, so that families who are struggling can keep a roof over their head. John also has a long history of standing up for the Latino community, and with high foreclosure and unemployment rates among Latinos, it is important to have his voice at HUD. I congratulate John on this appointment, and as the Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, I look forward to working with him to address the housing crisis.”

About John Trasviña
Appointed MALDEF President and General Counsel in November 2006, Mr. Trasviña began his career at MALDEF in Washington, DC as a legislative attorney in 1985. He later worked for U.S. Senator Paul Simon as General Counsel & Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Mr. Trasviña as Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. As Special Counsel until 2001, he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights and was the highest ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. After returning to California, he taught immigration law at Stanford Law School. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Trasviña is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School. He was a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, Latino Issues Forum, and Campaign for College Opportunity, Lowell High School Alumni Association, and Pacific Coast Immigration Museum.

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