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Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

California Supreme Court justice
Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro California Supreme Court justice
Is Lawyer Judge
From United States of America
Type Law
Gender male
Birth 27 July 1972, Heroica Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Age: 48 years
Star sign LeoLeo
Spouse: Lucy H. Koh
Harvard University
Stanford University
Yale Law School
The details


Mariano-Florentino "Tino" Cuéllar (born July 27, 1972) is a Justice of the Supreme Court of California, a scholar and an academic leader, and a former official in the Clinton and Obama administrations. He is a scholar of administrative law and legislation, cyberlaw, criminal law, public health and safety law, international affairs, and institutions and organizations. He was previously the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and the Director of Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and served as Co-Chair of the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission. He was elected to the President and Fellows of Harvard College in February 2019.

Early life and education

An American citizen, Cuéllar was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México. He attended schools in Mexico and the United States, including a Catholic school in Brownsville, Texas. At age 14, he moved with his family to Calexico, California, where he attended and later graduated from the local public high school.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard in 1993, a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1997, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science from Stanford in 2000. When he was in law school, Cuéllar co-founded a not-for-profit organization providing opportunities for students to teach English in under-served communities, and spent summers working at the U.S. Senate and the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Professional career

Cuéllar's official California Supreme Court photo.

After law school, Cuéllar worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and clerked for Mary M. Schroeder, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

He joined the faculty of Stanford Law School in 2001. He was named Professor of Law and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar in 2007, and became Stanley Morrison Professor of Law in 2012. At Stanford, he also served as Co-Director of the university's interdisciplinary Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), working with former Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Siegfried Hecker. In February 2013, he was promoted and chosen to succeed former Stanford president Gerhard Casper as Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford’s principal institution for research and education on international affairs, and CISAC's parent organization. During the years he led the Freeman Spogli Institute and CISAC, Cuéllar expanded Stanford's role in nuclear security research and policy, launched university-wide initiatives on global poverty and on cybersecurity, grew the Institute's faculty, increased support for global health and governance projects, and broadened opportunities for student and faculty research abroad.

Cuéllar is a scholar of public law, complex organizations, and political economy whose research and teaching explore problems in administrative law and legislation, cyberlaw, public health and safety, and international affairs. His publications include: Administrative Law: The American Public Law System (West, 2014; co-authored); Governing Security (Stanford University Press, 2013); and numerous articles on administrative agencies, legislation, criminal justice, cyberlaw, public health law, law and development, the history of institutions, citizenship and migration, and domestic and international security.

During 2009 and 2010, Cuéllar took leave from Stanford and served as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council. While at the White House, he led the Domestic Policy Council’s work on criminal and civil justice, public health and safety, and immigration. He was involved in negotiating bipartisan passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and repeal of the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy. He also coordinated the Food Safety Working Group, a new inter-agency effort revamping federal food safety efforts. Before working at the White House, Cuéllar was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project, where he co-directed the working group on immigration, borders and refugee policy.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan selected Cuéllar to serve as co-chair of the National Equity and Excellence Commission in 2011. On February 19, 2013, the 27-member Commission delivered a unanimous report to the Secretary raising serious concerns about the state of American public education. To reduce the nation's achievement gaps, the report recommended local, state, and federal reforms addressing school finance and efficiency, teaching and learning opportunities, early childhood education, and other areas.

In 2011, Cuéllar was mentioned as a possible candidate for consideration by California Governor Jerry Brown to fill the vacancy on the California Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Carlos R. Moreno. Brown ultimately nominated Goodwin Liu, who was confirmed to the court that year.

On July 22, 2014, Governor Brown nominated Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Marvin Baxter. He was given the highest possible rating, "exceptionally well-qualified," by the California State Bar's independent Judicial Nominations Evaluation Commission. On August 28, 2014, the California Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Cuéllar. He was sworn in on January 5, 2015.

Law reform work

Cuéllar was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2008 and was elected to the ALI Council in 2014. He has worked on several ALI projects, including Model Penal Code: Sentencing, Principles of Government Ethics, and Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States. In July 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Cuéllar to the Council of the nonpartisan U.S. Administrative Conference, an independent agency dedicated to improving the efficiency and fairness of federal administrative procedures. From 2010 until his appointment to the judiciary in 2015, he also served on the Board of Directors of The Constitution Project, a bipartisan non-profit organization that builds consensus on constitutional issues affecting the rule of law and criminal justice.

University service

Beginning in 2004, Cuéllar held several leadership positions at Stanford University. In addition to serving as Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute and leading CISAC, he led the Stanford Cyber Initiative, and earlier, the Honors Program in International Security Studies. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He also chairs the advisory boards of the AI Now Institute at New York University and the Seed Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was Stanford University’s principal commencement speaker in 2017. On February 10, 2019, he was elected to the Harvard Corporation (the President and Fellows of Harvard College).


Cuéllar is married to United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California, and they have two children. They live in Northern California.

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The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 03 Jul 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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