George David Kieffer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George David Kieffer
Born (1947-11-17) November 17, 1947 (age 69)
New York, NY, U.S.
Alma mater BA - University of California, Santa Barbara; JD - University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Spouse(s) Judith Kieffer (m. 1983)
Children 2 sons

George David Kieffer (born November 17, 1947) is a Los Angeles-based lawyer,[1] author, civic leader and composer.[2] He is also currently the chair of the Board of Regents of the University of California[3]. He is a principal co-author of the Los Angeles City Charter (the city's constitution),[4] adopted in 1999, and the author of The Strategy of Meetings (c. 1988, Simon and Schuster). Two-time chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, in 2000[5] and 2010[6] he was named one of the most influential lawyers in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. The Los Angeles Business Journal named Kieffer among the leaders in its August 2016 inaugural edition of "The Los Angeles 500: The Most Influential People in Los Angeles".[7]

Life and career[edit]

Born in New York City, New York, Kieffer was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Serra High School in San Mateo, California. He received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1969, where he was named[8] the Outstanding Male upon graduation. He served one year as legislative assistant to Congressman Michael J. Harrington and received a J.D. from UCLA in 1973. During his third year he clerked for Honorable David Bazelon, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. He joined the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Rothenberg in 1973 (now Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP).[9]

In 1980, then Governor Jerry Brown appointed Kieffer to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, where he served as Chair from 1983 to 1985. He subsequently served on the Blue Ribbon Commission to Review the California Master Plan for Higher Education. He served as Chair of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions from 1985-1987.

In 1996, then Los Angeles City Attorney James Hahn appointed Kieffer to the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission, charged with rewriting the Los Angeles City Charter. Kieffer was subsequently elected chair of the commission. The story of the drafting and voter adoption of the new city charter is recounted in The City at Stake: Succession, Reform, and the Battle for Los Angeles by Professor Raphael J. Sonenshein (ISBN 978-0691126036). In 1999, Kieffer was awarded[10] the Social Responsibility Award by the Los Angeles Urban League. Following the events of 9/11, then Mayor Hahn asked Kieffer to head the Economic Impact Task Force charged with recommending steps to minimize the economic effects of 9/11 on business in Los Angeles; the report became the blueprint for City Council and Mayoral response.[11]

In 2003 Kieffer was selected as the Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and served two terms in that position. Kieffer expanded the board to include as ex officio members the leaders of previously underrepresented ethnic organizations as well as competing business organizations and recruited other significant civic and business leaders to the board of directors.[12] In 2003, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce was the only business organization in the state to oppose the recall of Governor Gray Davis one year after his re-election on the principled ground that it was a misuse of the recall process.[13]

In 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Kieffer to the Board of Regents of the University of California. His term runs to March, 2021.[14]

Kieffer is the author[15] of The Strategy of Meetings (c. 1988 Simon and Schuster). He was contributing author to Governing Public Colleges and Universities (c. 1993 Jossey-Bass).

Kieffer continues to practice law at the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP law firm office in Los Angeles with a particular emphasis on state and municipal regulatory work.[16]

Life as Composer

Throughout his professional and civic career Kieffer has composed music, first as a young singer-songwriter, but subsequently including film and television music. His composition, "Arlington", debuted in 2014 with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 he added lyrics and the piece was released on YouTube with the lyrics sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. His "Fanfare For The Special Olympics" debuted with the Special Olympics in 2015. Recently his piano pieces have been performed in multiple Chinese cities by Russian pianist Angela Cholakyan. Selected music pieces can be found at[17]


  1. ^ "Profile: George Kieffer". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Select Compositions". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "New chair of the UC Board of Regents elected"
  4. ^ "Regent George Kieffer". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Speaker's Biography: George Kieffer". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Daily Journal 2010 Top 100". 
  7. ^ "The Los Angeles 500". Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  8. ^ "TO THE POINT: GEORGE KIEFFER". UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "George Kieffer Bio". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Gold, Matea. "City Panels to Examine Security, Economy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "2004 Annual Report" (PDF). LA Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Lovejoy, Beverly. "Recall 'grave misuse of law'". The Union Democrat. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Regents of the University of California". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Strategy of Meetings". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Profile: George Kieffer". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2016-11-03.