Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

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Tino Cuéllar
Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court of California
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Appointed byJerry Brown
Preceded byMarvin Baxter
Personal details
Born (1972-07-27) July 27, 1972 (age 48)
Matamoros, Mexico
CitizenshipUnited States (Former Mexico)
NationalityAmerican (Former Mexican)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lucy H. Koh
EducationHarvard University (AB)
Yale University (JD)
Stanford University (PhD)

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, international affairs and international law, public health and safety law, 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.[1] He was elected to the President and Fellows of Harvard College in February 2019.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[3]

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,[4] and spent summers working at the U.S. Senate and the President's Council of Economic Advisers.[5]

Professional career[edit]

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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Cuéllar is a scholar of public law, complex organizations, and political economy whose research and teaching explore problems in administrative law and legislation, cyberlaw, international affairs, and public health and safety. 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, regulatory and criminal enforcement, cyberlaw, public health law, law and development, the history of institutions, citizenship and migration, international law, and domestic and international security.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] He also coordinated the Food Safety Working Group,[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] He was given the highest possible rating, "exceptionally well-qualified," by the California State Bar's independent Judicial Nominations Evaluation Commission.[18] On August 28, 2014, the California Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Cuéllar.[19] He was sworn in on January 5, 2015.[20][21]

Law reform work[edit]

Cuéllar was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2008 and was elected to the ALI Council in 2014.[22] He has worked on several ALI projects, including Model Penal Code: Sentencing,[23] Principles of Government Ethics,[24] and Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States.[25] In July 2010, President Barack Obama appointed[26][27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

University service[edit]

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.[30] He was Stanford University’s principal commencement speaker in 2017.[31] On February 10, 2019, he was elected to the Harvard Corporation (the President and Fellows of Harvard College).[32]


Cuéllar is married to United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California, and they have two children.[33] They live in Northern California.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Biography". Stanford Law School. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "Two Elected to Harvard Corporation". Harvard University. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  3. ^ Broder, Ken (July 23, 2014). "California Supreme Court Justice: Who Is Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar?". Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  4. ^ "History". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Curriculum Vita" (PDF). Stanford Law School. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Biography". Stanford Law School. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar becomes CISAC co-director". Center for International Security and Cooperation. September 5, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  8. ^ "Cuellar's Personal Journey Leads Him to the Helm of FSI". Stanford Daily. February 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Cuéllar Looks Back on Leading FSI". Stanford CISAC News. December 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Biography". Stanford Law School. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  11. ^ "CISAC Faculty Member Mariano-Florentino Cuellar asked to serve on White House Domestic Policy Council". Center for International Security and Cooperation. March 13, 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  12. ^ "Prof. Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  13. ^ "Foodborne Illness Victims Meet with White House to Push for Food Safety Reform". Make Our Food Safe. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  14. ^ "Policy Working Groups". Obama Biden Transition Project. December 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05.
  15. ^ "For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education, Equity and Excellence Commission. February 2, 2013.
  16. ^ Dolan, Maura (February 14, 2011). "Brown considers an activist for state Supreme Court appointment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  17. ^ Siders, David (July 22, 2014). "Jerry Brown names law school professor to California Supreme Court". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  18. ^ Dolan, Maura (August 28, 2014). "Stanford law professor approved for spot on California Supreme Court". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Egelko, Bob (August 28, 2014). "Panel OKs Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar for California Supreme Court". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  20. ^ "Press release: Governor Brown to Swear In Mariano-Florentino Cuellar and Leondra Kruger to the California Supreme Court". Office of the Governor, State of California. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  21. ^ Egelko, Bob (July 28, 2017). "Why you should care about who will sit on California's Supreme Court". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  22. ^ American Law Institute - List of Officers and Council Archived 2012-09-25 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Model Penal Code: Sentencing - List of Project Participants. American Law Institute "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-04-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Principles of Government Ethics - List of Participants. American Law Institute. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  25. ^ Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States - List of Project Participants. American Law Institute "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2013-04-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 7/8/10". Obama Whitehouse Archive. July 8, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  27. ^ "Mariano-Florentino Cuellar to be appointed to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States". FSI Stanford. July 9, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  28. ^ "The Conference". ACUS. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  29. ^ "Directors and advisors". The Constitution Project. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  30. ^ "Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar". California Courts. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  31. ^ "Prepared text of the 2017 Stanford Commencement address by Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar". Stanford University. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  32. ^ "Two Elected to Harvard Corporation". Harvard University. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  33. ^ Kristen V. Brown: In Silicon Valley, Lucy Koh is the law, SFGate, August 10, 2014

Select publications[edit]


Selected Articles[edit]


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Marvin Baxter
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California