Robert Gnaizda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert Gnaizda (/ɡəˈnzdə/ gə-NAYZ-də) (born August 10, 1936) is the retired co-founder,[1] General Counsel and Policy Director for the Greenlining Institute based in Berkeley, California. A graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University and Yale Law School, he has been known as an advocate of social justice for over 40 years. He grew up in Brooklyn NY, and was admitted to the California Bar on January 9, 1962.

Prior to co-founding the Greenlining Institute, he was the founder and chief counsel for America’s first legal service program for rural families, California Rural Legal Assistance, which received numerous national awards as the most outstanding legal service program in the United States. He also was the founder and senior partner in the western United States’ first public interest law firm, Public Advocates. He served under former California Governor Jerry Brown as California's Health Director and Chief Deputy Secretary for Health, Welfare and Prisons and was the State Bar representative for the Federal Judicial Selection Committee.

Bob Gnaizda (far left) of Public Advocates, Inc. is among the recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian award given at Glide Memorial Church, January 1977

Gnaizda was Statewide Litigation Director for California Rural Legal Assistance, representing with low-income and mistreated farm workers in California's Salinas Valley during the era of Cesar Chavez.

He has been chief counsel in over 100 class action court and administrative cases focusing on minority economic empowerment and civil rights. In 2009, he was recipient of The Loren Miller Legal Services Award. The award is given annually and honors an attorney who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor. In 2016 he received the Yale Latino Law Students Association's Alumni Award. [2]

In the Oscar Award-winning documentary film Inside Job (2010) by Charles H. Ferguson about the financial crisis of 2007-2010, Gnaizda "characterizes the Obama administration as 'a Wall Street government,' a take Mr. Ferguson clearly endorses."[3]

After retiring at Greenlining Institute, he joined National Asian American Coalition and National Diversity Coalition as their general counsel. He works with Faith Bautista to empower minorities in home ownership and economic development.


  1. ^ About Us page: History paragraph, Greenlining Institute Web site. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "At Cannes, the Economy Is On-Screen" by Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, May 16, 2010 (May 17, 2010 on p. C1 of NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-05-17.

External links[edit]