José Padilla is Vice President
and General Counsel of DePaul University, which he joined in May 2005. He works
closely with DePaul’s Board of Trustees, its President, Provost and other
directs an office of seven distinguished attorneys, drawn from some of the best
law schools in the nation and from some of the best law firms in Chicago.
Together they provide advice and counsel on a myriad of legal issues, including
corporate governance, compliance, canon law, tax law, real estate, bond
financing, employment, employee benefits, athletics, litigation, contracts,
intellectual property, sponsored research, constitutional law and higher
joining DePaul, Padilla was an attorney and federal lobbyist for the Illinois
Institute of Technology (IIT). While at IIT, he became general counsel for the
IIT State Street Corp., a not-for-profit tax-exempt corporation that constructs
and manages university housing.
also spent 16 years working on federal issues in Washington, D.C. From
1990 to 1993, he was a lawyer/legislative assistant to the late Senator Lloyd
Bentsen (D-Texas) and advised Bentsen on legislation from the Judiciary, Labor,
Human Resources, Appropriations and Budget committees. From 1993 to 1997,
Padilla was a senior appointee in the Clinton Administration, serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Customs
Service, which was then a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. At Customs,
he reported to the commissioner and belonged to the 12-person executive team
that managed Customs' 18,000 employees. He developed and executed strategies to
meet Customs and Administration objectives such as NAFTA, China MFN and GATT.
returning to Chicago from Washington, Padilla engaged in public policy issues
on his own time. He helped represent the University of Michigan before Congress
and Hispanic groups with respect to its affirmative action cases before the
United States Supreme Court: Gratz and Grutter vs. Bollinger.
Padilla has been an active member and leader of the
National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) since
1997. NACUA represents 870 institutions and 4,500 attorneys nationwide. He served as an at-large member of NACUA's Board of Directors
from 2009-2012, and on the Board's Advisory Council on Diversity and
Inclusivity from 2009 to 2015. Padilla is currently NACUA's Chairman of the Board of Directors for
the 2016-17 academic year. He is the first Latino to ever hold this position in NACUA's 57-year history.
Padilla's other nonprofit service
includes past membership on the Board of Directors of the University of
Michigan Alumni Association, and on the Board of Directors for the
Better Government Association, a watch dog group that works for the integrity,
transparency, and accountability in government. He is also a member
of the American Bar Association.
Padilla is a 1983
graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and is licensed to practice
law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Board of Trustees
- Crisis Management
- University Governance (Corporate Matters)