President & General Counsel
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Thomas A. Saenz is the President and General Counsel of MALDEF, where he leads the civil rights organization's five offices in pursuing litigation, policy advocacy, and community education to promote the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States. Saenz re-joined MALDEF in August 2009, after spending four years on Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's executive team as Counsel to the Mayor. He previously spent 12 years at MALDEF practicing civil rights law as a staff attorney, regional counsel, and vice president of litigation. He served as MALDEF's lead counsel in successfully challenging California's anti-immigrant Proposition 187. Saenz graduated from YaleCollege and YaleLawSchool, and he clerked for two federal judges before initially joining MALDEF in 1993.