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William Simon

Visiting Professor

William Simon B.A. Williams College, 1973
J.D. Boston College, 1982
simon@law.ucla.edu
Biography | Courses

William Simon is Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Co-Chairman, William E. Simon & Sons, L.L.C.  He co-teaches a course on The Legal Constraints on California’s Budget Options with Andrew Atkeson, Stanley M. Zimmerman Professor of Economics and Finance, and Director of Business Economics Program at UCLA.

Simon received his B.A. from Williams College, his J.D. from Boston College Law School, and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.  After law school, Simon became an Associate at Davis, Markel, Dwyer & Edwards.  He then went on to become an Assistant United States Attorney for the South District of New York (1985-88) under then United States Attorney, Rudolph Giuliani.  Simon also has formerly served as vice chairman for the Paxson Communications Corporation (now known as ION Media Networks), the nation’s largest owner and operator of television stations.  Simon is currently a Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California, where he co-teaches a course entitled Cases in Modern Leadership together with Dan Schnur, who is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.  Simon is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

Simon is co-chair of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC. The firm, which he co-founded in 1988 with his brother, J. Peter Simon, and his father, William E. Simon, Sr., former United States Treasury Secretary, has built and manages a diverse and significant investment portfolio, with holdings in real estate, private equity and fixed-income securities.  Simon also co-founded a successful municipal bond company and previously held senior positions on the municipal securities and foreign exchange desk for Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.

Simon may be best known for entering the political arena in 2001 as a candidate for governor of California.  He won the Republican primary by an eighteen-point landslide.  That fall, he came within five-points of unseating incumbent governor Gray Davis.  In addition, Simon also served as Chairman of California and Director of Policy and Speech Writing for the Rudy Giuliani 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee.  Simon is often quoted as a media analyst, frequently contributing his expertise on public policy issues in radio and television appearances on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, and his op-ed articles have been published in many of the nation’s leading newspapers.  He wrote articles such as "Philanthropy Threatened: A Drive for Government Regulation of Charities" for The Washington Times and "Three Steps to Jump-Starting the California Economy" for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Simon also serves on the Board of Advisors at UCLA Medical Center, and as trustee on the Boards of St. John's Health Center Foundation in Los Angeles, and The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C.  He is a member on the Board of Directors for Oaks Christian School, and serves as chairman of the Board for the National Urban Squash and Education Association, as well as chairman emeritus of Covenant House California.  Simon is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, and also is a member on the Board for the University of Southern California-Huntington Institutes for Advanced Studies, as well as the International Dominican Foundation.  He also serves today as a Lifetime Member of the Board of Trustees and member of the Executive Committee at Williams College where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

In addition, Simon is co-chair of several foundations that promote the growth and support of young students and athletes in the Los Angeles area including the William E. Simon Foundation and the Cynthia L. and William E. Simon, Jr. Foundation as well as the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation for Los Angeles area high schools.