Commencement 2024: Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to deliver keynote address at UCLA Law

April 17, 2024
Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar, the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former justice of the Supreme Court of California, will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2024 at UCLA School of Law’s commencement ceremony on May 10.

A leading figure on the national and global stage, Cuéllar currently heads one of the preeminent nonpartisan think tanks in the world, where he applies his wealth of experience to focusing on issues including democracy, international conflict, technology policy and climate change.

Over the course of his career, Cuéllar has spoken at UCLA Law and is well known in the law school’s community through many instances of shared service and scholarship. The commencement ceremony will offer graduating students an opportunity to hear anew about his inspiring personal story, guiding dedication to public service and superior example of excellence.

Born in Matamoros, Mexico, he grew up along the U.S.-Mexico border before earning a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. For many years, he worked in the legal academy as an authority in administrative law, international affairs and technology’s impact on law and government. He was the Stanley Morrison Professor at Stanford Law School and director of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Later, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Gov. Brown appointed Cuéllar to California’s highest court in 2015. During more than six years of service on the court, Cuéllar wrote opinions touching on every area of the law, and his term included leadership in a system-wide effort to make courts better serve people who speak limited English. He also previously held roles in the Clinton and Obama administrations, including as special assistant to President Obama on issues of justice and regulatory policy.

In a message to the law school community, UCLA Law dean Michael Waterstone wrote, “I am honored that Justice Cuéllar will join us at commencement to share his perspective on how law school graduates can commit themselves to making an impact through service – in local communities and around the world.”


UCLA Law’s commencement ceremony – honoring the law school’s J.D., LL.M. and M.L.S. graduates – will take place in Pauley Pavilion on Friday, May 10. More information about the event can be found on the commencement website.

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