Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar is a Justice on the California Supreme Court, a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School, and an affiliated faculty member at the Freeman Spogli Institute's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). His previous career was in public service, university administration, and academia, with a focus on administrative, criminal, and international law.
A full-time member of the Stanford University faculty from 2001 to 2015, Cuéllar was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law, Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. His books, articles, and chapters focus on administrative agencies, criminal justice, executive power, and legislation, among other subjects, and he is co-author of one of the nation's leading administrative law casebooks. Between 2004 and 2015, Cuéllar also held leadership positions at the Freeman Spogli Institute. He served as Institute Director, and before that, as Co-Director of CISAC and Director of the Honors Program in International Security. During the years he led FSI and CISAC, Cuéllar grew the Institute's faculty, expanded Stanford's role in nuclear security research and policy, launched university-wide initiatives on global poverty and on cybersecurity, increased support for projects on global health and governance, and broadened opportunities for student and faculty research abroad.
Cuéllar also served in the federal executive branch. In 2009 and 2010, while on leave from Stanford, he worked at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy. He negotiated provisions in food safety, tobacco, and sentencing reform legislation; convened the White House's food safety working group and coordinated its response to the BP oil spill; set up the President's Equal Pay Task Force; worked on the bipartisan repeal of the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy; and led efforts to support community-based crime prevention and immigrant integration. He was a presidential appointee, between 2010 and 2015, to the governing council of the U.S. Administrative Conference, an agency designed to improve fairness and efficiency in federal administrative procedures. He co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education's National Equity and Excellence Commission from 2011 to 2013. Before that, in 2008 and early 2009, he co-chaired the presidential transition team on immigration, borders, and refugees.
Cuéllar is on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Foundation, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Within the California Judiciary, he leads the Language Access Implementation Task Force. In 2012, he was the Barbara Harrell-Bond Distinguished Lecturer at Oxford University.
A naturalized U.S. citizen born in northern Mexico, Cuéllar graduated from Calexico High School in California's Imperial Valley. He received a B.A. from Harvard magna cum laude, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. After law school, he began his career at the U.S. Treasury Department, and clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.