John Trasviña was nominated by President Obama to be Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity on April 20, 2009, and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on May 1, 2009. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) administers and enforces federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Assistant Secretary Trasviña served as President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). There he led the "law firm for the Latino community" by advancing litigation and public policy in the areas of civil rights, immigration, education and related issues.Assistant Secretary Trasviña began his career at MALDEF in Washington, DC, as a legislative attorney in 1985. He later worked for U.S. Senator Paul Simon as General Counsel and Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Mr. Trasviña as Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. As Special Counsel until 2001, he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights and was the highest ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.
After returning to California, Assistant Secretary Trasviña taught immigration law at Stanford Law School and was Director of the Discrimination Research Center in Berkeley. Previously, he was a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, Latino Issues Forum, Campaign for College Opportunity, Lowell High School Alumni Association, and Pacific Coast Immigration Museum.
Assistant Secretary Trasviña, a native of San Francisco, California, is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School.