Press Release

Mayor London Breed Appoints John Trasviña to San Francisco Board of Appeals

Trasviña will bring decades of legal and public sector experience to the Board of Appeals
July 26, 2022

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed’s appointee to the Board of Appeals was unanimously voted in today by the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial body that hears and decides appeals from departmental decisions involving the granting, denial, suspension, or revocation of permits, licenses, variances, zoning administrator determinations, and other use entitlements by various commissions, departments, bureaus, agencies, and officers of the City.

“I am proud to appoint John Trasviña to serve on the Board of Appeals,” said Mayor Breed. “As someone who has spent his life and career as an educator and leading organizations through his civil rights work, John has a deep understanding of how local policies affect our City’s most vulnerable communities. I am confident that his commitment to advancing the lives of the people of this City and country will ensure that the Board of Appeals continues to serve every San Franciscan.”

A San Francisco native, Trasviña has extensive experience in academia, serving as the former Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law in addition to teaching Immigration Law at Stanford, where he established an Immigration Law Clinic. Throughout his career, Trasviña has been honored for his civil rights work by leading organizations in the Latino, Asian American, and African American communities. Most recently, Trasviña served as the California Executive Director for Generation Citizen. 

A longtime policy expert with experience in the federal government, national civil rights law, non-profit, and higher education institutions, Trasviña established his law career in 1983 as a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney before serving as the Judiciary Committee Staff Director and General Counsel to U.S. Senator Paul Simon, Chair of the Constitution Subcommittee. He has spent most of his career in Washington, D.C., as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, as a Justice Department Appointee of President Clinton, and Assistant Secretary for the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama Administration. 

“It is an honor to be nominated by Mayor Breed to the Board of Appeals and to be confirmed by the Board of Supervisors,” John Trasviña said. “The Board of Appeals’ decisions affect many aspects of the lives of San Franciscans–from their homes and neighborhoods to their livelihoods. While I have held many public service positions nationally, there is no greater satisfaction than to serve the people of my hometown.”  

In addition to a career in public service and education, Trasviña served as President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), overseeing litigation and policy offices specializing in immigration law and policy, voting rights, education, and community empowerment. His commitments to the Latino community also include serving as the Vice President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 29 national and regional organizations that develop policy initiatives for U.S. presidential elections.

Trasviña is a graduate from Lowell High School and earned his B.A. from Harvard University before pursuing a J.D. from Stanford Law School.