IntroducingCarnegie’s President

Source: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Message from
Board of Trustees Chair Penny Pritzker

After an extensive search, I am delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has approved the selection of Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, as Carnegie’s 10th president in its 111-year history.

Tino brings a wealth of experience and compelling strengths to lead Carnegie into an exciting new chapter. He is a distinguished scholar of complex governance and security problems, institutions, and technology’s deep impact on law and government. He possesses immense intellectual breadth, and his leadership will usher in an exciting new era at the Carnegie Endowment. He is eager to use his knowledge and experience to energize our exciting work and to elevate new horizons of study including a focus on the impact of leading-edge technologies like artificial intelligence on national security as well as renew and enhance Carnegie’s focus on the sprawling, worldwide effects of climate change on issues such as food and water insecurity, and mass migration. Tino wants to expand Carnegie’s global footprint further by embracing the Global South and elevating new voices and expertise to burnish Carnegie’s already stellar track record of impact on the defining global issues of our time.

Tino’s personal story is quite remarkable as well. Born in Matamoros, Mexico, he moved with his family to California at age fourteen and became a naturalized American citizen at twenty-one. From there he went on to Harvard, Stanford, and Yale before launching a career in public service and rigorous academic research that took him from government service in the Clinton and Obama administrations, to Stanford’s renowned Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, to the California Supreme Court, and now to leading Carnegie. Tino’s quintessentially American immigrant story is a foundation upon which he has built a tremendously vibrant career and impressive array of significant accomplishments. There is no doubt that Tino will bring energy and a fresh perspective to Carnegie’s work.

Tino will start at Carnegie on November 1. The trustees and I are thrilled that he has decided to join us and we are looking forward to seeing his vision for Carnegie put into action in the coming months and years ahead.

More on Tino Cuéllar

Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar — a law professor and public servant with broad experience in international and domestic policy, the justice system, education, and philanthropy — will become the tenth President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on November 1, 2021. A scholar of transnational regulatory and security problems, American institutions, and technology’s impact on law and government, he currently serves as a justice on the Supreme Court of California, the highest court of America’s largest judiciary. He is the first Mexican immigrant ever to serve in this capacity. Previously he was the Stanley Morrison Professor at Stanford Law School and Director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He served two U.S. presidents in a variety of roles in the federal government, including as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy in the Obama administration.

Before his appointment to California’s highest court, Cuéllar spent more than a decade (2004-2015) in leadership positions at the Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford’s primary hub for research on international affairs. After serving as Director of its Honors Program in International Security, he became Co-Director of the Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and ultimately served as Institute Director, overseeing programs on international security and cooperation, international development, contemporary Asia and Europe, global health, and food security and the environment.

During his tenure at FSI, he expanded the Institute’s faculty and resources on nuclear security; launched university-wide initiatives on cybersecurity and on global development that grew into new research centers; supported new research efforts in Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and built up new areas of strength on migration, climate, and global health. He also established a partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to improve the design and administration of refugee settlements in Africa and Southeast Asia.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cuéllar is the author of Governing Security: The Hidden Origins of American Security Agencies (2013) and has published widely on scholarly and policy-oriented topics, including the history of American institutions, domestic and international security, regulatory policy, immigration, and public health law. In 2017 he delivered the commencement address at Stanford University’s graduation ceremony. He is a member of the Harvard Corporation (the President and Fellows of Harvard College).

While serving in the Obama White House (2009-2010), he was in charge of addressing a range of issues including transnational crime, immigration, public health, and reform of the justice system. Among other things, he worked on successful enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Fair Sentencing Act, repeal of the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy, and development of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, and was involved in handling the federal response to the H1N1 flu virus outbreak, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and food contamination emergencies.

He then co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission (2013-2015), which recommended reforms for making American public education more globally competitive. He also served as a presidential appointee to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States (2010-2015), during which the Conference worked on projects involving international regulatory cooperation and reforming immigration adjudication, among other issues. As a California Supreme Court justice (2015-2021), he’s decided cases on criminal justice, climate change, international treaty obligations, separation of powers, and privacy and technology, and oversaw reforms of the California court system’s operations to better meet the needs of millions of limited-English speakers throughout the state. In 2021, he wrote the unanimous opinion finding unconstitutional the practice of detaining criminal suspects merely because of their inability to post bail.

Earlier, in the Obama-Biden transition in 2008, he co-chaired the task force on immigration, borders, and refugees. As a Treasury official in the Clinton administration (1997-1999), he handled international anti-money laundering and firearms trafficking issues.

Cuéllar led Stanford’s cyber initiative, designed and taught the university’s first-ever class on regulating artificial intelligence, and has an extensive network in philanthropy, academia, and the technology sector in Silicon Valley. He’s a leading voice on the impact of artificial intelligence on government agencies and the legal system. He co-authored the first ever report on the use of artificial intelligence across federal agencies, and serves on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Social and Ethical Implications of Computing Research.

He has served for seven years on the board of the Hewlett Foundation (2014-present), one of the largest climate policy funders in the world. While leading FSI, he increased support for research at the Stanford Center on Food Security and the Environment modeling the impact of climate change on agriculture and health.

Born in Matamoros, Mexico, he grew up primarily in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, moving to California’s Imperial Valley for high school. He graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, and received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.

Press release announcing Tino Cuéllar's appointment.

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