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Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, JD, PhD

Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School
Affiliated faculty at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
Affiliated faculty at the Center for International Security and Cooperation

Research Interests

Administrative law and public organizations; domestic aspects of national security; transnational crime; citizenship, migration and the nation-state; public health law.


Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar is an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. He directed the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies from July 2013 through December 2014. He was a senior fellow at FSI and was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford Law School as well as a Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science. He is an affiliate of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law as well as the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). 

Cuéllar’s research and teaching focused on administrative law and governance, public organizations, and transnational security. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2001 and worked in two presidential administrations, served as Co-Director of CISAC, and has an extensive record of involvement in public service.

During 2009-2010, he was on leave from Stanford serving as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House. In this capacity, he led the Domestic Policy Council’s work on criminal justice and drug policy, public health and food safety, regulatory reform, borders and immigration, civil rights, and rural and agricultural policy. Among other issues, Cuéllar worked on enhancing food safety standards, improving capacity and transparency at public health agencies, expanding support for local law enforcement and community-based crime prevention, and strengthening border coordination and immigrant integration. He negotiated provisions of public health legislation, and represented the Domestic Policy Council in the development of the first-ever Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. Before working at the White House, he co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition’s Immigration Policy Working Group. During the second term of the Clinton Administration, he worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he focused on countering financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures.

In July 2010, the President appointed him to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent agency charged with recommending improvements in the efficiency and fairness of federal regulatory programs.  He also co-chaired the Department of Education’s congressionally chartered Equity and Excellence Commission, and serves on the Department of State’s Advisory Sub-Committee on Economic Sanctions. He was appointed to the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security, and is currently a board member of the Constitution Project and the American Constitution Society.

After graduating from Calexico High School in California’s Imperial Valley, he received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. He clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is a member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Stanford Affiliations