Tom Saenz

Contact Info

634 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Tom Saenz

President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF)

Thomas A. Saenz is the President and General Counsel of MALDEF, where he leads the civil rights organization’s five offices in pursuing litigation, policy advocacy, and community education to promote the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States.  Saenz re-joined MALDEF in August 2009, after spending four years on Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s executive team as Counsel to the Mayor.  He previously spent 12 years at MALDEF practicing civil rights law as a staff attorney, regional counsel, and vice president of litigation.  He served as MALDEF’s lead counsel in successfully challenging California’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187.   Saenz graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, and he clerked for two federal judges before initially joining MALDEF in 1993.


• Member, Los Angeles Country Board of Education
• Member, American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities
• Member, U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission
• Steering Committee co-chair, California Civil Rights Coalition
• Adjunct Lecturer, Civil Rights Litigation, University of Southern California Law School
• Clerk, Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


J.D., Yale University School of Law
B.A., summa cum laude, Yale University

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