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Prominent San Francisco-Area Consumer Lawyer Named Chair of Public Citizen Foundation Board

Dec. 6, 2012
Prominent San Francisco-Area Consumer Lawyer Named Chair of Public Citizen Foundation Board

Mark A. Chavez Has Long History of Public Interest Advocacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public interest advocate and prominent San Francisco-area consumer lawyer Mark A. Chavez has been named chair of the board of directors of Public Citizen Foundation.

Chavez, who has served on the Public Citizen Foundation board since 2009, is a partner in the law firm of Chavez & Gertler LLP, of Mill Valley, Calif., which he co-founded in 1994. The firm’s attorneys represent plaintiffs in consumer, employment and civil rights class actions.

Chavez has long been passionate about public interest work. At Stanford Law School, he was a co-founder and the first managing editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a founding member of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation.

Chavez was one of the eight founders of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and is its former co-chair. He serves on the boards of the National Consumer Law Center and Disability Rights Advocates and is a former member of the boards of the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation and the Public Justice Foundation.

So it was a natural fit for Chavez to join Public Citizen’s board, said Robert Weissman, Public Citizen president. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that represents the public interest in the halls of power. With more than 300,000 members and supporters nationwide, Public Citizen advocates for good government, a strong regulatory system, a clean and sustainable environment, affordable and safe health care, citizen access to the courts, corporate accountability in the trade arena and more.

“Mark Chavez’s passion for justice and strategic advocacy smarts make him the perfect person to chair Public Citizen Foundation’s board,” Weissman said. “We’re excited about the leadership role he will play for the organization.”

Added Chavez, “I am honored to chair the board of one of the most effective public interest organizations in the country. I look forward to helping Public Citizen build upon and expand its unparalleled record of accomplishments over the past 40 years.”

Chavez joined the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., after graduating from law school in 1979. Prior to entering private practice, he spent three years representing executive branch agencies and the U.S. in labor, employment, housing and national security cases filed in federal courts around the country. Chavez has been named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” six times, has received the Champion of Justice Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco and has been named a Guardian of Justice by Bay Area Legal Aid.