Dennis deLeon :: Founding Board Member

Dennis deLeon was born in Los Angeles, California in 1948. He attended Occidental College graduating with a BA. in 1970 and served as student body president. Dennis became a lawyer in 1974 after attending Stanford Law School. Aside from academic achievement, his time in school was marked by leadership in undergraduate and law school organizations.

After clerking for a California appellate court judge and working for a private law firm, Dennis joined the Civil Division at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. as a trial attorney. While there he was one of the founders of the largest Latino employee organization in the Department of Justice. While continuing with his responsibilities as Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel, in 1986 Mr. deLeon was appointed by Mayor Edward I. Koch to serve as Executive Director for the Mayor’s Commission on Hispanic Concerns. The Hispanic Commission issued a report with far ranging recommendations for Latino New Yorkers. Mr. deLeon worked with hundreds of Hispanic organizations in receiving testimony and recording numerous recommendations.

In 1988 Mr. deLeon was appointed by then Borough President David Dinkins to serve as Deputy Borough President for Manhattan. In that position he represented the Borough President at the Board of Estimate and before many legislative and community organizations. In addition, Mr. DeLeon was extensively involved in resolving conflicts between communities over land use issues, enforcing Mayor Dinkins? policies on city contractors doing business in South Africa and tion for a two month period. .He was also appointed to serve as Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. During his tenure, the Commission successfully developed legislation to reform the City Human Rights Law to expedite the resolution of complaints and to provide more opportunities for the disabled to seek redress for discrimination.

In September 1994, Mr. deLeon was selected to become President of the Latino Commission on AIDS, a service and advocacy program addressing HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. In this capacity he heads a broad based community effort to respond to the needs of Latinos infected and affected with HIV. Under his leadership the Commission has developed a national clearinghouse for AIDS treatment information in Spanish, a network of religious leaders offering HIV prevention programs in Spanish-speaking congregations, technical services that address the needs of Latino community based organizations.

Mr. deLeon serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including the Gay Men?s Heath Crisis, Dominican Sisters Home Care, Legal Action Center, and Prisoner Legal Services. For three years, he was a Board Member for the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

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