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June 2021

Larry Sonsini

Larry Sonsini

Larry Sonsini Elected Chair of Board of Trustees at Santa Clara University

Sonsini, the senior and founding partner of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, was elected to a three-year term, replacing John M. Sobrato, ‘83.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 28, 2021 -- Larry Sonsini, senior and founding partner of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, was elected to a three-year term as chairman of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees. He replaced John M. Sobrato, '83, who completed his term on June 4, 2021.

As CEO and chairman of Wilson Sonsini for more than 35 years, Sonsini is widely regarded as a leading expert in the fields of corporate governance, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs, particularly as they pertain to the technology industry in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Sonsini is devoted to the success and importance of higher education and its accessibility to a larger and diverse student body. He serves on the Board of Visitors of U.C. Berkeley, his alma mater, chairs the American College of Governance Counsel, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Rome

Sonsini has great affection for Santa Clara University, which began with his close relationship and respect for Paul Locatelli, S.J. '60, the University’s president from 1988 until 2009. He deeply believes in the value of Jesuit teachings and mission as an important part of contributing to the improvement of an inclusive society and the education of the whole person. Prior to becoming chairman, Sonsini served as vice chairman of the University's Board of Trustees.

“On behalf of Santa Clara University, I welcome Larry Sonsini as the next chairman of the Board of Trustees,” said Santa Clara University Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg. “Larry has provided invaluable leadership for many years at SCU, and I’m grateful for his continued work to advance our mission in this new role.”

In addition to his deep body of work as the founding partner of his law firm, Sonsini has held multiple roles with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), including serving as a member of the board of directors and as chairman of its 2009 Commission on Corporate Governance.

Over the course of his career, Sonsini has served in the role of special adviser for a multitude of technology companies, including Google, Apple, Netflix, Salesforce, Tesla, and Genentech, as well as an advisor to a variety of venture capital and private equity firms in Silicon Valley.

“During my time serving on the Board of Trustees, I have seen firsthand the incalculable value of a Jesuit education in Silicon Valley," said Sonsini. “Santa Clara University has blossomed into an institution of the highest academic excellence, whose graduates go on to make a positive impact in our world year in and year out. To serve as chair of the Board of Trustees is an absolute privilege, and I embrace the opportunity to further the priorities of the University in the years to come.”

Sonsini earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley. He holds an honorary doctorate degree from Santa Clara University’s School of Law.

Additional New Board Members

Risë Jones Pichon '73, J.D. '76 has joined the Board of Trustees in her role as chair of the Board of Regents, replacing outgoing chair of the Board of Regents, Peter Morin ’85. Pichon served as a superior court judge for the County of Santa Clara from 1998 until her retirement in 2019.

Effective July 30, 2021, Luis Calero, S.J., will join the Board in his role as Rector of the Jesuit Community, replacing Art Liebscher, S.J. ’69. Calero is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University.

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

Media Contacts

Deepa Arora | SCU Communications |

Elliot Zanger | SCU Communications |

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