DePaul University > About > Administration > José D. Padilla, JD

  • José D. Padilla, JD

    Secretary of the University
    Vice President, General Counsel


Mr. Padilla joined DePaul in May, 2005 and works closely with DePaul’s Board of Trustees, its President and other officers. He directs an office of six attorneys drawn from some of the best law schools in the nation and from some of the best law firms in Chicago. Together they provide advice and counsel on a myriad of legal issues. As Secretary, he is an executive officer of the university, leading an office of four and facilitating and managing the business of DePaul’s Board of Trustees.

Mr. Padilla has sixteen years experience working with federal issues in Washington, DC. From 1990 to 1993, he was a lawyer/legislative assistant to the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX). From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Padilla was a senior Treasury Department political appointee in the Clinton Administration, serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Congressional and Public Affairs at the United States Customs Service.

He was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the first Latino to hold that position. He is also a past board member of the Better Government Association and the University of Michigan Alumni Association. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York and served on the Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s transition team, leading a committee of lawyers reviewing the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of the City of Chicago Law Department.

In 2010, he was named one of 100 influential Hispanics in the October 2010 edition of Hispanic Business magazine.

Padilla is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.