Jose Heriberto Villarreal


Jose Heriberto Villarreal



Jose Heriberto Villarreal was born in East Chicago, Indiana. A graduate of East Chicago’s Washington High School, Villarreal served in the United States Navy before attending Purdue University. He received his B.A. in political science from Purdue in 1975. In 1976, he enrolled at the Indiana University School of Law and received his J.D. degree in 1979. Following graduation, he headed to Texas, where he worked for two years as a civil rights lawyer, litigating fair housing and municipal services discrimination cases in East Texas.

Civil rights work led Mr. Villarreal to join the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Program, an organization dedicated to ensuring "meaningful political participation," by Hispanics in the Southwest. In 1988, Villarreal joined the Texas Attorney General’s Office as an assistant attorney general specializing in public finance transactions. At the same time, Villarreal became an active volunteer for political causes and people he believed in. Ultimately, he would serve in senior positions in a number of Democratic party presidential campaigns, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

During the Clinton administration, Villarreal served as Associate Director of Presidential Personnel and then as a Board Member of Fannie Mae (1993-1999). After his service in Washington, Villarreal returned to Texas and joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field, LLP, where he rose to be a full partner specializing in public law & policy and public finance. In 2010, Villarreal was appointed U.S. Commissioner General to the Shanghai World Expo, a post to which he was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and given ambassadorial rank by President Obama.

Villarreal has served as Chairman of the Board of the National Council of La Raza, as Vice-chairman of the Board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and as Chairman of the Board of the New American Alliance. Long recognized for his many civic and volunteer contributions, Mr. Villarreal has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business magazine multiple times. He has also been recognized by the Hispanic National Bar Association for contributions he made in advancing the role of Hispanics in the legal profession, his commitment to public service, and promoting diversity. Jose H. Villarreal was inducted into the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Academy of Law Alumni Fellows in 2001.


Maurer Alumni, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Academy of Law Alumni Fellows


American Politics | Civil Rights and Discrimination | Law | Legal Biography | Legal Profession



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Jose Heriberto Villarreal