SUNY Board of Trustees
Richard Socarides was appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 21, 2012. Effective July 1, 2012, his term on the Board expires June 30, 2015.
Richard Socarides is a New York based attorney and public policy advocate. He served as White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor during the Clinton Administration, where he worked on legal, policy, and political issues. He was President Clinton’s chief advisor on gay rights and later was the founding President of Equality Matters. Socarides also worked as a strategist on Capitol Hill, as Special Assistant to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). He has worked in media (Time Warner), entertainment (New Line Cinema), and technology (AOL) and held staff positions in several presidential campaigns. Currently, Socarides serves as Of Counsel at the firm of Brady Klein Weissman LLP, where his practice is focused on litigation, family law, and gay rights. He writes regularly on political and legal topics for the NewYorker.com and other publications, and is a frequent commentator on television.
He lives in New York City, where he was born and raised. He is a graduate of Antioch College and Hofstra University School of Law.
Both at the White House and for the Time Warner Foundation, Socarides led initiatives related to broadening and ensuring fair access to education and on technology’s impact on learning. He is currently a board member of the Purpose Foundation (AllOut.org) and the Lesbian & Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGaL). He has received distinguished service awards from the LeGaL, the Human Rights Campaign, the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Previously, he has served on the boards of directors of GLAAD, the leading entertainment and media industry gay rights organization, and Lambda Legal, the largest and oldest national gay rights legal group. He was also a founding board member of Friends of the Highline.