Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, April 10, 2009


Page 3


MALDEF Appoints Henry Solano Interim Director


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, known as MALDEF, yesterday announced that it has appointed longtime Board of Directors member Henry L. Solano to serve as interim president and general counsel.

Solano replaces John Trasviņa, who was tapped by President Barack Obama to be the assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Trasviņa had served as the head of the organization since November 2006.

The MALDEF Board also announced that it would undertake a national search for a permanent successor and that Solano is not a candidate for the position.

Prior to assuming the temporary position at MALDEF’s helm, Solano was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, based in New York and working in the Litigation and Compensation, Benefits and Employment departments.

He recently led the  firm’s pro bono litigation with MALDEF in Vicente v. Barnett, an Arizona case against a border vigilante who threatened and assaulted a group of Latino men and women.

A former U.S. attorney for District of Colorado and solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor, Solano currently chairs the MALDEF Program and Planning Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee on the Board.

He also serves on the board of directors for the National Hispana Leadership Institute and the National Latino Children’s Institute. 

Founded in 1968, MALDEF describes itself as the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization which promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.


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