UC Hastings welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors — Shashikala “Shashi” Deb ‘94 and Andrew Houston ‘07, who were appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Both members began their 12-year terms this spring.
From increasing diversity to building on existing partnerships, Deb and Houston said they are excited to be a part of the growth and success of UC Hastings.
Deb has been an adjunct professor at Hastings since 2014 and previously worked as an IP Litigation Associate at Cooley Godward LLP from 1997 to 2000, and as a Litigation Associate at Morgan Lewis from 1994 to 1997. She also is a member of the University of California Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees and Tipping Point Community Board of Directors, and a board member of Legal Link and Project Heal.
“Law schools are facing the unprecedented challenge of delivering legal education in a legal services market transformed by the pandemic and technology,” she said. “The pandemic highlighted the increasing gap in access to justice and the need to nimbly shift and embrace technology, while the digital revolution has impacted every aspect of legal education and the practice of law. As a proud alumna of UC Hastings, I am inspired by the administration’s efforts to re-imagine and provide a world-class legal education to meet these challenges.”
She is well-connected to the law school and supports it in numerous areas, “As a Hastings instructor, I am deeply inspired by my students’ desire to harness their experience and skills to help others and lead. Hastings is an institution that indelibly shaped my analytical skills and legal career. But Hastings is also a place where I continue to learn from diverse perspectives, whether it is from my students, or the academically rich environment of faculty research, lectures, and colloquia.”
She, and her husband Dipanjan, donated the Deb Colloquium Room in the Cotchett Law Center.
Houston, who is the co-Chair of the UC Hastings Black Alumni Council, is a Principal Campus Counsel at the University of California, Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs. He previously served as the Senior Counsel of Procurement in the University of California Office of the General Counsel.
Houston also worked as an attorney for the Office of the General Counsel at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and worked as BART’s Principal Administrative Analyst for the Office of Civil Rights. Previously, he worked as a Contracts Compliance Officer at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Houston served on the UC Hastings Board of Governors and is the past president of the Charles Houston Bar Association and the California Association of Black Lawyers.
He said, “I agreed to serve on the Hastings Board because I believe in and want to help the university achieve its mission of exceptional teaching, influential scholarship, and exemplary public service. UC Hastings is special to me because my law degree from the university has allowed me to accelerate my path to economic and social mobility, strengthen my community, and reduce barriers to opportunity for me.”
Houston has spoken at Hastings about being a first-generation college student, who attended community college before getting his undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley, “I hope to help UC Hastings improve their diversity, equity and inclusive initiatives. I’m a big believer in effectuating the change that you want to see, so in my new role on the Board of Directors I want to ‘be the action.”