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José Cárdenas is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Arizona State University. A 1977 Stanford University Law School graduate, he was a partner in the law firm of Lewis & Roca before joining ASU in 2009. He also served as the firm’s managing partner and later as its chairman. He has been recognized for his accomplishments as a lawyer including an “AV/Preeminent Attorney” rating with Martindale-Hubbell and listings in Southwest Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America ®, and his induction in 2010 to the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Mr. Cárdenas serves as a University representative on and to the boards of directors of ASU affiliated and related entities including the Center for the Future of Arizona and Zócalo Public Square. He also serves on the boards of Southwest Gas Corporation, Xico Inc., (an ethnic arts organization), and the CALA Alliance, (which promotes Latino arts and culture). Mr. Cárdenas is a member of the executive committee of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, (since 2003), and he is a Trustee of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. He is also a past chairman of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), O’Connor House, Greater Phoenix Leadership and the Valley of the Sun United Way boards of directors. He has also served on many other boards of directors including those of Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Cárdenas also served as a commissioner on Arizona’s Commerce and Economic Development Commission and he served three Governors as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.
Since 2003, Mr. Cárdenas has served as the host of the Eight/KAET weekly public affairs program, Horizonte, which focuses on Arizona issues through a Hispanic lens. In 2000, he received the Mexican government's Ohtli award given to U.S. residents of Mexican descent in recognition of their service to Mexican communities in the United States. He was Valley Leadership’s 2000 Man of the Year.