Alumni News, Year in Review

UCLA Law Magazine | Fall 2020

John Sonego Joins UCLA Law as Associate Dean for External Affairs

John Sonego headshot

Veteran fundraiser John A. Sonego joined UCLA Law in June as Associate Dean for External Affairs, overseeing the school’s development and alumni relations teams.

Sonego comes most recently from the USC Price School of Public Policy, where he was Associate Dean for External Affairs. At USC Price he led efforts that raised more than $180 million over nine years, including a $50 million naming gift for the school. Prior to working at USC, Sonego served as the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Affairs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health from 2006 to 2011.

“I’m delighted to welcome John Sonego back to UCLA and to the UCLA Law team,” said UCLA Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin. “He has proven leadership skills, a track record of success and a passion for supporting students and institutions that advance education and justice.”

Sonego’s work in philanthropy began when he helped found AIDS Walk in Detroit and served as the organization’s volunteer president for four years, lifting it quickly to more than $1 million in annual fundraising to support people afflicted by HIV. Over the years he has consulted for top healthcare nonprofits around the country, served as a leader of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and taught nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship at UCLA Extension and USC. His own advocacy has resulted in increased rights and recognition for gay families.

Sonego earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of Michigan.

UCLA Law raised more than $181 million during the recently completed Centennial Campaign for UCLA, exceeding its goal by more than $31 million. The school enjoys the highest percentage of alumni participation in fundraising of any school or unit within UCLA.

“UCLA School of Law is an outstanding institution, with a deep commitment to public service, a world-class legal education and its diverse and passionate student body,” said Sonego. “I am thrilled to be back at UCLA and look forward to playing a role in the law school’s ongoing success.”