The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr.

Attorney, Community Leader

Photo of the Honorable Willie Brown.

The Honorable Willie Brown is a practicing attorney and community leader. A highly influential and well-respected public official, Mr. Brown served over 31 years in the California State Assembly, spending 14 and a half years as its Speaker, and afterward served as the 41st mayor of San Francisco. Under the California term limits law, no Speaker of the California State Assembly will ever have a longer tenure than Mr. Brown's. He was born in Texas and moved to San Francisco in 1951, attending San Francisco State University, graduating in 1955 with a degree in political science. He earned a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1958 and spent several years in private practice before his election. Mr. Brown has received over 17 honorary degrees from prestigious institutions throughout his life.

Mr. Brown served as San Francisco mayor from January 1996 until January 2004. His tenure as mayor is marked by a significant increase in real estate development such as the Mission Bay biotech complex and AT&T baseball stadium, public works, city beautification, and other large-scale projects.

Mr. Brown is the Chairman and CEO of The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, an independent, non-profit organization providing a forum for non-partisan education, debate and discussion of public policy issues to expand the expertise available to stakeholders from the political, academic, business and scientific communities. The Institute is one of the first in the country to focus on local government. Mr. Brown co-hosted a morning radio show in San Francisco, has been a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and makes a weekly podcast. In 2008, his autobiography, Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times was released. He has served on dozens of nonprofit boards and is considered a leader in reaching out to the San Francisco community to bring people together.