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People At A Glance Archive

The following people have been profiled in our "People at a Glance" feature.


Paul Brest

Paul Brest

2018-19 CASBS faculty fellow

Paul Brest is Former Dean and Professor Emeritus (active), at Stanford Law School, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a faculty co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and co-director of the Stanford Law and Policy Lab. He was president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2000-2012. He was a CASBS fellow in 1983-84 and served on the CASBS board of directors from 2009-2018, part of that time as board chair.

He is co-author of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy (2008); Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Professional Judgment (2010); and articles on constitutional law, philanthropy, and impact investing. His current courses include Problem Solving for Public Policy and Social Change, Measuring and Improving Social Impact, and Advanced Topics in Philanthropy and Impact Investing. He also is the instructor in an online course, Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy, offered by Philanthropy University.

Brest is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary degrees from Northwestern University School of Law and Swarthmore College. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1969, he clerked for Judge Bailey Aldrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice John M. Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court, and did civil rights litigation with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Mississippi.

Quote about CASBS

"While retaining the best of the Center’s tradition of serendipitous outcomes of interactions among a diverse group of scholars, CASBS is now deploying its unique convening power to address society’s most pressing issues."

Personal factoid

As a fellow in 1983, he had the first personal computer at the Center.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Chair, CASBS Board of Directors

Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar began serving on the California Supreme Court in January 2015, after being nominated by Governor Jerry Brown and confirmed unanimously by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments.  Before his service on the Court, he was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science at Stanford University. A member of the Stanford Law School faculty since 2001, Cuéllar has written books, chapters, and articles on administrative law, executive and legislative power, criminal justice, public health law, international law, and immigration. 

Between 2004 and 2015, Cuéllar also held leadership positions at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  As Institute director, he supervised 12 centers and programs addressing international affairs, governance and development, food security and the environment, and health policy.  During his tenure leading the Institute and, earlier, its Center for International Security and Cooperation, Cuéllar grew the Institute's faculty, expanded Stanford's role in nuclear security research, launched university-wide initiatives on global poverty and cyber security, increased support for projects on global health and governance, and broadened opportunities for student and faculty research abroad.

While on leave from Stanford, Cuéllar worked at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy (2009-2010).  In this role, he led the Domestic Policy Council staff responsible for civil and criminal justice, public health policy, and immigration.  Earlier, he served on the Obama presidential transition team (2008) and at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (1997-1999).  He was also a presidentially-appointed member of the governing council for the U.S. Administrative Conference (2010-2015), and co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s National Equity and Excellence Commission (2011-2013).  Currently, Cuéllar chairs the Implementation Task Force on Language Access for the California judiciary and serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.

After graduating from Calexico High School in California’s Imperial Valley, he received a BA from Harvard with high honors, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in political science from Stanford. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Cuéllar clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Quote about CASBS

“It’s no coincidence that time and again since the 1950s, ideas that transformed our understanding of human behavior –– whether behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, social cognition, or new approaches to the history of science –– can trace their lineage to people working in the Center’s courtyards and studies. Today the Center is reimagining the study of behavior and society as it explores some of the most profound questions facing humanity –– such as how work will evolve as technology changes, how our mindsets affect health and well-being, how cities adapt to climate change, and when different cultures can learn from each other."

Personal factoid

A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Northern Mexico, Cuéllar spent much of his youth living in close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, including some years living in Mexico and crossing the border daily to attend Catholic school in Texas. On the bus ride back to the border crossing he’d often read science fiction novels and short stories. He still does.

Salar Kamangar


Member, CASBS board of directors

As one of Google's first employees, Salar Kamangar had the unique opportunity to grow with the company and contribute to many aspects of its development. He drafted its first business plan, co-founded its product team, and helped design or manage many of its key products, from AdWords to Gmail to YouTube, which he led from 2009 through 2014. 

Salar's experience as an undergraduate biology student at Stanford gave him an appreciation for the importance of the scientific method. As he began exploring his interest in public policy, he was intrigued when Margaret Levi introduced him to recent developments in the social sciences, with researchers adopting experimental methods from the life sciences, statistics, and computer science to understand the causal relationships between policy interventions and their outcomes. 

Since joining the CASBS board in 2016, Salar has sponsored CASBS's first fellows specializing in causal inference and policy, and has been participating in the CASBS project that is further developing the evidence-informed policy movement. When he's not researching business opportunities or public policy questions, Salar can be found pursuing his newest hobby — surfing, or rekindling an old one — piano practice.

Heather Munroe-Blum OC, OQ, PHD, FRSC

Member, CASBS Board of Directors

Former CASBS fellow (2013-14) Heather Munroe-Blum currently serves as Chairperson of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and is Principal (President) Emerita of McGill University. She is a Director of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Chair of RBC's Corporate Governance Committee; Director, of CGI Group; and, Director and Vice-Chair of the Gairdner Foundation. She is a member of the Board of the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) of Stanford University, and, the Trilateral Commission. Munroe-Blum became the 16th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University in 2003 and served for over a decade as the first woman in this role. A distinguished scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy, and an accomplished administrator, Munroe-Blum was a member of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Professor in its Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. Prior to this, she served as Professor and Vice-President (Research and International Relations) at the University of Toronto.

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