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Shawn Gavin Named Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs and Development

The Law School is pleased to announce the hiring of its new Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs, Shawn Gavin. Gavin brings a stellar record of leading development programs to his new role. He comes to Cornell Law from the highly successful AA&D program at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law where he served as director of development. Gavin begins his new position on October 19.

Shawn Gavin

Shawn Gavin, Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs

“Shawn’s energy and enthusiasm impressed everyone involved in the search,” said Eduardo M. Peñalver, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. “The knowledge of the law school world he has developed will allow him to hit the ground running at Cornell and take our program to the next level.”

Gavin says he was drawn to Cornell Law by “its focus on producing graduates who are not only outstanding advocates, but who are prepared for ethical leadership in the upper echelons of the legal profession, business, government, and civil society.” He adds that “the school’s deeply held values of diversity and community resonate strongly” with him as well.

Previously, Gavin worked as director of development at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Public Policy. Before that, he was director of development at Voices for Illinois Children, a child advocacy organization based in Chicago. Gavin has been active in the Chicago Association of Fundraising Professionals for many years, having served as conference organizer, treasurer, and secretary. He has also been a guest speaker at North Park University and Indiana University graduate programs in nonprofit management.

Gavin received his B.S., magna cum laude, from Kalamazoo College. He went on to earn an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Looking forward, Gavin notes that “This institution has a rich tradition of philanthropy and I am honored to help uphold that legacy. Alumni involvement is essential, especially in this time of tremendous change in the legal academy. My goal is to broaden and deepen opportunities for involvement in all of its forms, to help ensure that Cornell Law continues to set the standard for what it means to educate lawyers in the best sense.”

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