University News

Louise Nelson named UCLA vice chancellor of legal affairs

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Louise Nelson
Courtesy of Louise Nelson

Louise Nelson has been appointed UCLA vice chancellor of legal affairs and associate general counsel, effective Nov. 14.

Nelson, who will report jointly to the chancellor and the University of California general counsel, has served as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for Hilton Worldwide since 2009. As a member of the senior leadership team, she is responsible for establishing policy, training and processes that mitigate legal risk across complex, multi-jurisdictional legal frameworks. She has led global teams in the areas of compliance and ethics; litigation; employment; corporate; and information security and privacy.

“With Louise’s vast experience and proven track record, I am confident that she will provide outstanding leadership and counsel,” said Chancellor Gene Block in announcing her appointment. He also thanked Amy Blum for her distinguished leadership as interim vice chancellor since October 2015.

Nelson said she is looking forward to joining UCLA and serving as the university’s top legal adviser.

“The vice chancellor of legal affairs role is a tremendous opportunity to represent a world-class university with an extraordinary breadth of issues that range from labor and employment, real estate development, land use, intellectual property and health care law,” Nelson said. “It is hard to imagine a more dynamic environment in which to practice.”

Nelson joined Hilton in January 2000 as director of corporate administration. Within a year, she was promoted to vice president of corporate administration, a position she held until 2003. Subsequently, she served as Hilton’s first chief privacy officer (2003–05), as well as the company’s first vice president of ethics, compliance and privacy (2005–08).

Prior to joining Hilton, Nelson served as director of operations for the Los Angeles office of Co-Counsel Inc. (1995–99). Previous to that, she practiced real estate law at Stern Neubauer Greenwald and Pauly (1993–95) and at Jeffer Mangels Butler and Marmaro (1990–93).

She received a B.A. in history from UC Irvine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Among the many honors she has received, Latina Style magazine named her one of the top five Latina executives of the year in 2012, and in 2013, InsideCounsel magazine named her one of the top 100 women ready to be general counsel in the next three years.

She currently serves as a nonexecutive director of Travel Sentry, on the board of trustees of the George Mason University Foundation, and on the board of directors of McLean Project for the Arts.

Making the trip to Los Angeles will be the family’s four rescue dogs: a Saint Bernard; a Swiss mountain dog; a basset hound; and the newest addition, a Great Pyrenees/lab-mix puppy.

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