Dan Grunfeld

Photo of Dan Grunfeld
Executive Vice Dean for Strategy and Partnerships, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


J.D., Cornell University; B.S. in history, Drexel University


Dan Grunfeld is executive vice dean for strategy and partnerships at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has more than three decades of legal, community-building, and policymaking experience and brings to Pardee RAND expertise in management and ethics, policy implementation, board development and recruitment, program expansion, and financial operations.

For nearly a decade, Grunfeld served as the president and CEO of Public Counsel, the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the United States, where he led 2,000 volunteer attorneys and staff in providing direct legal assistance to more than 25,000 individuals and organizations annually. He subsequently served as a member of then–Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's four-person Executive Team as deputy chief of staff for policy, overseeing the mayor's agenda on energy and environment, housing, transportation, homelessness prevention, and job creation. Subsequently, Grunfeld was co-chair of the Los Angeles office litigation department of Kaye Scholer and co-managing partner of its Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices. Most recently, he was leader of the West Coast litigation practice of Morgan Lewis.


  • A witness in a courtroom swearing to tell the truth

    Truth Decay and the Spirit of the Law

    The widening gap between how the law is expected to be (and generally is) practiced, and certain events transpiring in America's political and policymaking realms, is of increasing concern.

    Mar 23, 2018 Daily Journal

  • American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians in a village during the Vietnam War in October 1967 in Vietnam

    Book Review: 'Eye Corps: Coming of Age at the DMZ'

    In reviewing Jack Walker's book about his coming of age in Vietnam, Dan Grunfeld says the story is “powerful, thoughtful and engaging. ... The hard and expensive lessons of Walker's youth led to a big-hearted life, full of wisdom and generosity that touched so many.”

    Jan 5, 2018 Daily Journal

  • Nest egg with state of California flag painted on the egg

    The Looming Pension Crisis

    California leads the nation in pension underfunding. The state government has $464.4 billion in unfunded liabilities — the difference between resources that will be available in the state's pension fund and what will be owed to retiring employees.

    Nov 8, 2017 Daily Journal

  • Scales of justice in front of computer monitors with code

    The Intersection of Algorithms and an Individual's Rights

    Data collection, and our reliance on it, have evolved extremely rapidly. The resulting algorithms have proved invaluable for organizing, evaluating and utilizing information. How do individuals' rights come in to play, when data about their lives is compiled to create algorithms, and the resulting tools are applied to judge them?

    Sep 29, 2017 Daily Journal