Posted March 23, 2016 by Editorial Staff in People Profiles

[PROFILE] In 25 Words or Less: Paul Henderson (Candidate)

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Paul Henderson

Key Influencers • Arts, Community and Business Leaders • Bay Area Personalities • Industry Experts. What makes them tick? Find out . . .
In 25 Words or Less.

Posted: March 7, 2016

Name: Paul Henderson
Age: 40s • Status: Single • Kids: No
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, CA • Raised: San Francisco, CA
Professional Background: I am a veteran prosecutor and San Francisco native who has worked for over 2 decades in public service to bring justice to undeserved communities. As a trial attorney I have handled numerous cases and currently serve as Deputy Chief of Staff, public safety to current S.F. Mayor Ed Lee.
What achievement or position are you most known for? Folks recognize him as the legal expert from tv, but I feel like my decades long work related to justice reforms is my true foundation.
Contact/Follow: WebsiteFacebookLinkedInTwitter
Editor’s Note: Paul is currently a candidate for Judge – San Francisco County Superior Court.
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: Guest Lecturer/Professor at various law schools and universities where I deliver seminars on topics mostly related to race and public service.
Field: Legal – Government Practice and Justice Reforms
Title: Deputy Chief of Staff, Public Safety for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
Yrs of Experience: 20+
Company: City and County of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA
What it does and what I do: San Francisco is the county’s largest employer with over 29,000 employees. I serve as a principal adviser to the mayor and develop/implement policy.
Current Big Project: I am currently a candidate running for Judge and in my job I’m working on implementing justice reforms for the city and addressing race disparities.
Staffing/Resource Needs: My campaign can always use dedicated folks eager to help me diversify the judiciary with quality experience and learn more about the legal system.
Additional Positions: On air legal/political expert for a variety of national networks (MSNBC, CBS, FOX, CNN).
Additional Organizations: Bar Association of San Francisco, Charles Houston Bar Association, Kappa Alpha Psi – too many to name all!
Significant Challenge: Reform is always hard, but I’m most proud of the work I’ve done developing policies that made our justice system more fair for disenfranchised communities.
Significant Mistake/Regret: At one point, I developed a college program for reentry candidates that ultimately wasn’t a good fit for all the participants in the program.
Significant Accomplishment: I’m most proud of the program I set up in the District Attorney’s office that established work experience to increase diversity by over 85%.
Biggest Strength(s): I think the biggest strength that I have is my broad experience and collaborative approach to problem solving that sets me apart from others.
Biggest Weakness(es): I think I often take on too many projects and end up neglecting my personal life/time.
Career Advice: The best advice I can give folks is to always be prepared for opportunity and not to shy away from having to work hard.
Significant Challenge: I really feel that it’s so important that we all do more to change our systems for the better; indifference leads to failure.
Significant Accomplishment: I’m proud of the opportunities that I have helped to create for others – both in the criminal justice system and in the legal profession.
Life Advice: Don’t stand on the sidelines with complaints about things that need to happen for your community, take steps to get involved or support others working.
Trait(s) most admired in others: Having the ability to listen even when you are a strong communicator or an advocate is a treasured and rare skill.
Some causes/organizations I support: Democratic Party politics, groups that are dedicated to education and an inclusionary agenda.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 15
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: I don’t get a lot of downtime, but I am a voracious reader and I can always be found with a good book!
Some of my favorite local hangouts: The gym, my house and any new restaurant!
Some of my favorite TV shows: Empire, Rachel Maddow, House of Cards (don’t judge me).
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Brazil, Greece, Europe – but really, it’s tough to NOT have a good vacation!
Place(s) I would like to visit: Still haven’t made it to Asia yet but it’s on the schedule.
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): I love to read! I’ve got a million books on my phone and I spend hours each night reading essays and articles.
Favorite Book(s): Beggars In Spain, Millionaire Next Door, Smart on Crime.
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): Corey Booker (politician), Eva Patterson (civil rights advocate), Thurgood Marshall (supreme court Justice).
Something about me that may surprise you: For a brief period of time in law school I lived in my car while I was president of my class.
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