Appointment of Robert Swerdlow as Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and Chief Campus Counsel

July 10, 2024

Dear Colleagues:

Following a national search process, Robert Swerdlow has been appointed vice chancellor for legal affairs and chief campus counsel, effective August 1, 2024. This position reports jointly to the chancellor and executive vice chancellor and provost at UCLA and to the UC-systemwide general counsel and senior vice president for legal affairs.

A member of the UCLA Legal Affairs team since 2018, Swerdlow initially served as principal campus counsel, and has served as interim deputy campus counsel since July 2022. In these roles, he has advised campus and systemwide leadership on some of the most complex issues facing the university, including admissions-related topics, the university’s response to allegations of sexual assault by healthcare providers and the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. He has worked closely with the Office of Research & Creative Activities to provide counsel and support for our researchers; with Environment, Health & Safety to improve workplace safety; and with the Compliance Office to facilitate internal investigations and respond to governmental inquiries.

Prior to joining UCLA, Swerdlow was counsel, and before that an associate, in the litigation department at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2018. He clerked for two U.S. District Court judges (Gary A. Feess in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2002 and Edward J. Schwartz in San Diego from 1998 to 1999). While in private practice, he was awarded the USC Public Interest Law Foundation’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award in 2014 for his work on behalf of children in foster care. He also served as counsel to the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence as part of its investigation into allegations of excessive use of force in the Los Angeles County jails. Swerdlow is a double UC grad, having received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and his J.D. from UCLA Law School.

We wish to thank the search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates for this position and for their role in this recruitment. Carole E. Goldberg, distinguished research professor and Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita, served as the committee chair. Other members were:

  • Mitchell J. Chang – interim vice provost for equity, diversity and inclusion; professor of education and Asian American studies
  • Andrea Gunn Eaton – chief campus counsel, UC Irvine
  • John C. Mazziotta – vice chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences; CEO, UCLA Health
  • Greta W. Schnetzler – chief campus counsel, UC San Francisco
  • Valerie C. Shelton – senior principal counsel, health affairs and employment, UC Legal – Office of the General Counsel
  • Michael Waterstone – professor and dean, UCLA Law
  • Noah D. Zatz – professor of law and labor studies

With his extensive legal experience and proven track record at UCLA, we are confident that Swerdlow will be an excellent addition to our campus’s senior leadership team.

We also want to recognize and express our sincere gratitude to Ina Bryant for agreeing to serve as interim chief campus counsel since July 2022 — and for her exemplary leadership, guidance and dedication these past two years. Since taking on the interim role, she has provided critical expertise on a wide range of issues. Ina’s deep knowledge of university matters will continue to be an asset to the legal affairs team, UCLA and the broader UC system.

Please join us in thanking Ina and welcoming Swerdlow — who goes by Bobby — into this important role.


Gene D. Block

Darnell Hunt
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost