Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, LLM, JD, has joined the Western University of Health Sciences Board of Trustees.
Callahan has served on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals since 2003. She was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the Senate. She previously served on California’s Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, and on the San Joaquin County Superior Court. Prior to becoming a judge, Callahan worked as a deputy district attorney, supervising district attorney and deputy city attorney.
“I am thrilled to welcome the Hon. Consuelo Callahan to the board,” said WesternU Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bond, DO ’82, DrPH. “Her vast experience in government and the judiciary will be a tremendous asset to our board and the University.”
Callahan served on the University of the Pacific Board of Regents with WesternU Board of Trustees member Tony L. Chan, PharmD, for nine years. Chan introduced her to WesternU and she enjoyed visiting the campus.
“I was impressed with the University – the strategic plan and the ethos of the University in providing health care in a humanistic way,” Callahan said.
She does not have a health sciences background but is experienced in governance, having served on several boards, and is a strong supporter of education and the opportunities it provides.
“Education is a great equalizer,” Callahan said. “It has always been important to me that education is accessible to people to allow them to realize their potential. I want other people to have the opportunities that I had because I think they have given me the opportunity to be successful in my profession and also give back to my community.”
Callahan graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Honors English. She earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific and her Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
“I went into the legal profession because I saw law as something that was powerful,” Callahan said. “The rule of law is something very unique to our American society, and people trained in law have a great opportunity to help other people to advocate for justice. And it appealed to me from that standpoint.
“I feel that while we can always improve on our justice system and always improve access to justice, I am of the belief that we have the best system of laws in the world and I think we provide the best access and due process to people,” she added. “I am a big believer in the rule of law.”
Callahan has traveled abroad to share her knowledge with lawyers and judges in India and Albania. She is also active in the American Inns of Court, an association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals from all levels and backgrounds that fosters professionalism and mentorship and advances the highest levels of integrity, ethics and civility. The Judge Consuelo M. Callahan American Inn of Court is named in her honor.
“I am not only very involved in my profession, I am committed to higher education, educating lawyers and judges and performing community service,” Callahan said.
Callahan is an exceptional jurist because of her intelligence, integrity and commitment to justice, Chan said. She brings these same qualities along with extensive experience in board governance to the position of WesternU Trustee. She is a leader but also a listener that is respected by her peers for her ability to make wise and sound decisions, he said.
“Judge Callahan will bring a diverse perspective and energy to our board that will strengthen our already strong board,” Chan said . “Those that know Judge Callahan describe her as collegial and committed as well as an individual that always makes a difference. With the many demands that Judge Callahan has upon her schedule, we are extremely honored that she has chosen to join our board and participate in the next exciting chapter of WesternU’s history and journey of providing excellence in education for health care professionals.”