After more than two decades of service to four Oregon governors, SOU alumnus Daniel P. Santos most recently served as associate dean for student affairs and administration at Willamette University College of Law. He oversaw student recruitment, student services, placement activities, and administrative duties at the law school.
Santos was a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ted Kulongoski and worked on an array of issues including tribal and labor relations, collective bargaining, housing, education and military services. In the first administration of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Santos served as legal counsel, education policy coordinator, and worked on juvenile and adult criminal justice issues. Santos was Gov. Barbara Roberts’ legal counsel and chair of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. He also served as Deputy Citizen’s Representative and director of the Commission on Agricultural Labor in Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s administration.
Mr. Santos earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at SOU in 1975 followed by a juris doctorate from Willamette University College of Law. Before entering government service, Santos worked at Marion & Polk Legal Services, supervised the Oregon Migrant Education Service Center, and directed the Jackson County Migrant Education Program.
Santos was a founding member of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos, Willamette Academy, and Oregon Mentors/Institute for Youth Success. He currently serves on Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Mid-Valley Literacy Center boards. He also served in the Oregon Community Foundation Latino Partnership Program and the American Leadership Fellowship of Oregon.
His numerous honors include the Paul J. DeMuniz Professionalism Award from the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon State Bar Diversity & Inclusion Office recognition, the Oregon Human Development Corporation Golden Aztec Award. In 1990, Southern Oregon University named him one of its distinguished alumni.
Santos was born and raised in Brawley, California, in the agricultural Imperial Valley; he worked summers in the fields of the Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys. Danny is married to Beth Graham (SOU Class of 1979), enjoys running, and has finished over 20 marathons.