Ian Gershengorn ‘84, Former Acting Solicitor General, Delivers Alumni Luncheon Keynote
Each spring, RL alumni are invited to join Class I students—who are donned in their school ties—to provide a sense of what life beyond Roxbury Latin can mean, and to show how deep the connections to Alma Mater can run even decades after graduation. On April 10, more than 100 alumni—with class years ranging from the 1951 to 2018—gathered with this year’s seniors for lunch at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Boston, to meet new friends and old, and to hear from fellow alumnus and former acting U.S. Solicitor General, Ian Gershengorn, Class of 1984. After a welcome from Alumni Council President Kevin O’Connell ‘99, and an introduction from Headmaster Brennan, Mr. Gershengorn shared with fellow alumni and students insight on recent changes in the Supreme Court and some of the most interesting cases now pending.
Mr. Gershengorn is a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block, where he is chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and one of the Nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates. Prior to this role, he served in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice—first as Principal Deputy Solicitor General and then as Acting Solicitor General of the United States under President Obama. While at the Solicitor General’s Office, Mr. Gershengorn argued more than a dozen cases at the Supreme Court. He also supervised the government’s briefing in a range of high-profile cases, including those involving the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, election law and redistricting, immigration reform, the Fair Housing Act, Title VII, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and same-sex marriage. In 2010, Mr. Gershengorn was the subject of an extensive New York Times profile, which highlighted his work defending the Affordable Care Act in courts throughout the United States. In these positions, Ian led the development and execution of legal strategy in the Department of Justice’s most important litigation matters, providing advice to the White House and to DOJ leadership, and appearing regularly in the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and district courts around the country. Mr. Gershengorn earned both his bachelor’s degree and his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard.
Introducing Mr. Gershengorn—a former student of his—Headmaster Kerry Brennan said, “We are proud of this son of Roxbury Latin, who has a long and illustrious record of service to this country and to vigorously upholding the laws that guide us. God knows we need the likes of him now more than ever. We thank him for being with us this afternoon.”