Urban League Chairman of the Board Noel Massie has announced that Michael A. Lawson will become the new president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, the city’s premier organization in advancing equal opportunities on behalf of African Americans and other minority groups.

“Michael has a wealth of experience in the civic arena and has been a passionate advocate in the area of social justice surrounding people of color,” Massie said. “When combining Michael’s passions for serving and his extensive knowledge of Los Angeles, the executive committee feels very fortunate to have a candidate with his qualities accept the position.”

In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Lawson to serve as the U.S. Representative to the 36-member Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) for Los Angeles World Airports from 2005-2011 and as president of the BOAC from 2008-2011.

Lawson was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP in their New York and Los Angeles offices until he retired in 2011. He was also recognized by Chambers USA as one of the nation’s “Leading Lawyers for Business.”

Lawson received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1978 and BA in Political Science and Economics from Loyola Marymount University in 1975. Additionally, Lawson has served on a number of charitable educational administrative boards and committees over the years.

“It is an honor to be chosen to serve my community as the President & CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League,” Lawson said. “I am looking forward to working with the LAUL Board, LAUL staff, and other partners from throughout Los Angeles to do what is necessary to improve the lives of the hard working men, women and children of our community. There is much work that needs to be done, but we are up to the task.”

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