Debo P. Adegbile '91
Debo P. Adegbile is Chair of the Connecticut College Board of Trustees. As Board chair, he is also an ex-officio member of all trustee committees. He has served on the Board since 2011.
Adegbile is a partner in the Government and Regulatory Litigation Group at global law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP where he represents a variety of corporate, municipal, and not-for-profit clients, including colleges and universities in trial and appellate courts and investigations. He chairs the firm's antidiscrimination practice and serves on the firm's Global Management, Partner Compensation, and firm-wide Executive Diversity and Inclusion Committees. He was also a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, on which he served a six-year term following his appointment by President Obama in 2016. Until 2014, he was senior counsel to United States Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and previously served as acting president and director-counsel and director of litigation of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Adegbile twice defended the constitutionality of core provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court and has testified before Congress several times. Prior to joining LDF, Adegbile was an associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for seven years.
Adegbile has taught classes at New York University School of Law and University of D.C. Law School, where he served as the Joe Rauh Chair in 2020. He is a member of the NYU School of Law Board of Trustees and vice chair of the Vera Institute for Justice. He is the former chair of the Board of Trustees of the Manhattan Country School and serves on the Advisory Council of the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Policing Project Advisory Board at NYU Law School.
At Connecticut College, Adegbile majored in government and was awarded the Anna Lord Strauss Medal at Commencement in recognition of his outstanding work for the College and community. As a student, Adegbile was a member of the men’s soccer team and was involved with the Office of Volunteers for Community Service and the student government and athletics advisory boards. He worked as an intern at New London High School and the New London Public Defender’s Office, among other volunteer service. He earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1994. As a Conn alumnus, Adegbile has served as a speaker at numerous events, including Convocation, Baccalaureate, Orientation, Camel Athletics Club, Reunion, the Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project, and the Elevate social justice project, and has served as a class agent and member of the prelaw advisory and young alumni committees, Forum, and on the Presidential, DIEI, and Marketing and Communications VP search committees. He was awarded the Agnes Berkeley Leahy Award in recognition of his service to the College at Reunion 2011.