Kannon Shanmugam is Elected Chair of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Board of Trustees

December 16, 2013

Kannon Shanmugam, a current Trustee and supporter of the school, was elected Chair of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Board of Trustees on December 3, 2013. Mr. Shanmugam assumes the role that George Brown has held since 2007. “George’s leadership over the past eight years has been invaluable to the school’s success. In addition to my personal appreciation for his guidance, the entire Board is grateful for his support and unwavering commitment to the mission and vision of Thurgood Marshall Academy. We wouldn’t be the school we are today without George,” states the school’s Executive Director, Alexandra Pardo. Mr. Brown will continue to serve on the Board as a Trustee.

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Board of Trustees oversees the management and strategic development of the school, makes policy decisions, and works to enlist support for Thurgood Marshall Academy throughout the District of Columbia. The decision to elect Mr. Shanmugam as Chair of the Board was unanimous among Board members, “I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to represent TMA than one of Williams & Connolly’s finest Supreme Court advocates. Under Kannon’s leadership TMA will continue its tradition of excellence and expand its role as a national leader for the charter school movement,” says Katie Herman, former Thurgood Marshall Academy staff member and current Trustee.

Kannon is currently a Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP and has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court. He has been recognized by numerous publications as one of the nation’s leading Supreme Court and appellate advocates. In a recent profile, The National Law Journal praised Mr. Shanmugam for his “confident manner and elegant elocution” before the Court. In listing him as a notable appellate practitioner, Chambers USA described him as an “extraordinary advocate” who is “recommended by clients for his fresh perspective and energetic approach.” On behalf of the United States, he successfully argued Tellabs v. Makor Rights, which involved the standard for pleading state of mind in securities-fraud actions, and Weyerhaeuser v. Ross-Simmons, which concerned the standard for predatory-bidding claims under the federal antitrust laws.

Mr. Shanmugam received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1993; his M. Litt. from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Shanmugam clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lawdragon magazine has named Kannon one of the 500 leading lawyers in America, and Washingtonian magazine has selected him as one of the top lawyers practicing before the Supreme Court and as one of 20 people in Washington to watch. In addition, before Mr. Shanmugam turned 40, he was listed by The National Law Journal as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40 in Washington and also as one of the top 40 minority lawyers under 40 in the country. Mr. Shanmugam is president of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the principal bench-bar organization for appellate judges and lawyers in the Washington area. He also currently serves as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee. Additionally, Kannon is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a class on Supreme Court advocacy.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve as Board Chair. I look forward to working with the Board and staff to maintain and improve TMA’s position as one of the city’s leading charter schools,” states Kannon.

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s staff, faculty, students, and Board echo this excitement, and look forward to collaborating with Mr. Shanmugam as the school prepares the next generation of students to succeed in college and beyond.