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Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62

Senior Counsel
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door LLP

Arthur Gajarsa is a senior counsel in the Litigation/Controversy Department and a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. Prior to joining WilmerHale, Judge Gajarsa had a long and distinguished career in the judiciary. He was nominated to the Federal Circuit in 1996 by President Clinton, confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1997 and served for 15 years, retiring in June 2012. Prior to his appointment, Judge Gajarsa was a well-recognized litigator who also practiced corporate law, intellectual property, securities law, and general litigation with various law firms as a partner or principal officer. His career includes service at the Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, and Department of Defense.

Judge Gajarsa has represented Native American tribal interests for whom he made several appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1987, he joined the firm of Joseph, Gajarsa, McDermott & Reiner, P.C., where he continued his international and corporate law interests, including an expansive representation of Native American tribal interests.

Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62, earned a B.S.E.E. from Rensselaer in 1962, an M.A. in Economics from Catholic University of America in 1964, and a J.D. from Georgetown University in 1967. After graduation from law school, Judge Gajarsa served as a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph J. McGarraghy of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. In 1968, he became an associate in the office of the General Counsel of Aetna Life & Casualty. Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickle and Commissioner of Indian Affairs Louis R. Bruce subsequently appointed him as a special counsel to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. He remained in that position until 1971.

Gajarsa is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, Connecticut State Bar, Federal and American Bar Associations, and the Council for Excellence in Government. He is presently on the board of directors at Georgetown University and chairman of its Audit and Law Committees; and was on the board of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), serving as its president from 1989-1992 and its vice chairman from 1992 to 1995. He was on the corporate and advisory board of Outward Bound USA from 1986 to 2001, chairing its Environmental Committee from 1992 to 1996. He was a recipient of the Outward Bound Carabiner Award in 1992 and 1986, the John F. Kennedy American Heritage Award in 1974, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 1958. He was awarded the Order of Commendatore Medal by the Republic of Italy in 1995.

His Rensselaer affiliations have included membership in the Rensselaer Council; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board; Rensselaer Newman Foundation Board; Rensselaer New Century Campaign, co-city manager; and the 1987-88 Patroon Gift Committee. The Rensselaer Alumni Association presented him the Alumni Key Award in 1993, the Albert Fox Demers Medal in 1999, and the Humanities & Social Sciences Fellows Award in 1996, and the Rensselaer Newman Foundation presented him its Sun and Balance Award in 1990. Gajarsa was elected chairman of the board of trustees in December 2010.

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Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62
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Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62
Active Trustee:
Dec. 1994-current
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