About Marist College

The President's Office

Photo of Marist President David YellenDavid Yellen became the fourth President of Marist College on July 1, 2016. Since his arrival at Marist, the College has announced plans to start a medical school in 2022 (partnering with regional health care provider Health Quest). President Yellen has also overseen the acquisition of a Marist location in New York City; led the development of a new strategic plan; overseen the launch of the College’s first doctoral-level program; enhanced the College’s communication and career services initiatives; and guided several campus building projects. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York (CICU). He is also on the Executive Committee of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and chairs the MAAC’s Finance Committee.

Before coming to Marist, President Yellen served as Dean and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law for 11 years. Under his leadership, Loyola Law School was recognized as one of the most innovative law schools in the country, pioneering new degree programs and blended approaches to learning. During his time at Loyola, he was frequently included on National Jurist magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education. Prior to his position at Loyola, he was a member of the faculty of Hofstra Law School, holding the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship and serving as Dean. He was also the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and was a visiting professor at Cornell Law School and New York Law School.

President Yellen has been very involved in criminal law and criminal justice reform. He has written widely about these issues, advised President Bill Clinton’s transition team on white-collar crime, and argued a federal sentencing case before the United States Supreme Court. He served as a volunteer Special Master at the request of Chicago’s chief criminal court judge, examining claims of torture against a former Chicago police commander. President Yellen also served on the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council and was a member of the Board of Directors of Cook County Justice for Children.

President Yellen earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Princeton University and his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School. After law school, he clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, D.C., and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

President Yellen’s wife, Leslie Richards-Yellen, serves as Director of Inclusion for the Americas at Hogan Lovells, a multinational law firm. The couple, who met as law students at Cornell, have three adult daughters.