Dawn S. Theodora

Dawn S. Theodora is the Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel for the California State University. She also serves as Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees.  Her responsibilities include working alongside the Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, Andrew Jones, in supervising and administering the operations of the Office of General Counsel, and overseeing all legal services for CSU's 23 universities. She provides guidance and input on major legal matters, identifies trends and legal issues that may impact the CSU systemwide, and addresses legal concerns that come before the Chancellor's senior staff. She participates in and leads working groups, task forces and committees, and assists the General Counsel with overseeing Board processes, including compliance with open meeting laws and ensuring routine good governance practices.

She joined the California State University Office of General Counsel in 2001. She is the previous Assistant Vice Chancellor & Chief Counsel - Business and Finance, and has served as University Counsel for several CSU campuses over the years, including as on site counsel at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for three years. She is a past member of the OGC's Academic and Student Affairs, Human Resources, and Litigation teams. Dawn's CSU legal expertise ranges across the board, from her work as a litigator and trial attorney responsible for handling a variety of systemwide and campus-based matters in state and federal courts, to her role as the systemwide Title IX legal specialist for a number of years, and her work as a real estate, land use, and environmental law specialist.

Dawn is a native Californian and a product of the California higher education system. While working full time, she obtained her B.A. in History from the University of California, Irvine in four years. She worked her way through law school as well, earning a juris doctorate at the University of San Diego. She is a first-generation college graduate, and has raised three daughters who are also college graduates, and one who earned a juris doctorate.

Dawn is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and has participated in several past presentations and committees. Dawn regularly presents and speaks on a variety of legal topics throughout the CSU and externally. Prior to joining the CSU, Dawn worked in private practice as an associate attorney with the firm of Keesal Young & Logan.


  • J.D., University of San Diego (1987)
  • B.A., History, University of California, Irvine (1984)

Phone: (562) 951-4500
[email protected]