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Join Attorney General of California Rob Bonta in a conversation with UCLA Vice Provost Cindy Fan about his upbringing and journey to attorney general.

Rob Bonta is the first person of Filipino descent to become attorney general of the State of California. In this UCLA Global Conversation, he will address his heritage and path to becoming the top justice official in the state. Expect a lively discussion with Vice Provost Cindy Fan about his work to establish fairness, equity and justice in the lives of Californians.

Born in the Philippines, Bonta moved to the United States as an infant. His parents were active in the United Farm Workers and the civil rights movement, inspiring him to fight against injustice at an early age. After working his way through Yale University, Bonta earned a J.D. at Yale Law and went on to become deputy city attorney for San Francisco. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, where he served until he became Attorney General in 2021.

On April 23, 2021, Rob Bonta was sworn in as the 34th Attorney General of the State of California, the first person of Filipino descent and the second Asian-American to occupy the position.

Attorney General Bonta's passion for justice and fairness was instilled in him by his parents, who served on the frontlines of some of America's most important social justice movements. Instilling in him the lessons they learned from the United Farm Workers and the civil rights movement, Attorney General Bonta's parents lit a fire inside him to fight against injustice — to stand up for those who are taken advantage of or harmed. It's why he decided to become a lawyer — to help right historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed. He worked his way through college and graduated with honors from Yale University and attended Yale Law School.

In the State Assembly, Attorney General Bonta enacted nation-leading reforms to inject more justice and fairness into government and institutions. As the People's Attorney, he sees seeking accountability from those who abuse their power and harm others as one of the most important functions of the job. In elected office, he has taken on powerful interests and advanced systemic change — pursuing corporate accountability, standing up for workers, punishing big polluters, and fighting racial injustice. He has been a national leader in the fight to transform the criminal justice system, banning private prisons and detention facilities in California, as well as pushing to eliminate cash bail in the state. He has led statewide fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice and worked to further the rights of immigrant families, renters, and working Californians.

Prior to serving in the Assembly, Attorney General Bonta worked as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represented the City and County and its employees, and fought to protect Californians from exploitation and racial profiling.

Born in Quezon City, Philippines, Attorney General Bonta immigrated to California with his family as an infant. He is the son of a proud native Filipino mother and a father who taught him the value of public service to his community. He is married to Mia Bonta, and they are the proud parents of three children Reina, Iliana, and Andres, as well as their dog Legolas.


Cindy Fan is the first woman and Asian American to serve as UCLA's Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement.  She is also Professor of Geography, and formerly Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Chair of the Asian American Studies Department. As UCLA's Senior International Officer (SIO), she manages the university's global partnerships, oversees the International Institute and its 27 research centers and eight degree programs, and champions and promotes international research and education. 

Dr. Fan was born in Hong Kong and holds a PhD from Ohio State University as well as an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Bristol. She has written extensively on migration, regional development, and gender in China, including the seminal book China on the Move. She frequently contributes to the media and has given numerous keynote speeches in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. She has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, an American Council on Education Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon grant, and Henry Luce Foundation and National Science Foundation research grants.

International Education Week (IEW) is a time to recognize and acknowledge the benefits and importance of international education and exchange. International education is about the global mobility of students and scholars to study, research, or teach; about those who engage in community-based service learning at home and abroad; and about increasing knowledge about the world, intercultural skills, and capacity to solve global problems collaboratively.

The Global Conversation is a component of UCLA's International Education Week. Since 2016, the International Institute and its campus partners have led this initiative, which includes a variety of activities and programs from various UCLA departments and schools that celebrate international education and exchange.

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Duration: 42:49


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