Marvin Nathan, elected National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in October 2015, has been actively involved with ADL for more than three decades. An attorney and community leader in Houston, Mr. Nathan has held a series of national leadership positions with ADL, including service as Southwest Region Board Chair. Since 1999, he has been a member of ADL’s National Commission and National Executive Committee, the League’s highest policymaking bodies.
Mr. Nathan has served in numerous leadership positions with ADL’s Southwest Region, based in Houston, since joining the board in 1985. He has chaired some of the region’s key committees, including civil rights, investigative research and the religious freedom task force. In 2003, he was honored with ADL’s Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, and during ADL’s centennial year in 2013 he received the Centennial Award in recognition of his contributions in fighting anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination in America.
Mr. Nathan is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. Near the end of his law studies, he heard the U.S. Solicitor General speak about the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which motivated him to become a trial lawyer in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Shortly thereafter, in 1970, he founded the firm Nathan Sommers Jacobs, which today is primarily focused on practicing real estate and general business organization law.
As a longtime advocate for civil rights, Mr. Nathan has also been active in community and philanthropic work in the Houston area for many years. He is a supporter of the University of Houston and the University of Houston Law Center. The University awarded him its Volunteer of the Year Award in 1995 and its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008. The Law Center awarded him its Volunteer of the Year Award in 1994, the Law Alumni Association President’s Award in 1991, the Dean’s Award in 1993 and 2004, and the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1997.
Mr. Nathan and his wife, Arlene, reside in Houston, Texas. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.