BA '01 (English)
Luis Maldonado has dedicated his career to public service, having worked in the nonprofit sector as well as for the State of Florida and the federal government.
Luis was appointed to serve as an Immigration Judge in 2020 where he presides over matters covering a three-state jurisdiction. Before his appointment, from 2016 to 2020, he served as legal counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Atlanta, where he worked on administrative appellate and federal litigation arising in Georgia and Alabama.
He began his federal government service in 2006 with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and held various roles during his tenure, including: Deputy Chief Counsel in Orlando, where he managed a team of attorneys and support personnel responsible for handling administrative litigation; Associate Legal Advisor with the National Security Law Section at ICE Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; Special Counsel to the Deputy Principal Legal Advisor; acting manager for the Homeland Security Investigations Law Division in Washington, D.C., with oversight of criminal immigration, human rights violations, and national security matters; and as an Assistant Chief Counsel with the Orlando Office of Chief Counsel, where he served as a point of contact for human rights violator and fraud cases.
Before joining ICE, Luis worked for the Florida Department of Children and Families and served as an immigration attorney with the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association. He graduated from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, cum laude, where he was a two-time Florida Bar Foundation Fellow and a Public Service Fellow. He was also a Florida Education Fund scholar and was honored for volunteering hundreds of hours of pro bono service through the Pro Bono Project.
In 2001, he graduated from Stetson University's College of Arts and Sciences, magna cum laude. While at Stetson, he was honored as his class's commencement speaker; he was also a recipient of the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award, the June Brooks Award for Social Activism and Public Service, and was named one of the state's top 20 student leaders by Florida Student Leader Magazine.
As the beneficiary of strong mentorship, Luis is passionate about paying it forward, which he has done through student and professional mentoring, and by endowing named scholarships in memory of two of his mentors—The Dr. Iliana Mankin First Generation Endowed Book Fund at Stetson and The Dr. Cassandra Etgeton Math Education Scholarship at the University of North Florida.
Before his election to the Board of Trustees in 2017, Luis previously served on Stetson's College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board from 2012-2017, and was part of the inaugural class of Leadership Stetson.