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Daniel Santos

Associate Dean Emeritus for Student Affairs and Administration

Headshot of Daniel Santos

Contact Information

Salem Campus

245 Winter Street SE
Salem  Oregon  97301


Daniel P. Santos, a graduate of Willamette University College of Law, returned to the school in June 2011 after two decades of service to four Oregon governors. As Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, he consults with student organizations and oversees the offices of Admission, Career and Professional Development, and Student Services.

Santos was a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ted Kulongoski and worked on an array of issues including tribal and labor relations, collective bargaining, housing, education and military services. In the first administration of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Santos served as legal counsel and education policy coordinator and worked on juvenile and adult criminal justice issues. Santos was Gov. Barbara Roberts’ legal counsel and chair of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. He also served as Deputy Citizen’s Representative and director of the Commission on Agricultural Labor in Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s administration.

Before entering government service, Santos worked at Marion & Polk Legal Services, supervised the Oregon Migrant Education Service Center, and directed the Jackson County Migrant Education Program. He earned a B.S. in Criminology at Southern Oregon University.

Outside work, Santos was a founding member of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos; Willamette Academy and the Leadership Council for Oregon Mentors. He also serves on the education committee of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Board. Through these efforts he seeks to provide greater educational and leadership opportunities for youth.

Santos’ numerous honors include the Paul J. DeMuniz Professionalism Award from the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association; the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from Oregon Women Lawyers; the Leadership Award from the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Arts Foundation. In 1990, Southern Oregon University named him one of its distinguished alumni.

Born and raised in Brawley, California, in the agricultural Imperial Valley, Santos worked summers in the fields of the Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys. He enjoys theatre and movies, and for exercise he runs marathons.


  • J.D. Willamette University College of Law
  • B.S. Southern Oregon University