UAlbany Leadership Series Welcomes Judge Seth Marnin '92, '94

Composite image depicts three portraits of Judge Seth Marnin smiling outdoors in a suit and tie, UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez in a suit and glasses outside, and SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. in a suit and glasses against a blue backdrop with the SUNY logo.
New York State Judge and UAlbany alumnus Seth Marnin is the featured guest at this semester's Leading Questions event on Feb. 13. UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez and SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. will lead the discussion. (Photos provided)

By Bethany Bump

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 6, 2024) — New York State Judge and UAlbany alumnus Seth Marnin will be the featured guest at the first Leading Questions event of the semester on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The discussion series, designed to expose UAlbany students to the region’s most influential and engaged leaders in the public and private sectors, is open to all and will run from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center West Auditorium. Registration is required.

Marnin became the first out transgender judge in New York and the first transgender man on the bench anywhere in the U.S. when he was appointed to the Court of Claims last summer by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

He will share insights from his professional and personal journey at the Leading Questions event, which will start with an on-stage interview by UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez and SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. and include time for questions from students and audience members. A reception will follow in the Great Hall.

Ahead of his appearance, he will visit an Introduction to LGBTQ class, meet with members of the University’s Living-Learning Communities and Department of Residential Life, and participate in a buffet lunch with students.

An Albany native, Marnin earned his bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and sociology from UAlbany in 1992 and his master's degree in liberal studies in 1994. He worked for the University for nearly a decade in the Department of Residential Life and Student Affairs, where he counseled students on a range of academic and interpersonal issues, adjudicated student conduct cases and mediated disputes ranging from roommate conflicts to relationship dissolutions.

He went on to serve as the director of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender resources at the University of Connecticut, where he eventually earned his law degree. He began his legal career as a litigator at Outten & Golden LLP representing individuals and classes of employees in employment discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour cases in state and federal courts.

Marnin subsequently served as vice president for civil rights at the Anti-Defamation League, overseeing the organization’s domestic civil rights agenda. Prior to his nomination to the Court of Claims, he served in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Columbia University.

Marnin has spoken nationally and internationally on LGBTQ issues, hate crime laws, discrimination, civil rights, religious liberty, the First Amendment and academic freedom. He co-authored friend-of-the-court briefs in numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and appellate courts around the country.

His appearance at UAlbany will mark the first in-person session of Leading Questions, which began in 2020 in a virtual format due to the pandemic. Prior guests have included state Attorney General Letitia James, state Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck.

Parking for the event will be available in the Dutch Faculty/Staff parking lot on the southwest side of campus. The lot is accessible from University Drive, the road that encircles the Uptown Campus.

An event flyer can be viewed here.