The Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel


John J. Farmer, Jr.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

John Farmer became Dean of Rutgers School of Law–Newark in July 2009. In April 2013 he was appointed to serve as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Rutgers University for a period of 12 to 18 months.

 His legal career has spanned service in high-profile government appointments, private practice in diverse areas of criminal law, and teaching and law school administration. Farmer began his career as a law clerk to Associate Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He worked at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP before joining the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Newark, where he received the U.S. Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award for Sustained Performance.

Farmer joined the administration of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1994, serving as assistant counsel, deputy chief counsel, and then chief counsel. From 1999-2002 he was New Jersey attorney general. Among his accomplishments, he argued school funding.

From 2003-2004, as senior counsel and team leader for the 9/11 Commission, Farmer led the investigation of the country’s preparedness for and response to the terrorist attacks and was a principal author of the Commission’s final report. His book, The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11, was named a New York Times notable book. Farmer was a partner at K&L Gates and in 2007 became a founding partner of the law firm Arseneault, Whipple, Farmer, Fassett and Azzarello, LLP. In addition to his law practice, in 2008 he served as senior advisor to General James Jones, Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security, on development of the rule of law in the Palestinian Authority territory, and was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Armenia to assist that nation’s legislative commission in investigating widespread violence and unrest following its elections.

In 2011 he served as counsel to the commission that redrew New Jersey’s legislative districts and, later that year, was appointed the independent, tie-breaking member of the commission charged with developing a new map of New Jersey’s Congressional districts in 2012, received the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Award from the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and the Distinguished Public Service Award from Leadership New Jersey.

Farmer is president of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.  He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Senior Administrative Assistant for John J. Farmer, Jr.:

Jessica Otero

Phone (848) 932-7697

Fax (732) 932-8473

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© 2012 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved. Last Updated: 05/09/2013