Distinguished Graduate Mass 2024
More About Mr. John Gustafsson
A proud and loyal 1976 graduate of St. Joseph Hill Academy Elementary School, John Gustafsson was valedictorian of his class at Msgr. Farrell, and received his B.A. in Philosophy (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia University in 1983 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude) in 1987. A first-generation American, Mr. Gustafsson grew up in St. George and currently resides with his wife in West Brighton.
Mr. Gustafsson is a retired lawyer who has extensive experience leading organizations whose mission is preserving and sharing the architecture and history of the City of New York. From 2014-2023, he served as a Commissioner on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Mr. Gustafsson is the former Chairman of the Board of the Historic House Trust of New York City, where he served on the Audit & Finance Committee and chaired the Governance & Nominating Committee. He is the former President and Chairman of the Board of the Staten Island Historical Society, a position he held from 2004-2011.
For the past 11 years, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, the largest non-profit provider of the full range of services to children and adults living with emotional, intellectual and developmental challenges. He currently chairs Devereux’s Governance & Nominating Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Gustafsson is a lifetime parishioner of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church where he chaired the Parish Council for 14 years. He has chaired the Finance Council of the merged parish of Saints Peter and Paul and Assumption for the past 5 years. He is the Secretary of the Holy Name Society, a Lector and Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist. In addition to his formal affiliations and responsibilities with these organizations, he has 20 years of experience in non-profit leadership and governance, advising and consulting in a variety of capacities for numerous other non-profits.
Before retiring in 2006, Mr. Gustafsson was a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group of the California-based law firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where he was the Administrative Partner of the Firm’s New York office. Prior to that, Mr. Gustafsson spent 7 years as in-house counsel at Honeywell International. At the time he left Honeywell, he was General Counsel of the $4 billion Automation and Control Products business. Prior to his tenure at Honeywell, Gustafsson spent 10 years in private practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett where he focused on multi-jurisdictional complex litigation.
Mr. Gustafsson is a retired member of the New York State bar, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, the District of Arizona, and the United States Supreme Court.