Cooper University Health Care appoints former Judge John Vazquez as chief legal officer

John Vazquez, Attorney, Law Firm of Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, Roseland, NJ. 08/15/2023 Photo by Steve Hockstein/

Cooper University Health Care announced Monday that former federal Judge John Vazquez has been appointed to the newly created position of chief legal officer. The position was created due to unprecedented expansion and complexity of issues and challenges facing Camden-based Cooper as a growing academic health system.

“Cooper’s tremendous growth as a leading academic health system has increased the complexity of issues we are facing, so we are pleased to welcome Judge John Vazquez, whose vast legal experience will help us continue to successfully meet our future business objectives,” George E. Norcross III, chairman of the Cooper University Health Care board of trustees, said.

Vazquez most recently served as a member of the Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi law firm as a member of its Litigation and White Collar Defense & Investigations groups.

“We are delighted to welcome John to our executive leadership team,” Kevin O’Dowd, co-CEO of Cooper University Health Care, said. “John and I were colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and I know him to be a thoughtful and talented lawyer who will bring his considerable experience to bear on important and expanding corporate governance, risk management and compliance issues we face.”

Vazquez was appointed by President Barack Obama as a U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and as first assistant attorney general in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

“This role will allow me to continue to utilize my experience to assist Cooper in meeting its organizational goals, minimizing risk and protecting its constituents. I am very excited to join Cooper, but I will also miss CSG Law. In my short time at CSG Law, I have witnessed the talented team and supportive culture that make the firm an extraordinary place to practice law. It has been a great honor to be a part of the CSG Law family,” Vazquez said.

“In his time at the firm, John has made an incredible impression on our clients, our lawyers and our entire team. He brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge and insight to every legal matter, along with a thoughtful approach that makes him a standout in the industry. I know that John will add value as a lawyer and as a person to the Cooper team,” Jeffrey Chiesa, member of the CSG Law Executive Committee, said.