Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10
Christian Fundo ’07 is, in one word, driven. During his undergraduate years at Adelphi, he was involved in organizations on campus ranging from student government to the Pre-Law Society and took on internships, including one with then-senator Hillary Clinton—all while managing a rigorous course load as a double major in political science and economics.
Fundo, who always wanted to be a lawyer, was the first Adelphi graduate to go to Cornell Law School. There he continued to distinguish himself, getting involved with the Cornell Law Review, Cornell International Law Journal and Moot Court.
In the summer of 2010, he began an internship at the global specialist law firm, Dechert LLP. After graduating from Cornell Law School in 2011, he joined Dechert in a full-time position. He remained with the firm as an associate in the corporate and securities group until 2014, when he joined Latham & Watkins LLP. He is currently a fourth-year associate at Latham & Watkins, where he focuses on banking and finance transactions, representing banks such as JP Morgan, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. He is currently on a client secondment to Goldman Sachs, working with the in-house investment banking legal team.
When asked what he enjoys most about his work, Fundo said he likes explaining things and advising people. “I was either going to be a lawyer or a guidance counselor,” he joked.
His interest in advisement carries over to helping current students at his alma mater. Specifically, he works with students at Adelphi who are interested in law school. Through Richard Garner, dean of the Honors College, Fundo has worked with a number of Adelphi students on how to apply to law school, pick the right school, and secure summer positions. “I feel a connection with people who have also gone to Adelphi,” he said. “I am an alumnus who is happy to help Adelphi students in this way.”
While Fundo loves what he does professionally, he said that he is most proud of the work he does with Rebuilding Together NYC, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates homes of low-income, elderly and disabled individuals, veterans and families recovering from natural disasters in the five boroughs of New York City. He has served as a member and secretary of the Board of Rebuilding Together NYC since 2013. Before joining the Board, Christian served as pro bono counsel to Rebuilding Together NYC while he was an associate at Dechert LLP.
“We rebuild homes for families in need. Because we utilize volunteers, we are able to take our money a lot farther than it would go otherwise,” he said. At a recent fundraiser, Rebuilding Together NYC raised nearly $200,000. “That money raised can help the organization rebuild 40 extra homes,” he said.
Fundo, who has had opportunities to partake in volunteer days, said these experiences solidify the reason he is so involved. “I’ve seen how appreciative the people are who we are helping. To be able to assist people…really, to change their lives…that is the most fulfilling thing I can do.”
In 2003 when Fundo, born in Albania, first enrolled in Adelphi, he had only been in the United States for four years. He thrived at the University, which offered him a well-rounded education in small classes where he received personalized attention from his professors.
“I’ll never forget, when I went to my first Honors College brunch, Dean Garner approached me in a room full of 500 people, called me by name and asked how I was doing,” he said. “That showed me I was at an institution where people really cared about their students.” He also cited Professor Traci Levy as having an incredible influence on him. “I took six classes with her during my time at Adelphi,” said Fundo.
Adelphi provided him with a generous scholarship, which allowed him to graduate without any loans. “That was huge financially, but also because it showed me that Adelphi really believed in me,” he said.
Fundo said that, if it were not for the personal attention he received at the University, he might have gone down a completely different path. “I am really happy with how things have turned out,” he said. “And I am tremendously grateful to Adelphi for that.”