Charles Abdelnour '74

Charles Abdelnour '74
Charles Abdelnour

Former San Diego City Clerk Charles "Chuck" Abdelnour is a 1974 graduate of the law school and was inducted into the law school's "Hall of Fame" in 1990. He was appointed San Diego City Clerk in 1977 and retired in 2005 after a long and illustrious career.


As City Clerk of the nation's seventh largest city, Abdelnour was recognized many times for his administrative skills and innovation. For example, he set a national precedent and earned an international reputation in election law by pioneering the legislation to create the "all-mail ballot." Also, many city legislative documents, including the City of San Diego Municipal Code and Charter, are now available to the public on the Internet because of Abdelnour's efforts.


Born in the nearby desert community of Brawley to immigrants from Lebanon, Abdelnour has devoted most of his life to community service. He was the first elected Legislative Director of the City Clerk's Association of California and has been named in the "Who's Who" directories in the West, in California, in the Arab-American Almanac, and in Government Services. Twice in the 1990s he was assigned as honorary delegate to the Republican Convention. In 1999, he was named the Leukemia Society of America's "Man of the Year" and the following year was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in recognition of his contribution to the furtherance of understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world. Also in 2000, he received the Arab-American Institute award for lifetime achievement in public and community service and the Alex M. Odeh Memorial Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for Freedom of Speech and Justice. In 2004, he earned Sigma Chi Fraternity's highest recognition for achievement in a Brother's professional career and civic endeavors.


Abdelnour has served on numerous associations, including the State Attorney General's Advisory Committee, the San Diego County Voting Systems Task Force, the Mayor's Election Task Force, the NAACP, the Spanish Speaking Political Association, the Union of Pan Asian Communities, the Senior Citizens Medical Clinic and  the board of Francis Parker School. He has also served as vice president of San Diego State University's Alumni Association and was founder and chair of St. George’s Orthodox Antiochian Church. Abdelnour, who served in the U.S. Army and Reserve, also has been active on the Friends of Legal Aid, the Executive Committee of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C., the Executive Board of the Arab American Leadership Council, the Lion's Club, the Board of Governors of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, the Mount Soledad Veteran's Memorial Association, and the Board of the Management of the downtown San Diego Y.M.C.A.