Steve Nissen


Steve Nissen is Senior Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs at NBCUniversal.  In that capacity, he is primarily responsible for developing and coordinating for the company a comprehensive state and local government agenda, including issues such as anti-piracy, intellectual property protection, tax, First Amendment, digital, broadcast, film production, land use and government compliance.  In addition to his responsibilities at NBCUniversal, Mr. Nissen is currently First Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and will become Chair in January 2017.    He is Immediate Past Chair of the Central City Association and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, as well as a former Chair of FilmLA.  He also has served on the Executive Committees of the Valley Industries and Commerce Association (VICA), the Los Angeles Police Foundation, and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Mr. Nissen was a partner in the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips during two different tenures: most recently from 2002 to 2008 and previously during the 1980’s.   At the Manatt law firm, he represented a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit entities.  His practice focused on litigation, land use, nonprofit governance, government affairs, and administrative law work.

In early 1999, Mr. Nissen became a senior official in the Administration of California Governor Gray Davis, serving as the Governor’s Interim Staff Director, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and Senior Special Assistant for Innovation in Government.  In those capacities, he oversaw statewide initiatives involving technology, land use, government efficiency and environmental matters, and organized the Governor’s Summit on Philanthropy. In addition, Mr. Nissen chaired the Energy Reliability Task Force during the state’s energy crisis and the e-Government Task Force, and served as the Governor’s liaison to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Hate Groups, chaired by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and former California Governor George Deukmejian.

Before joining the Governor’s staff, Mr. Nissen was Executive Director of the State Bar of California, taking charge in the midst of a political crisis which arose when the Bar lost its legislative funding.  He worked closely with then Governor Pete Wilson’s office, the California Legislature and the state Supreme Court to restore funding, while at the same time streamlining the Bar to make it more efficient and effective for the state’s consumers of legal services.  Prior to his position at the State Bar, Mr. Nissen was Executive Director and President of Public Counsel Law Center, which he built into the largest pro bono law firm in the United States, and for which he was often recognized, including being honored as Southern California’s Professional in Philanthropy, as well as by the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California and the Association of Corporate Counsel.  Under his leadership, Public Counsel built a staff of over 40 and a cadre of 10,000 volunteer attorneys providing more than $200 million worth of legal services to disadvantaged children, the elderly, low-income families, and nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Nissen gained his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from U.C Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law.  His wife, Lynn Alvarez, advises numerous charitable foundations and together they have 3 sons.