Profiles: John Haramalis

John Haramalis

John Haramalis

LLM 98

Colonel, US Army at National Guard Bureau


Haramalis joined the San Mateo Sheriff's Department at age 18, received an associate's degree in Administration of Justice, and bachelor's degree in International Relations at SF State. In 1989, John went on active military duty, and then worked for a military research institute in 1998. In May 2000, John became commander of the 95th Civil Support Team in the San Francisco Bay Area that responded to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, such as anthrax, ricin, and other chemical and biological agents. In 2005, he was deployed overseas for five years working for NATO Headquarters and leading a multinational taskforce pursuing war criminals, capturing them and sending them to trial. Before returning home, he was sent to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, to oversee operations and manage the installation. Then in 2011, he returned to Sacramento as a brigade commander in California. Haramalis assumed the duties of Garrison Commander at Camp Roberts in March of 2013.

Haramalis has a longstanding interest in international law. Much of his academic work has focused on international relations and international law. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in international relations from San Francisco State University, a master's degree from Dartmouth College, a law degree from Santa Clara University, and an LLM from Golden Gate University in international legal studies. Not surprisingly, it is also the focus of his doctoral work. In addition, he is licensed to practice law in California, Washington, and the District of Columbia. He is also working on his dissertation for his SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) in international law at Golden Gate University.


Perhaps one of his most prestigious-yet unofficial-assignments is his long-term involvement as president of the National Guard Association of California (NGAC). In 2003, under Haramalis' leadership, NGAC successfully lobbied for legislation providing student loan repayments of up to $11,000 for guardsmen. As a working adult student, he personally understands the struggle to pay for school. The NGAC also offers a scholarship program, low-cost insurance, and other benefits for members and their dependents, a feat of which Haramalis is especially proud. Golden Gate's LLM in International Legal Studies was only a year old when John enrolled.

Among the colonel's contributions to veterans' issues was his role in the development of Golden Gate University School of Law's interest in supporting veterans who had already completed their military service. As a result, the Veterans Legal Advocacy Center was created. It brings together a variety of programs to assist veterans pursuing careers in the law and also includes a clinic in which law students help negotiate with the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain health-care services for their clients.

Since fall 2012, Golden Gate University has been hosting meetings of the Law Students Veterans Coalition. The School of Law also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which makes additional funds available for veterans' educational expenses. Each fall, the school hosts a veterans' law conference, sponsored by several groups, including The National Guard Association of California. Haramalis has been one of the architects of the conference, which works with the Law Students Veterans Coalition, a consortium of students from law schools throughout Northern California.

The Veterans' center collaborates with the Veterans Affairs Office in San Francisco and such organizations as One Justice, the National Lawyers Guild, the Law Students Veterans Coalition, and of course, Haramalis' NGAC to help provide legal services for veterans. Col. Haramalis epitomizes a military man: measured, controlled, disciplined. Such traits are necessary for most adults who return to school while still pursuing their careers.