John R. Fernandez

BSPA'85, Policy Administration, Public Personnel and Labor Relations; MPA'89, Urban Management

Photo of John Fernandez
IU Bloomington


John Fernandez is a partner and innovation strategy director for Dentons, an international legal practice. He also serves as Global Chair for NextLaw Labs, a global collaborative innovation platform focused working to introduce new technologies that will transform the practice of law globally. Fernandez also served as Chief Operating Officer for Wirthlin, a Dentons Innovation Group Partnership – he now serves as a member in their Management Committee. In 2009, Fernandez was named assistant secretary for economic development at the U.S. Department of Commerce and he was the chief architect of the administration’s regional innovation strategies. While at the Department of Commerce, Fernandez represented the U.S. government at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where he served as chairman of the territorial development policy committee.

Fernandez served as mayor of Bloomington, Ind., from 1996 to 2003, working with business and Indiana University leaders to launch Bloomington’s Life Sciences Partnership, securing more than $243 million in private investments and creating more than 3,700 jobs.

Fernandez received a bachelor’s degree, an MPA, and a JD from Indiana University.