past event
Criminal Law and Justice

SOF Discussion Reception: Policing San Francisco

Join us for an intimate conversation between two extraordinary San Francisco leaders, Paul Henderson, Director, San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, and David Lazar, Deputy Chief, San Francisco Police Department. Moderated by Joseph Epstein, Henderson and Lazar will discuss their respective roles in ensuring the safety of San Francisco with emphasis on the importance of responding to citizens’ concerns.

Society of Fellows members are encouraged to join us for this engaging conversation. We will learn more about the important role these leaders play in keeping San Francisco safe and ensuring police officers are implementing practices defined by 21st century policing models.

*If you are not yet a member of the Society of Fellows, and have interest in joining, please contact the SOF Hotline.



Paul Henderson is a nationally recognized speaker, veteran prosecutor and champion for social justice. Henderson has spent his entire professional career working in public service for the city of San Francisco and most recently was appointed Director of the Department of Police Accountability, where he and his legal team are tasked with investigating all complaints regarding police use of force and misconduct. The prestigious office of San Francisco’s civilian oversight represents award winning practices of police reforms defined by 21 Century Policing models.

Prior to this appointment, Henderson spent 7 years as the Deputy Chief of Staff & Public Safety Director to the former Mayor of the City of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee. As a principal advisor to the Mayor, he was responsible for the development and implementation of strategic policy and administration on major issues affecting the city with an emphasis on the criminal justice system.

These skills were developed during his tenure as Chief of Administration and prosecutor for the previous District Attorney of San Francisco, Kamala Harris from 1995-2010. It was there that Henderson not only honed his skills as a trial attorney, handling all types of cases ranging from nonviolent misdemeanors to serious felonies, but also became known as an expert in interpreting complex criminal justice public policy issues.

Deputy Chief David Lazar was ten years old when he decided he wanted to be a San Francisco police officer. He is a fourth-generation San Franciscan, born and raised in both the Richmond and Sunset Districts. After graduating from Downtown High School in the Mission District, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Saint Mary’s College. He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lazar joined the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) in 1991 and has worked in eight of the ten district stations as well as serving in the Investigations Division and Special Operations and Administration bureaus. In 2017, Lazar took command of the newly restructured Community Engagement Division, overseeing several programs intended to improve police-community relations.


Joseph Epstein is the President of Sierra Steel Trading L.L.C. a San Francisco based steel products merchant. He began his steel career in 1970 when he founded Sierra Pacific Steel, a regional steel distribution company, in Oakland, California.  The company was sold in 1998 to Metals USA, a New York Stock Exchange Company.

Since the sale of Sierra Pacific Steel, Joe has been active in real estate development and investments in the San Francisco Bay Area. These real estate activities are concentrated in office and industrial properties.

He graduated from the University of California at Berkley in 1960. In 1997, he was the President of the Commonwealth Club of California, the Nations largest and oldest public affairs forum. He is on the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California, and the  Board of Advisors of the Oakland Boys and Girls Club, and the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.

Event information
Thu Oct 17, 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm PDT
Private Residence
San Francisco, CA