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HSF Alumni

Paul Sangillo

  • Gender: Male
  • University: Columbia University
  • University: Columbia Law School
  • Undergraduate Degree: Political Science
  • Graduate Degree: J.D.
  • Hometown: Weehawken
  • State: New Jersey
  • Organization: Innovative Cosmetic Concepts
  • Title: Vice President, Legal

Paul Sangillo, the youngest of three children, was born and raised in a single-parent household in Weehawken, New Jersey. He says that despite his mother working hard to support the family, she created a loving and supportive environment for him and his two siblings and stressed the importance of education. She was also respected in the community. He credits these, and other examples she set for her children, as being pivotal in helping all three remain focused on their studies and graduate at the top of their class.

Paul was his class his valedictorian at Weehawken High School, and attended Columbia College at Columbia University as an HSF Scholar. He earned a BA in Political Science and made the dean’s list—all while working to pay for additional expenses that his financial aid and scholarships didn’t cover.

After graduating, he pursued a JD at Columbia Law School. While there, he was involved in the Latinx Law Students Association and the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts and served as co-director of The US Department of Justice’s Fair Housing Clinic Tester Program—a law clinic where students counseled people who experienced discrimination in housing. Additionally, he interned with Judge Bruce Gould in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

Paul began his career in corporate and real estate law as an associate for several New York area law firms. He then served as the associate general counsel for the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office, before making partner at the law firm, Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC. He then served as deputy general counsel for Benjamin Moore & Co., a US-based paint manufacturing company.

Today, he is vice president, legal, at Innovative Cosmetic Concepts, a manufacturer and distributor of cutting-edge, premium cosmetic and personal care products. The company created the world’s first nail polish strips.

He is also a published author. His novel The Golden Prison, which was published in 2020, is about a young attorney who—like himself—has worked his way through college and law school, is hired by a prestigious law firm, and suddenly finds himself enmeshed in a murder mystery.

Reflecting on his journey thus far, and what HSF has meant in his own life, Paul says he draws inspiration from the broad influence HSF is having today:

“HSF is creating leaders in so many fields and disciplines. Each student that graduates will be a future teacher and leader for the Latino community, and for the entire country. I am very proud of HSF and the positive impact it is having on so many lives.”

Paul suggests that students who are considering college “remember that even the most daunting task is achievable if you spend a little time each day working toward your goal. Stay focused and always make forward progress; before long, you will be amazed at how far you can go!”