Graduate Tax Team

Natascha R. Fastabend, Esq.

Associate Director, Graduate Tax Program

Natascha FastabendNatascha R. Fastabend is the Associate Director of both the LL.M. in Taxation Program and Master of Legal Studies Program.  For both programs, she oversees the development of the academic and educational curricula, the recruitment of students and adjunct faculty, and the implementation of academic policies and outreach and marketing plans.

Before coming to USF, Ms. Fastabend was the Senior Program Coordinator of the LL.M. in Taxation Program at the Golden Gate University School of Law.

Ms. Fastabend is actively involved in the tax and estate planning community throughout the Bay Area. She is the Vice Chair of the San Francisco Barrister’s Tax Section, is a member of the Young Tax Lawyers Organization in San Francisco and Sacramento, and is a member of the State Bar of California’s Tax Section. She was recently featured in the San Francisco Attorney Magazine.

Ms. Fastabend received her J.D. from Golden Gate University and B.A. from the University of Washington in Political Science and Law, Societies & Justice. Ms. Fastabend is currently pursuing her LL.M. in Taxation degree at USF.

Natascha can be reached at

Ellen Schuster Strauss, JD

Adjunct Professor and Assistant Director, Graduate Tax Program

Ellen StraussEllen Schuster Strauss advises LL.M. in Taxation and Master of Legal Studies in Taxation students and alumni on academic planning and career development and options and manages admissions for both programs.  

Ellen has worked with and advised all levels of attorneys and developed relationships with firms and companies throughout California. Ellen has experience with law firms and non-profits, and spent 6 years with the world's largest provider of ADR services. She was a legal recruiter prior to joining USF and was in the Office of Career Planning for several years before joining the Graduate Tax Programs.

For over 10 years, Ellen has worked closely with staff, managers and associates on professional development and skills training. Ellen's students, clients, and colleagues value her direct, consultative approach and her concrete, real-world advice regarding the job market.

Ellen earned her JD from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she was a founding member of the King Hall ACLU and an active member of the Equal Justice Society. She earned her B.A. in French and English from the University of Florida, where she graduated with honors.

Ellen can be reached at