WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that President Obama has named Vice Chair Jenny R. Yang as Chair.
Yang, whose term expires July 1, 2017, was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2013. She has served as Vice Chair since April 2014. Yang will be the first Asian-American Chair of the EEOC.
“It is an honor and privilege to have been named by President Obama to serve as Chair of the EEOC,” Chair Yang said. “Our outgoing Chair, Jacqueline Berrien, has left an extraordinary legacy. I look forward to building upon that foundation with my fellow Commissioners, our General Counsel, and all of our dedicated and talented staff.”
As a member of the Commission and Vice Chair, Yang led a comprehensive review of the agency’s systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area. She also represented the agency on the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Chair Yang added, “Fifty years ago, this nation made a fundamental promise to its people to assure equality of opportunity at work. Congress created the EEOC to make good on this promise — to lead the nation in enforcing our anti-discrimination laws and to champion equal employment opportunity in workplaces across America. It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to serve this remarkable agency in fulfilling this promise to our nation.”
Immediately prior to joining the EEOC, Yang was a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, where she represented employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. Yang also served as a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003.
Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a note and comment editor of the law review and a Root-Tilden public interest scholar.
Yang clerked for the Hon. Edmund Ludwig of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked with the 1992-93 Presidential Transition Team.
Yang and her husband, Kil Huh, director of the States’ Fiscal Health Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have two sons.
William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, applauded the Administration for the appointment of Yang.
“Ms. Yang is a talented and accomplished lawyer and advocate who understands the mission of the EEOC. Her elevation to EEOC Chair is much deserved and highlights the Administration’s dedication to elevating women of color to leadership positions,” Simonitsch said.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about Chair Yang and the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.