EEOC Gets New Chair and Commissioner

April 8, 2010 ( - Jacqueline A. Berrien, the former Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), was sworn in April 8 as the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Berrien will serve until the end of the Congressional session in 2011 unless she is confirmed by the by the Senate for a full term. 

Berrien comes to the EEOC after five and a half years as a leader of LDF’s national legal advocacy and scholarship programs. She also has taught in trial advocacy programs at Fordham and Harvard law schools and served on the adjunct faculty of New York Law School.

She received her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she served as a General Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.  She began her legal career clerking for Judge U.W. Clemon, the first African-American appointed to the U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama, according to an EEOC announcement. 

Berrien joins Commissioners Stuart J. Ishimaru and Constance S. Barker. 

Chai R. Feldblum was also sworn in as a Commissioner of the EEOC. 

Feldblum has been a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center since 1991, where she founded the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, a program designed to train students to become legislative lawyers.  Before becoming a law professor, Feldblum played a leading role in drafting the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 while serving as Legislative Counsel to the AIDS Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the announcement.

A graduate of Barnard College, Feldblum received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.  After law school, she clerked for Judge Frank Coffin of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

With the addition of nominee Victoria Lipnic, who will be sworn in later in April, the EEOC returns to its full complement of five Commissioners, the announcement said.

General Counsel nominee P. David Lopez will be sworn in to his post on April 9.