Jenny R. Yang appointed chair of EEOC

First Asian American to serve as chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

On Tuesday, President Obama announced that Jenny R. Yang has been appointed chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

This Jenny Yang should not be confused with my good friend, comedian Jenny Yang. (Though I'm sure comedian Jenny Yang would be pretty good at the job too.)

Jenny R. Yang, who has served as Vice Chair of the commission since April, was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2013. This appointment makes her the first Asian American to serve as chair of the EEOC.

Here's some more information on Yang's background, from the White House press release:

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 and her husband, Kil Huh, director of the States' Fiscal Health Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have two sons.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. For further information about Chair Yang, visit the EEOC website.

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