Stuart Ishimaru Appointed Acting EEOC Chair

President Obama has named Stuart J. Ishimaru to serve as acting chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ishimaru, who was appointed to the EEOC in 2003 by former President Bush, is the senior Democratic member of the agency. Christine M. Griffin, a Democrat who has been a member of the EEOC since 2006, was named as acting vice chairman.

Mr. Ishimaru has worked in the civil rights field for a number of years. Prior to joining the EEOC, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1999-2001) in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, as counsel to Assistant Attorney General (1994-99), as acting staff director for U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1993-94), as professional staff to the Committee on Armed Services (1991-93) for the U.S. House of Representatives, as assistant counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary (1984-91), as a graduate course instructor in Equal Employment Opportunity at American University, and as assistant to the director at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (1982-83). Mr. Ishimaru received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley (1980) and his JD from the National Law Center, George Washington University (1983).

During his term at the EEOC, Ishimaru has been critical of what he deemed the agency’s backing away from strong enforcement of civil rights laws. As acting chairman, it can be expected that Ishimaru will take more of an activist role than that of Republican Naomi Churchill Earp, his predecessor.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.