WASHINGTON — President Obama on Sept. 2 appointed Jenny R. Yang as chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
She is the first Asian American to serve as the permanent chair of EEOC. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements:
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “I congratulate Jenny Yang on her well-deserved appointment to chair the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her wealth of experience as an accomplished lawyer and public servant will serve her well as she builds upon the commission’s work to promote equal employment opportunities for all Americans.
“I also thank President Obama for his dedication to ensure more equitable representation for AAPIs in critical leadership positions. I have no doubt that Ms. Yang will lead the commission with distinction, and look forward to working with her in her new role.”
Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), CAPAC chair emeritus: “I commend President Obama on naming Jenny Yang as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ms. Yang has clearly illustrated her dedication to the core purpose of the EEOC with her work as a civil rights and employment attorney in both the private and government sectors. Her commitment to public service is admirable, from her time at the Department of Justice to her role as vice chair of the EEOC. Ms. Yang is well-qualified, and brings a critical perspective as the first Asian American chair of the EEOC. I look forward to her work as head of this crucial commission.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland): “I would like to congratulate Ms. Yang on her historic appointment as chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission is critical to ensuring that all Americans are protected from discrimination in the workforce. Ms. Yang has an extensive record of working to protect the rights of all Americans and I know she will continue her efforts in this new role.”
Prior to her appointment as EEOC chair, Yang served as the commission’s vice chair, leading its efforts on behalf of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As vice chair, she also 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.
Before joining the EEOC, Yang was a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, where she represented employees across the country in civil rights and employment actions. She also served as a senior trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section from 1998 to 2003. Yang received her B.A. in government from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.