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2015 DOT Civil Rights Virtual Symposium Speaker Bios - Session 1

Speaking with One Voice: Connecting the DOTs

Session 1: Civil Rights 2014: A Year in Review

Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Vanita Gupta currently serves as Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.Prior to assuming that role in October 2014, she served as Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of its Center for Justice, which houses the organization’s criminal justice reform work. While managing a robust litigation docket, Vanita also worked with law enforcement, departments of corrections, and across the political spectrum to advance evidence-based reforms to increase public safety by promoting greater fairness and trust in our criminal justice system. Vanita also served for several years as an adjunct clinical professor at NYU School of Law, where she taught and oversaw a civil rights litigation clinic.

From 2006 - 2010, Vanita was a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program, focusing on criminal justice reform, immigration, and education litigation. She won a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that led to the end of “family detention” at the facility. Prior to joining the American Civil Liberties Union, Vanita was at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where she successfully led the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas, who were ultimately pardoned by Governor Rick Perry.

Vanita has won numerous awards for her advocacy and has been quoted extensively in national and international media on civil rights issues. In 2011, the National Law Journal recognized her as a Top 40 Minority Lawyer Under 40. Vanita is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and received her law  degree from New York University School of Law.

Rebecca Bond, Disability Rights Section Chief, U.S. Department of Justice

Rebecca B. Bond is the Chief of the Disability Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. In that capacity, Ms. Bond supervises the Section’s management team and oversees the Section's interpretation, technical assistance, and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Bond also develops and supervises investigations and litigation affecting all aspects of the Section’s enforcement program.Ms. Bond previously served as a Trial Attorney and a Deputy Chief in the Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, taking on Fair Housing Act, sexual harassment, race discrimination, and disability cases. She also handled cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ms. Bond is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale University. She joined the Division in 2000 after clerking and practicing law in Puerto Rico and California.

Deeana Jang, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section Chief, U.S. Department of Justice

Deeana Jang, J.D. is Chief of the Federal Coordination & Compliance Section (FCS) in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Section ensures that all federal agencies consistently and effectively enforce civil rights statutes and Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination in federally conducted and assisted programs and activities. She chairs the White House Initiative on AsianAmericans and Pacific Islanders Language Access Committee. Prior to working at DOJ, she was Policy Director for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum. She also worked on child care and immigration policy issues as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy. At the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she was the lead senior policy analyst working to ensure that health and human services programs are accessible to immigrants with limited English skills under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She was a legal services attorney for many years representing low-income families in domestic violence, immigration, school discipline and housing issues at San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, Asian Law Alliance and the Asian Law Caucus. She received a Trailblazer Award from the National Immigration Law Center, a Legal Services Achievement Award from the State Bar of California Legal Services Section, the Pacific Asian Women Bay Area Coalition Woman Warrior Award and Community Leader Award from the Family Violence Prevention Fund. She received her BA from Oberlin College and her JD from King Hall School of Law at UC Davis.

Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2016
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