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Commemoration of Equal Pay Day - April 28, 2011

Judith Winston, Former Undersecretary and General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education

From 1993 to January 2001, Judith Winston served as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education. From 1999 to 2001, she served concurrently as the Undersecretary of the Department. In 1997, during her tenure in the Clinton Administration, Winston was granted a 15-month leave of absence from her responsibilities as General Counsel to serve in the White House as the Executive Director of the President’s Initiative on Race.

In 2001, she returned to teaching at the Washington College of Law at American University as Research Professor of Law and later became the Co-founder of and a Principal in the law firm of Winston Withers & Associates, LLC (WW&A). She retired from the active practice of law in 2007 but continues as an occasional consultant to provide advice on federal education and civil rights law and policy issues and developments.

From November 2008 through January 2009, she led the Obama-Biden Transition Team at the U.S. Department of Education.

Early in her legal career, Winston served as Executive Assistant and Legal Counsel to EEOC Chair Eleanor Holmes Norton; Special Assistant to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights in the former U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Deputy Director for Public Policy at the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now named the National Partnership for Women and Families); Deputy Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Assistant General Counsel for Educational Equity at the U.S. Department of Education. Before attending law school, Winston served as Director and Research Associate of the Equal Education Opportunity Project at the Council of the Great City Schools.

Winston has received a number of honors and citations, including the prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award, from the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the Charlotte E. Ray Award from GWAC (Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women’s Division of the National Bar Association) and the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Women’s Bar Association . She has served on numerous boards including the Southern Education Foundation, National Public Radio, the Historical Society of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She is the author of many articles on education, civil rights, and employment discrimination, and women of color in the workplace.

Winston is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University.