David Lopez was sworn in as General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 8, 2010. He was nominated by President Barack Obama on October 22, 2009 to a four year term. He initially served in the position on a recess appointment and was confirmed by the Senate to his full term on December 22, 2010. Mr. Lopez is the first EEOC field trial attorney to be appointed as General Counsel. As General Counsel, Mr. Lopez oversees the Commission's federal court litigation conducted by the 15 EEOC district offices on behalf of victims of employment discrimination, as well as the defensive internal litigation on behalf of the agency.
During his tenure, General Counsel Lopez has devoted significant time to developing a formidable systemic program nationwide, ensuring vigorous enforcement of the newly enacted Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and building a strong trial program. In addition, General Counsel Lopez served as Co-Chair of the committee charged with developing the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan which establishes the Commission's priorities for the years 2013-2016 and he is the Chair of the Commission's Immigrant Worker Team, which is tasked with identifying ways to strengthen EEOC's enforcement and outreach on the cross-cutting issues affecting workers of foreign national origin or perceived to be of foreign national origin, including issues of human trafficking. He has also done extensive speaking and outreach to bar associations, educational institutions, and community based groups.
General Counsel Lopez has served in the Commission in various capacities for the past 20 years. Before his appointment as General Counsel, he was a Supervisory Trial Attorney in the Phoenix District Office, where he oversaw the litigation of a team of trial attorneys and successfully prosecuted several systemic and individual cases obtaining significant jury verdicts against Alamo Rent-a-Car (CV 02-1908-PHX-ROS, the first post-9/11 backlash religious accommodation case brought by the EEOC), Go Daddy (CV 04-2062-PHX-DGC, a national origin, religion, and retaliation case), and AutoZone (CV 06-926-PHX-SMM, an egregious sexual harassment case), to name a few. He joined the Phoenix District Office as a Senior Trial Attorney in 1998, fulfilling a long-held dream to practice civil rights law in his beloved hometown.
When General Counsel Lopez initially joined the Commission in1996, he served as Special Assistant to then-Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he advised Chairman Casellas on policy and litigation matters and helped develop the agency's strategic plan for development of pattern or practice cases. He also represented the EEOC in an inter-agency working group commissioned by the Clinton White House to monitor potentially discriminatory immigration legislation. In addition, as Special Assistant, he oversaw the development and coordinated the implementation of the Commission's National Enforcement Plan, which, among other things, delegated the commencement of litigation authority to the General Counsel, with some exceptions. This delegation remains in effect today.
Immediately prior to joining the Commission, General Counsel Lopez was a Senior Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. between 1991 and 1994. In this capacity, he litigated employment discrimination cases against state and local governments in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country. Between 1988 and 1991, General Counsel Lopez was an Associate with Spiegel and McDiarmid in Washington, D.C., where he practiced anti-trust and administrative litigation.
General Counsel Lopez graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University in 1985, with a B.S. in Political Science. In 2011, Hispanic Business named Mr. Lopez to its list of 100 Influentials in the Hispanic community.
He has been married for 22 years to Maria Leyva and they have three sons.