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Brown Bag Session on Transgender Issues in the Workplace: Speaker Bios

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, the National Center for Transgender Equality

Mara is the founding Executive Director of NCTE.  A Pennsylvania native, Mara came to Washington after co-chairing the Pennsylvania Gender Rights Coalition. Mara is a transgender-identified woman who also identifies as a parent and a Pennsylvanian.  She is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government.  She has served on the board of Directors of Common Roads, an LGBTQ Youth Group, and on the steering committee of the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition.  Mara has almost twenty-five years of professional experience in social marketing and opinion research.

Louis Lopez, Deputy Chief, Employment Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Louis Lopez serves as Deputy Chief in the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he formerly served as a senior trial attorney. Lopez's public service also includes serving as counsel to the Chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, counsel to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's EEO Officer, and an appellate litigation attorney in the EEOC's Office of General Counsel. In addition, Lopez worked in private practice at law firms in DC and Chicago, and served as director of human resources for Washington Post Digital. Lopez is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches comparative employment discrimination law. Lopez received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an LL.M. in Labor and Employment Law from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Sharon McGowan, Attorney, Appellate Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Sharon McGowan joined the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division in February 2010.  Previously, she was a Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project.  Sharon was lead counsel in Schroer v. Billington (D.D.C.), which resulted in a landmark ruling that Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination also protects individuals who are undertaking / have undertaken a gender transition. 

Lisa Mottet, Esq., Transgender Civil Rights Project Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Lisa Mottet is the Director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She has led the project since 2001 with a focus on passing anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression at the local, state, and federal level. She also assists agencies in implementing and enforcing nondiscrimination laws. In 2003, Mottet authored Transitioning Our Shelters: A Guide to Making Homeless Shelters Safe for Transgender People, working with the National Coalition for the Homeless. Mottet received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an active member of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.

Mottet has trained several government agencies on transgender issues and legal rights, including the enforcement staff of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, staff of the Baltimore Human Relations Commission, the Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. She has also presented at the Department of Laborís National Equal Opportunity Professional Development Forum and most recently, presented to DOJís Community Relations Service on how to implement the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.