WASHINGTON -- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas will be honored tomorrow by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations for his work in eliminating barriers to equal opportunity and opening doors to minorities in the legal profession.
Casellas will be presented the Clarence Farmer Service Award at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, 1201 Market Street. Last year's recipient was former U.S. Congressman and Special Advisor to President Clinton on Haiti Rev. William Gray.
PCHR Chairman Kevin E. Vaughan said Casellas is being honored for "his life-long commitment to promote intergroup harmony and minority involvement in the field of law."
A former partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, Casellas has been EEOC Chairman since October 1994. He was previously General Counsel of the Air Force.
In his brief time at the EEOC helm, Casellas has bolstered his reputation as a consensus builder by involving the agency's diverse constituency in reforming and strengthening the commission's enforcement operations. Chief among his accomplishments have been the revamping of EEOC's charge processing system, including the adoption of alternative dispute resolution, the settlement of longstanding labor-management disputes within the agency and the forging of a new relationship with state and local fair employment practices agencies.
Throughout his legal career, Casellas has been a leader in local, state, and national bar association activities. Among his many accomplishments, he served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, a member of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates and Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, and National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Casellas was also on the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and served as Special Counsel to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
Civic activities of Casellas include serving on the boards of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, the Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia, and the Free Library of Philadelphia, as well as serving on the Mayor's Commission on Puerto Rican and Latino Affairs.