WASHINGTON -- Ronald S. Cooper, General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will return to private law practice after two-and-one-half years leading the agency’s litigation program.
Cooper will rejoin the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP in its Washington, DC office. He came to the EEOC in August 2006, after being appointed by former President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a four-year term. As General Counsel, he was responsible for the Commission’s litigation program.
“The Commission was fortunate to have had someone of Mr. Cooper’s caliber leading our litigation program. His contributions have made an indelible mark on the Office of General Counsel and leave the agency a better place,” Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said. “The Commission thanks Mr. Cooper for his service as General Counsel at a critical time for the agency.”
Cooper said, "At my swearing-in, I said that I came to the EEOC with considerable respect for the capabilities and dedication of its personnel. The past two-and-one-half years have confirmed and enhanced that assessment. I very much appreciate the support and cooperation I received from all the staff and hope that, together, we have strengthened the Office of General Counsel."
Cooper made improvements in technology and implementation of the Commission’s systemic enforcement program his top priorities. Noteworthy cases that were resolved during his tenure include EEOC v. Walgreen Co., a nationwide race discrimination case, and EEOC v. Sidley Austin LLP, involving the question of when members of a professional partnership can be covered under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Deputy General Counsel James L. Lee will oversee operations of the Office of General Counsel, effective today. Lee has been serving as Deputy General Counsel since 2003. A longtime EEOC employee, Lee has held several other management positions at the agency, including District Director of the Baltimore office and Regional Attorney of the New York office.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.