WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush last week designated Naomi Churchill Earp as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Chair Earp, who officially took office on Sept. 1., succeeds Cari M. Dominguez, who stepped down after serving a full five-year term.
Between April 2003 and Sept. 1, 2006, Ms. Earp served as Vice Chair of EEOC. During that time, she created and launched the EEOC's Youth@Work Initiative, a national education and outreach campaign to promote equal employment opportunity for America's newest generation of workers. To date, the EEOC has held more than 1,600 Youth@Work events nationwide, reaching more than 112,000 students, education professionals, and employers.
Chair Earp brought to the EEOC hands-on leadership and management experience, a strong track record of promoting diversity, and expertise in the equal employment opportunity (EEO) field. Her work experience in promoting diversity in EEO includes a series of progressively responsible leadership positions with various federal agencies, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also served as an Attorney Advisor at the EEOC during the mid-1980s.
Ms. Earp received a bachelor's degree from Norfolk State University, a master's degree from Indiana University (Bloomington), and a Juris Doctor from Catholic University's Columbus School of Law in Washington, DC. She is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and the Pennsylvania Bar. Following is her first official statement as EEOC Chair:
I am humbled and excited to assume the position of Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I would like to express my gratitude to Chair Dominguez for her management over the past five years. The Commission benefitted greatly from her successes.
As a federal government careerist, I understand the importance of continuity and consistency, particularly during transition periods. However, I also appreciate the value of new ideas and fresh perspectives. To that end, while I will continue to support existing initiatives, I also plan to focus on additional issues.
As Chair, I will continue to emphasize the importance of positive work experiences for youth through the use of broad-based outreach, business and community group partnerships, and vigorous enforcement. In addition, I plan to focus on race and color issues -- in particular, enhancing the Commission’s efforts regarding race and color-based merit factor cases and cause findings. I anticipate that race and color issues will also arise in the context of the Commission’s renewed focus on systemic litigation. Furthermore, I plan to promote professional development for staff to ensure that EEOC employees are best positioned to address the complexities of discrimination and harassment in the twenty-first century.
An increasingly diverse workforce and an expanding global labor market present new challenges and opportunities for the nation and for the Commission. I look forward to continuing to work with Commission staff and with our many stakeholders to promote equal employment opportunities and provide all workers with the freedom to compete, advance, and succeed.
In addition to Chair Earp, the other sitting members of the Commission are Commissioners Leslie E. Silverman, Stuart J. Ishimaru, and Christine M. Griffin. The fifth Commissioner seat is currently vacant. The General Counsel is Ronald S. Cooper.
EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.