The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Blackwood Becomes Second EEOC Attorney to Receive ABA Honor

WASHINGTON -- Vincent Blackwood, Assistant General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will receive the “Federal Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year” award from the American Bar Association (ABA).

Blackwood was selected for the award by the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section. This distinguished award recognizes a federal attorney whose professional achievements exemplify excellence of legal work in the field of labor and employment law.

The ABA said the winner of the award must have demonstrated a strong commitment to government service; demonstrated outstanding contribution to the legal profession through sustained excellence in the quality of his or her work; exemplified the highest level of integrity and dedication to the law and government service, as well as leadership both within his or her federal agency and beyond; and contributed significantly to the advancement of labor or employment law.

“Mr. Blackwood's numerous achievements during his 30-year tenure with the EEOC have distinguished him as an expert in the field of employment law,” said Memphis attorney Maurice Wexler of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, who chaired the selection committee for the award. “The committee is honored to present him with this award.”

EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp said, “Vince Blackwood has consistently demonstrated his dedication to equal opportunity, his concern for the proper interpretation and enforcement of the law, and his enduring commitment to public service. We congratulate him on this impressive, well-deserved accomplishment.”

Blackwood is a 1969 graduate of Harvard Law School. He came to the Commission in 1976 as an attorney in the Appellate Division of the Office of General Counsel. The Appellate Division represents the EEOC in all appellate litigation where the agency is a party or participates as a “friend of the court” (someone not a party to a case who volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of the case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it). With the exception of two years in the Trial Division, Blackwood has served in the Appellate Division since then. He became Assistant G

eneral Counsel in 1980, and has served numerous stints as acting head of the Appellate Division.

During his tenure at the EEOC, Blackwood has represented the agency in every federal court of appeals. Over the years he has worked on dozens of Supreme Court cases from EEOC v. General Telephone in 1980 to FedEx v. Holowecki in the present term.

Blackwood said, “I am honored to receive this recognition from the ABA. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to practice appellate law at the EEOC, where I can further the vital mission of the EEOC while doing something I really love.”

Blackwood will receive the award officially at the ABA section's annual conference on Nov. 7-10 in Philadelphia. The ABA’s “Federal Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year” was awarded last year to Robert Canino, Regional Attorney of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), religion, national origin, age, disability and retaliation. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on November 8, 2007.

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