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Gilbert F. Casellas

Photo of Chairman Casellas

Tenth Chairman of the EEOC, September 29, 1994 - December 31, 1997

Gilbert F. Casellas was serving President Clinton as General Counsel of the United States Air Force when the President called upon him to take the job of Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in July 1994. Drawn by his personal history to the mission of the EEOC, Chairman Casellas accepted the challenge and became the first Latino to head the agency.

The Chairman's unprecedented and bi-partisan approach to improving the Agency's effectiveness resulted in an overhaul of the private sector charge processing system, emphasizing a more strategic and systemic approach to civil rights law enforcement; the adoption of mediation based alternative dispute resolution as part of processing charges; and a new partnership with the more than 89 state and local fair employment practices agencies. Under the Chairman's leadership the backlog dropped from over 111,000 cases to under 80,000 in just one year.

Chairman Casellas' personal intervention in successfully resolving the agency's historically acrimonious labor-management disputes and in transforming the agency into a model of labor-management partnership resulted in a much-needed boost in employee morale and in receipt of a "Hammer of Reinvention" from Vice President Gore.

Prior to his government service Chairman Casellas was a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads. Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Chairman Casellas received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. He served a two-year clerkship for the Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

President Clinton named Mr. Casellas as Co-Chair to the U.S. Census Monitoring Board on June 8, 1999. The Census Monitoring Board was created as a bi-partisan board to observe and monitor all aspects of the preparation and implementation of the decennial census.