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Jacqueline A. Berrien

Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien

Fourteenth Chair of the EEOC, April 7, 2010 - August 31, 2014

Jacqueline A. Berrien was sworn in as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 7, 2010. Ms. Berrien was nominated by President Barack Obama and served as Chair until August 31, 2014.

During her tenure as Chair, the EEOC issued its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an update to the three previous policy statements issued more than twenty years earlier. She also shepherded the passage of regulations concerning the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and the Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other than Age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Ms. Berrien also led the implementation of protections for pregnant workers and worked closely with the White House to combat the gender pay gap.

In addition, under her leadership, the agency won a $240 million jury verdict for a class of intellectually disabled men in EEOC v. Hill County Farms, dba Henry's Turkey Service, which was the largest verdict in the EEOC's history - for disability discrimination and severe abuse.

During her legal career, Ms. Berrien was devoted to public service and litigated cases involving various civil and constitutional issues including employment discrimination, voting rights, and access to affordable housing. Prior to joining the EEOC she served as Associate Director- Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP LDF).

Ms. Berrien received her B.A from Oberlin College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

On November 9, 2015, Ms. Berrien died of cancer. In her honor, the Commission designated its training center at the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters as the Jacqueline A. Berrien Training Center.

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