Press Release


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   CONTACT:  David Grinberg Thursday, June 3, 1999                            EEOC Headquarters                                                   (202) 663-4900                                                    Prof. Timothy Taylor                                                   Touro College SGS                                                    (212) 463-0400, ext. 513 

WASHINGTON - Ida L. Castro, the first Latina to Chair the U.S. Equal Employment

Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will deliver the commencement address to the 1999 graduating

class of Touro College School of General Studies (SGS) on Sunday afternoon, June 6, at 2:00 p.m.,

at the Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street, New York City.

"I am honored to speak at the Touro College SGS commencement ceremony and look forward to addressing a unique graduating class," Ms. Castro said. "The importance of civil rights at the workplace and the understanding of these paramount rights and responsibilities are key to the workplaces of the future."

Touro SGS is a large division of the College serving a diverse student body of nearly 2,000 individuals in five sites around New York City. "The faculty and staff of Touro are thrilled to have such a distinguished speaker as Chairwoman Castro shar e her thoughts and insights with this year's graduating class," said SGS Dean Stephen H. Adolphus. "The College is proud to bring higher education to a number of neighborhoods which are under-served by post-secondary education and, by so doing, help our s tudents achieve their goals for themselves and their families."

Ms. Castro, a native New Yorker, was nominated by President Clinton on April 2, 1998 and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 21 as the first Hispanic female to Chair the EEOC. From 1996 until she assumed leadership of the Commission, Ms. Castro served as Acting Director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). From 1994-1996, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, DOL, and Director of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. Under her leadership, DOL received two coveted "Hammer Awards" from Vice President Gore, the highest honor given under the "Reinventing Government Initiative."

Prior to serving the Clinton-Gore Administration, Ms. Castro worked as an employment and labor law attorney in New York. She was Senior Legal Counsel for Legal Affairs, Health and Hospital Corporation of New York City (the nation's largest municipal health care system); Special Counsel to the President and Director of Labor Relations, Hostos Community College, City University of New York (CUNY); Associate Counsel at the law firm of Eisner, Levy, Pollack and Ratner; and Associate Counsel at the law firm of Giblin and Giblin.

Ms. Castro received a B.A. degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and M.A. and J.D. degrees from Rutgers University of Newark, New Jersey. She later became the first Hispanic woman to earn tenure as an Associate Professor at Rutgers' Institute for Management and Labor Relations.

In addition, Ms. Castro has held leadership positions in a number of Hispanic organizations. She founded the first Hispanic women's group in New Jersey and was the first Hispanic appointed by that state's Governor to the New Jersey Commission on t he Status of Women. Among the numerous awards she has received for her advocacy on behalf of minorities and women is the "Outstanding Leadership Award" from the Puerto Rican Legal and Education Fund.

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, which protects workers 40 and older; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting persons with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. More information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site (

This page was last modified on June 4, 1999.