On March 27, 2010, President Obama announced the recess appointments of 15 administration nominees, including all of his nominees for vacant Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (”EEOC”) positions. These appointments included three Commissioner vacancies: (1) Jacqueline Berrien, who the President has indicated he will designate as EEOC Chair, (2) Victoria Lipnic, and (3) Chai Feldblum. The President also appointed P. David Lopez as General Counsel. The Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (”HELP”) previously approved of all of these nominees on December 10, 2009.
Ms. Berrien, a Democrat, has served as Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund since 2004. She was previously a staff attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ms. Feldblum, a Democrat, is a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. She helped draft the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and is an advocate of disability rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and AIDS-related issues.
Ms. Lipnic, a Republican, is of counsel to Seyfarth Shaw in Washington, D.C. She previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards and as Workforce Policy Counsel to the House Republican members of the Education and Labor Committee
Mr. Lopez has a long history with the EEOC. He currently serves as a Supervisory Trial Attorney at the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office and previously worked as a Special Assistant to then-EEOC Chair Gilbert F. Casellas.
Berrien, Lipnic, and Feldblum join Acting Chair Stuart J. Ishimaru, who will return to status as a Commissioner, and Commissioner Constance Barker to round out the five-member Commission. Under of the rules of recess appointments, Berrien, Lipnic, Feldblum and Lopez will be eligible to serve through the end of 2011, when the next Senate finishes its term.