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Margo Schlanger Chosen as DHS Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

January 28, 2010

Margo Schlanger

On January 25, 2010, Secretary Napolitano welcomed Margo Schlanger to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as its new Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Ms. Schlanger will lead the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, whose mission is to support the Department as it secures the nation from the threats we face, from terrorism to natural disasters, while preserving our freedoms and equality under the law. This Office shapes the Department’s activities in ways that are mindful of civil rights and civil liberties. It reviews, evaluates, and provides advice relating to a wide range of technical, legal, and policy issues; investigates and resolves complaints filed by members of the public regarding Departmental policies or actions; leads the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity programs; and builds stronger relationships with communities affected by these efforts.

Ms. Schlanger brings to the Department expertise in constitutional law and civil rights. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Schlanger was a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan where her research and teaching focused on civil rights, tort, prisons, and equal employment litigation. She also ran the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Ms. Schlanger had previously been a Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, and an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard University. She earned her J.D. and her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Yale University; while at Yale, she served as Book Reviews Editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Vinson Prize. She then served as law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 1993 to 1995. Ms. Schlanger was also a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she worked to remedy civil rights abuses by prison and police departments and earned two Division Special Achievement Awards in the process. Ms. Schlanger is a leading authority on prisons and prisoner litigation. She was the reporter for the American Bar Association’s revision of its Standards governing the Legal Treatment of Prisoners; served on the Vera Institute’s blue ribbon Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons; and worked as an advisor on development of proposed national standards implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act. She has testified about prison reform before Congress and the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.

For more information about the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties please contact us: U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

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