Catherine E. Lhamon

Gruber Distinguished Lecturer in Women’s Rights: Catherine E. Lhamon ’96

Women’s Civil Rights and Education: Building on Legacy, Delivering for Our Future

Watch the video of Catherine E. Lhamon's lecture.

See photos from the event.


Yale Law School was pleased to welcome Catherine E. Lhamon ’96 as the Gruber Distinguished Lecturer in Women’s Rights. Catherine Lhamon is Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and prior to that she was director of impact litigation at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. In her capacity as Assistant Secretary, Catherine Lhamon is charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities receiving federal funds.

Catherine Lahmon’s Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights was delivered on November 9, 2015, at 4:30 pm. The lecture was entitled “Women’s Civil Rights and Education: Building on Legacy, Delivering for Our Future,” and was open to the Yale community. Lhamon discussed the comprehensive policy and enforcement work of the Office of Civil Rights, and explained their strategies and experiences handling complaints on gender, race, and disability discrimination. Lhamon closed the captivating lecture with a promise to continue championing civil rights and social justice: “We are carrying our civil rights mantle forward knowing that we need commitment to eternal vigilance, belief that we can do better, and an insistence on better.”

Following the Lecture Drew Days (Alfred M. Rankin Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law) moderated a discussion with Assistant Secretary Lhamon and commentators Judge (ret.) Nancy Gertner (Senior Lecturer on Law, Harvard) and Michelle Anderson (Dean, CUNY School of Law). The speakers discussed the various mechanisms and challenges of civil rights enforcement and reaffirmed the need for both transparency and accountability in how civil rights complaints are approached.

The Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Global Justice and the Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights are signature lectures open to the entire Yale community. The Gruber Distinguished Lectures are sponsored by the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School, established in 2011 by philanthropists Peter and Patricia Gruber as part of the Gruber Foundation.