Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Jocelyn Samuels to Deliver Gruber Lecture on March 7

Jocelyn Samuels

Jocelyn Samuels, Vice Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will deliver the 2022 Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights.

Her talk, titled “Fighting Workplace Discrimination: Lessons Learned, Challenges Ahead,” will take place on March 7, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be held in person in Sterling Law Building Room 120 and is open to the Yale Law School community. Register for the lecture by emailing gruber.events@yale.edu.

Samuels has forged a distinguished record of public service. Before her appointment as EEOC Vice Chair by President Biden on Jan. 20, 2021, she served as a Commissioner of the EEOC and was confirmed for a second term ending in 2026. Previously, Samuels was Executive Director and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, where she focused on legal and social science research on issues related to sexual and gender minorities. 

As head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights from August 2014 through January 2017, Samuels helped bring the Affordable Care Act into effect and enforced civil rights protections vis-à-vis hospitals, health care providers, insurers, and human services agencies. Samuels spearheaded development of regulations implementing the first broad-based federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in health care, helping to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.

At the U.S. Department of Justice, she served as Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights among other roles earlier in the Obama Administration. Samuels has previously been Vice President for Education & Employment at the National Women’s Law Center, where she led efforts to enact the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and earlier in her career served as senior policy attorney in the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel and was Labor Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Samuels earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Middlebury College. She is a graduate of Columbia University Law School where she was a Note Editor for The Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.   

The Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Global Justice and the Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights feature speakers whose exceptional achievements have served the causes of global justice and women’s rights. To learn more about previous Gruber lectures, visit the program’s webpage.