Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) member Stuart Ishimaru has announced that he is resigning from the Commission this month, two months shy of when his second term is set to expire. Ishimaru was appointed to the EEOC in 2003 by former President Bush. From January 20, 2009 until April 7, 2010, Ishimaru served as the Commission’s acting chair. Commissioner Jacqueline Berrien currently holds the chairmanship position.
For the past 30 years, Ishimaru has held a number of jobs in the civil rights field, including working as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1999-2001), as counsel to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (1994-99), as acting staff director for U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1993-94), as professional staff to the Committee on Armed Services (1991-93) for the U.S. House of Representatives, as assistant counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary (1984-91), as a graduate course instructor in Equal Employment Opportunity at American University, and as assistant to the director at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (1982-83).
According to the EEOC news release announcing his resignation, Ishimaru
was the first Administration official to testify before Congress in support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He also testified before the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (an Act to reinvigorate and bolster the protections against gender-based wage discrimination provided by the Equal Pay Act of 1963).
Why Ishimaru is stepping down prior to his July 1, 2012 end date has not been explained. In addition to Chair Berrien (D), the remaining members of the EEOC are Constance S. Barker (R), Chai Feldblum (D), and Victoria A. Lipnic (R).
Photo credit: EEOC