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Georgina C. Verdugo Appointed as Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed Georgina C. Verdugo as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the Department’s civil rights and health privacy rights law enforcement agency, OCR investigates complaints filed by the public and provides technical assistance and public education to ensure understanding of and compliance with Federal nondiscrimination and health information privacy laws.

Ms. Verdugo’s extensive experience includes leading the Washington, D.C. office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the nation’s preeminent Latino civil rights organizations; serving in President Clinton’s Administration as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where she directed and supervised the legislative agenda for the Division of Civil Rights and other Department Divisions; working as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California; and serving as Executive Director of Americans for a Fair Chance, a collaborative civil rights project.

From 2002 to 2003, Ms. Verdugo was Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego, California, where she prosecuted border crime cases and advised on civil rights matters, and from 2004 to 2008 she was Associate Counsel for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she provided legal and policy advice, and advised the District on civil rights, First Amendment, and other issues affecting the students and the school district. Just prior to joining OCR, Ms. Verdugo was a Partner in private practice in Los Angeles representing public entities.
Ms. Verdugo received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of San Francisco. She also received a Master of Laws degree from the University of London (King’s College/London School of Economics), and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School, Harvard University.

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