Jamaican-American Kristen Clarke Picked As Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division in Dept. of Justice

CNW Reporter

Photo via Associated Press

Kristen Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, has been nominated to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice.

Clarke, a veteran of the Department of Justice, started her career in civil rights as a career attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice where she handled cases of police misconduct, hate crimes, human trafficking, voting rights, and redistricting cases.

A statement from the Biden-Harris transition team read that “she has been a champion of systemic equity and equal justice throughout her career.”

She is currently the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She previously worked as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

“She’s the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. But don’t think this has been designed here,” President-elect Joe Biden joked, nodding to his Vice President, Kamala Harris, who is also the daughter of a Jamaican.

Clarke was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents migrated from Jamaica to the United States just a few years before she was born in 1975.

She has said that she grew up in a household that was “about discipline, working hard in school and about making the most of every opportunity.”

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 2000.

Also nominated today for the Department of Justice were: Judge Merrick Garland, nominee for Attorney General; Lisa Monaco, nominee for Deputy Attorney General and Vanita Gupta, nominee for Associate Attorney General.

The Biden-Harris administration said that “these dedicated public servants and Justice Department veterans will restore the independence and integrity of the Justice Department, renew Americans’ faith in the rule of law, and work tirelessly to build a more equitable justice system.”

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