Indian American lawyer Vanita Gupta to head US civil rights division

Vanita Gupta President Barack Obama has chosen Indian-American lawyer Vanita Gupta to head US justice department's civil rights division, which is charged with enforcing laws to prevent discrimination and inequitable practices in housing, education and employment.

Vanita Gupta, a top lawyer from American Civil Liberties Union, is the first South Asian to hold the post.

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Gupta to serve as the permanent assistant attorney general of civil rights in the coming months.

Gupta succeeds Molly Moran, who will become principal deputy associate attorney general.
She will take charge at the department on 20 October.

''Vanita has spent her entire career working to ensure that our nation lives up to its promise of equal justice for all,'' said attorney general Eric Holder after he announced that Gupta will serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general and acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.

"Even as she has done trailblazing work as a civil rights lawyer, Vanita is also known as a unifier and consensus builder. She has a knack for bridging differences and building coalitions to drive progress," he said.

"I am certain that Vanita will serve as a sound steward of this critical division," Holder added.

Gupta was an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Programme.

She received a BA, magna cum laude, from Yale University and JD from New York University School of Law.

Over her career, Gupta has earned a reputation for working closely and collaboratively with law enforcement, departments of corrections and across the political spectrum to advance smart policing and criminal justice reforms, according to her official profile.