The sister of Pomona College’s Dean of Students could make history by joining the ranks of the Obama administration.
President Barack Obama nominated Chai Feldblum to a position on the five-person Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that fields complaints of employment discrimination. The nomination was announced Sep. 14.
Feldblum, a Georgetown Law professor and sister of Vice President and Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum, is an active gay rights advocate and will be the first openly gay commissioner if confirmed.
Feldblum cannot speak with the press while she is still a nominee.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Pomona Politics professor Michael Teter, on hearing about Feldblum’s nomination. “Chai is a fabulous legislative lawyer. She’s very analytic and pays important attention to the text.”
Feldblum founded the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown, where Teter was a fellow last year. The goal of the clinic is to teach law students how to write legislation.
“I’m so happy for her as a person, and what it means for civil rights in the workplace to have someone who truly understands the law and is intricately involved in writing legislation,” said Dean Feldblum. “Our whole upbringing has been about a commitment to social justice and affecting change in the world.”
Feldblum, whose nomination will be put to a Senate vote later this fall, was the co-director of Workplace Flexibility 2010, a Georgetown worker’s rights campaign. She also helped write the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, worked as law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and is a disability rights activist.
Feldblum, who has spoken at the Claremont Colleges twice, is a graduate of Barnard College and Harvard Law School.