Center for Policing Equity Co-founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff Statement on the Nomination of Vanita Gupta, Kristen Clarke to Senior DOJ Posts

January 08 2021

Today, Center for Policing Equity Co-founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff released  the following statement on President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Vanita Gupta as Associate  Attorney General and Kristen Clarke as the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the  U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

We offer our congratulations to Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke on their nominations as Associate  Attorney General and Associate Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of  Justice, respectively. Both are leaders who have spent their professional lives fighting for a more just and  equitable society. President-elect Biden could not have selected more formidable leaders or defenders of  civil rights for these critical roles. 

Their groundbreaking nominations signal that the incoming administration is serious about safeguarding  civil rights, advancing bold changes to our criminal legal systems, and protecting our most vulnerable  communities. The nominees will commit to reimagining public safety, deploying resources to build up  communities decimated by generations of disinvestment, particularly Black and Brown communities. 

In Vanita Gupta, the President-elect has chosen one of the most respected civil rights attorneys of her  generatioin to be the next Associate Attorney General. As Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in  the Obama administration, she partnered with the Center for Policing Equity to advance diversity in law  enforcement through the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division-Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission. Under her direction, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights fought for fair  and free elections and against mass incarceration. We applaud her as the first woman of color to hold  this esteemed position. 

Kristen Clarke has always translated her passion for justice into results, even when we first met over 25  years ago on the campus of Harvard University. For six years, she served as a trial attorney in the Civil  Rights Division — which she will now lead — handling cases involving police misconduct,  human trafficking, and voting rights. As the President & Executive Director of the National Lawyers’  Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, she has been one of the nation’s foremost leaders in securing  access to the ballot. 

Restoring the integrity of the U.S. Department of Justice is one of the most urgent tasks facing the  incoming administration. The Center for Policing Equity looks forward to working with these nominees,  and will offer the whole of our resources every step of the way.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, we use data to create levers for social, cultural and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.