Vanita Gupta, 41
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Hometown: Arlington, VA
How did you get here?
I’ve been a public interest and civil rights lawyer my whole career, first at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and then at the American Civil Liberties Union. I joined the Department of Justice and have been honored to serve as head of the Civil Rights Division since October of 2014.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?
My grandmother didn't graduate from college but was one of the smartest women I know - fiercely independent, and a strong advocate for the education of her daughters and granddaughters."
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment during the Obama administration?
Ensuring that the Civil Rights Division is deeply engaged in the most important civil rights issues of our time: policing and other criminal justice reforms, voting rights, LGBTI rights, fair housing and fair lending, and disability rights.
Can you describe your time working for the Obama administration in 10 words?
Transformative, adrenaline-filled, fast-paced, impactful, rewarding, gratifying, inspiring, energizing, fascinating, and deeply-meaningful
Complete the sentence: "When I'm not working, I..."
When I’m not working I’m hanging out with my four-year old and seven-year old sons and my husband, cherishing every moment I have with them.