Vanita Gupta

Vanita Gupta
Vanita Gupta
Associate Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
Vanita Gupta is an experienced leader and litigator who has devoted her entire career to civil rights work. Most recently, from October 15, 2014, to January 20, 2017, she served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Appointed by President Barack Obama as the chief civil rights prosecutor for the United States, Gupta oversaw a wide range of criminal and civil enforcement efforts to ensure equal justice and protect equal opportunity for all during one of the most consequential periods for the division.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She joined the ACLU in 2006 as a staff attorney, where she subsequently secured a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children from around the world detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that ultimately led to the end of “family detention” at the facility. In addition to managing a robust litigation docket at the ACLU, Gupta created and led the organization’s Smart Justice Campaign aimed at ending mass incarceration while keeping communities safe.

Gupta began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, where she successfully led the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas, who were ultimately pardoned by Governor Rick Perry. She then helped negotiate a $6 million settlement on behalf of her clients.

Gupta graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where later she taught a civil rights litigation clinic for several years.
She is married to Chinh Q. Le, legal director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, and has two young sons.

Speaking in:

Wednesday
July 14
12:00 pm12:45 pm
Join Stephanie Martz, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for the National Retail Federation and Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General at the US Department of Justice as they discuss the DOJ’s priorities as well as Vanita’s vision as a leader and manager.