The Commission has several offices and units within its headquarters in Washington D.C., as well as an office for our Regional Programs Coordination Unit in Chicago. Of the national offices, two are primarily responsible for civil rights-related research and study—the Office of Civil Rights Evaluation and the Office of General Counsel.
Office of the Staff Director
This office, through the staff director, oversees all agency program activities and initiatives and the overall operation and management of the Commission including:
- disseminating policies established by the commissioners to staff,
- recommending program activities and projects for approval by the
- managing agency-wide performance and evaluating program results,
- overseeing and coordinating the completion of the agency’s substantive civil rights work, ensuring that the budget is executed in a manner consistent with established agency priorities, and
- serving as the liaison between the Commission and the Executive Office of the President, Congress, and other federal agencies.
Office of the General Counsel
The Office of the General Counsel provides the legal expertise and advice that is required to support our fact-finding and ensure the legal integrity of our written products. This office supports the lawful operation of the agency and advises agency leadership and managers on a range of legal matters. This may include analyzing proposed legislation, interpreting various laws and regulations, advising on the scope of the agency’s jurisdiction, and contractual disputes. With the assistance of the agency’s solicitor, when requested, this office represents the agency in personnel matters including litigation arising from equal employment discrimination complaints and other alleged violations. In addition, this office develops concepts for briefings and hearings on civil rights issues and generates related reports for public dissemination.
Office of Civil Rights Evaluation
The Office of Civil Rights Evaluation provides the subject matter and analytical expertise required to prepare social-scientific evaluations of civil rights issues. Consistent with agency resources, this office monitors the activities of numerous federal agencies as well as national and regional civil rights trends. Based on information gathered through monitoring and other sources this office, like the Office of General Counsel, develops concepts for and conducts civil rights studies and other projects. In addition to these functions, this office receives and refers civil rights complaints to other agencies for appropriate enforcement action.
Office of Management
The Office of Management provides administrative support to all Commission offices. Several divisions fall within this office:
- Budget and Finance Division,
- Human Resources Division, and
- Administrative Services and Clearinghouse Division.
The Office of Management supports all the agency’s strategic goals and objectives by ensuring that needed human and financial capital are available, and that logistical support is in place to support the agency’s mission.
Congressional Affairs Unit
The Congressional Affairs Unit (CAU) serves as the Commission’s liaison with Congress, responding to requests for specific information, identifying opportunities for our commissioners and others to provide testimony and information to congressional members and their staff on civil rights matters, and ensuring the distribution of our studies and reports to all members. CAU monitors the legislative activities of Congress and provides support in the conceptualization and production of studies and reports with information gathered via its monitoring activities.
Public Affairs Unit
The Public Affairs Unit (PAU) serves as the public voice of the Commission and ensures that the public knows about our activities and publications. It also coordinates and carries out such activities as briefing reporters, holding press conferences, issuing press releases, arranging press interviews and speaking engagements for commissioners and approved staff, and monitoring press activity regarding the Commission and civil rights issues. PAU deals directly with the public in responding to inquiries and by attending meetings of civil rights organizations.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Programs
This office is responsible for the overall management of our EEO complaint system. This system affords applicants for employment and employees of the Commission, who believe that they were victims of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), physical or mental disability, or reprisal in connection with EEO-related activities, with a means of review and appeal.
Regional Programs Coordination Unit
The chief of the Regional Programs Coordination Unit (RPCU) coordinates the activities of the Commission’s regional programs for State and U.S. Territory Advisory Committees. This position is responsible for coordinating, monitoring, and reporting on regional Advisory Committee activities and RPCU staff, and for communicating national office policies and priorities to RPCU staff.