Vanita Gupta to Take Leave as Head of The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund

Media 01.7,21

Wade Henderson, past president and CEO, to resume role as organizations search for replacement

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – Judith L. Lichtman, board chair of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and James Rucker, board chair of The Leadership Conference Education Fund, issued the following statement on President-elect Joe Biden’s intent to nominate Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the organizations, to be Associate Attorney General:

“Vanita has been an outstanding leader of The Leadership Conference and its sister organization, The Education Fund. She has taken the helm of the nation’s largest civil and human rights coalition and its public education arm and made them a strategic nerve center for addressing real-time threats while building an affirmative vision for an America as good as its ideals. Vanita significantly expanded the organizations’ capacity to lead major national campaigns around voting rights, the 2020 Census, federal courts, justice reform and police accountability, among other priorities. While we are deeply saddened to see her go, we are thrilled that she has been asked by President-elect Biden to serve as the Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice.

“We know Vanita will bring to that position the same passion and dedication to the rule of law and civil rights that she has brought to her current role. Throughout her career, she has worked with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, has drawn support from progressives and conservatives, and is particularly known for building collaborative support and finding common ground on criminal justice reform. She is well respected within the civil rights community and with law enforcement officials alike and deserves a swift confirmation by the Senate.

“Vanita will be taking leave from the organizations. We are deeply grateful for her incredible service these last years. We are also very appreciative that Wade Henderson, former president and CEO of the organizations, will be returning to that role on an interim basis as we launch a national search for a replacement in the days ahead.”

 The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit