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Vanita Gupta

Associate Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice

PAVE leadership 1


Vanita Gupta is the 19th United States Associate Attorney General. She serves as the third-ranking official at the Department of Justice. As Associate Attorney General, Ms. Gupta supervises multiple litigating divisions within DOJ, including the Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Antitrust Division, Tax Division, and Environmental and Natural Resources Division.

Ms. Gupta also oversees the grantmaking components of the Department, including the Office of Justice Programs, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; and supervises the Office of Information Policy, the Community Relations Service, the Executive Office for United States Trustees, and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

Associate Attorney General Gupta previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s oldest and largest coalition of non-partisan civil rights organizations in the United States.

Before serving in that capacity, from October 15, 2014, to January 20, 2017, Associate Attorney General Gupta served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Appointed by President Barack Obama as the chief civil rights prosecutor for the United States, Associate Attorney General Gupta advanced a wide range of civil rights enforcement matters.

Before her tenure leading the Civil Rights Division, Associate Attorney General Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In addition to managing litigation, Associate Attorney General Gupta created and led the ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign to promote bipartisan justice reform while keeping communities safe. She began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.

Associate Attorney General Gupta graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received her law degree from NYU School of Law, where she later taught a civil rights litigation clinic for several years.

Leadership Positions

  • Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Former President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Acting Assistant Attorney General and Head of DOJ Civil Rights Division (2014-2017)
  • Former Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Center for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Former Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund