Biden’s pick of Catherine Lhamon as civil rights head could mean a return to Obama-era policies

Higher Ed Dive

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
May 13, 2021
Dive Brief:
  • President Joe Biden will nominate attorney Catherine Lhamon to lead the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, a post she held with the Obama administration.
  • The office dictates federal policy concerning sexual misconduct and LGBTQ and racial discrimination in education. Lhamon is well-known for guiding the Obama administration’s approach to campus sexual assault.
  • Biden has promised to undo the Trump-era regulation on Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination on college campuses. Picking Lhamon signals a possible return to the strategy on sexual violence that Biden also helped shape as vice president.
Dive Insight:
Lhamon did not work at OCR when the Obama administration in 2011 issued guidance on how colleges should investigate and punish sexual assaults. However, she was instrumental in interpreting and enforcing it.