Stuart J. Ishimaru, who joined the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2003, will resign this month. He was the EEOC’s acting chairman during the first 15 months of the Obama administration, from Jan. 20, 2009, until April 7, 2010. His second term expires July 1.
As a commissioner, he moved “to reinvigorate the agency's emphasis on race discrimination issues,” according to a commission statement. As acting chairman, Ishimaru “worked to rebuild the EEOC, which had become under-funded and under-staffed,” the statement said. “He dedicated substantial agency resources to a multi-million dollar training effort — the largest the agency had conducted in at least a decade.”
EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien called him “a tremendous colleague” whose “accomplishments as a member of the Commission and Acting Chairman have been exceptional.”
“We will miss his fervent commitment to civil rights law enforcement,” she added.
Gabrielle Martin, president of the National Council of EEOC Locals, which is part of the American Federation of Government Employees, also praised Ishimaru.
“In my view he was a really good commissioner,” she said in an interview. Ishimaru was “almost fearless,” she added, in engaging in “public dialogue with people who had opposing views” to reach a beneficial conclusion.
Ishimaru was not available for comment.