Ouellette Tapped for NYSBA Diversity Task Force

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Albany Law School President and Dean Emeritus Alicia Ouellette ’94 is serving on The New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity, which will work to recommend how colleges and universities, corporations and law firms and courts and government entities can preserve diversity in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. She will be joining The Honorable Richard Rivera ’91 and The Honorable Lillian Wan ’00 who are also serving on the task force.

The task force chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp – has been divided into four working groups to address the issues impacting academia, the judiciary, law firms and corporations.

Alicia Ouellette

The group will issue a report in early August.

Ouellette is co-leading the academic working group alongside Gillian Lester, dean of Columbia Law School.

The 41-member task force includes the chairs of 15 major law firms, the chief legal officers of eight large corporations, five of New York’s distinguished judges and the current deans of Columbia and NYU law schools.

“In corporate board rooms across the nation and the admissions offices of almost every college in the country, today’s leaders are searching for ways to advance diversity in the absence of affirmative action,” said Richard Lewis, president of the New York State Bar Association said in a statement. “With college application season upon us, fellowship deadlines fast approaching, government programs in a state of flux and hiring decisions to be made, we know that there is no time to waste. That is why we have set this ambitious timeline.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 29 that decades of race-conscious policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Hon. Lillian Wan '00 and Hon. Richard Rivera '01
Hon. Lillian Wan '00 and Hon. Richard Rivera '91

Ouellette’s final day as President and Dean at Albany Law School was June 30. She plans to return as a faculty member after some time off.

The Honorable Richard Rivera ’91 and The Honorable Lillian Wan ’00 are also serving on the task force.