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Obama names first Asian-American EEOC chair

WASHINGTON — Jenny R. Yang has been named as the new chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, becoming the first Asian-American to lead that agency.

President Obama announced her elevation from vice chair on Tuesday. Yang has served as vice chair since April.

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Yang is a longtime civil rights and employment lawyer. She was a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and was a senior trial attorney with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section from 1998 to 2003.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Yang said it was a ‘‘tremendous privilege and responsibility’’ to lead EEOC’s efforts at enforcing anti-discrimination laws and championing equal employment opportunity in workplaces across America.

Her term on the EEOC expires on July 1, 2017.

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