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President Obama Appoints MCS Alumnus Debo P. Adegbile ’80 to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Friday, December 16, 2016

Debo P. AdegbileDebo P. Adegbile, a member of Manhattan Country School’s Class of 1980 and an MCS honorary trustee, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to a six-year post on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

In this role, Debo will lead the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. He will be one of eight who are appointed to the commission created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Debo is currently, and will remain, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, a position he has held since 2014. From 2013 to 2014, he was senior counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to that, he held a number of roles at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., including special counsel, acting president and director-counsel, associate director-counsel and director of litigation, associate director of litigation, and assistant Counsel. Prior to joining the NAACP, he was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1994 to 2001. Debo received his bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

A considerable amount of Debo’s work has focused on voter discrimination. He was part of the legal team that fought to defend Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. He successfully defended the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court in 2009 and testified before Congress in support of the Act in 2006.

Debo served on the MCS board of trustees for 18 years, including a stint as board chairman

“There couldn’t be a more qualified candidate for this position than Debo, who has been a dedicated proponent of voting rights since law school,” says Manhattan Country School Director Michèle Sola. “An MCS trustee since 1996, and current member of MCS’ Honorary Board, Debo also visits the sixth grade to speak about the role that his MCS education shaped his understanding of civil rights, equal rights, and racial justice. As we aim to tell the story of MCS through the impact of our alumni, Debo is one shining example.”