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Debo Adegbile ‘80

Debo P. Adegbile, a member of Manhattan Country School’s Class of 1980 and an MCS honorary trustee. Debo is currently a partner and co-chair of the anti-discrimination practice at WilmerHale LLP. 

He served a six year post on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by President Barack Obama. In this role, he led the development of national civil rights policy and enhanced enforcement of federal civil rights laws. He was one of eight who were appointed to the commission created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Debo  is an authority on voting rights. 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.  In 2013, Debo argued his second Supreme Court case: Shelby County v. Holder. Prior to the 2020 elections, he was featured in a New York Times video "Why Voting in This U.S. Election will not be Equal" and in Stacey Abrams film  All In: The Fight for Democracy recounting the history of voter suppression.   
In 2019,  Debo successfully defended Harvard University in the affirmative action case Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Debo was also named one of the 2020 New York Trailblazers by the New York Law Journal

From 2013 to 2014, Debo 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.

Debo served on the MCS Board of Trustees for 18 years, including a stint as board chairman, and serves on New York University's Board of Trustees.
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