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Obama nominates Debo Adegbile ’91 for top civil rights position

Debo Adegbile '91, senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, was hailed as an
Debo Adegbile '91, senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, was hailed as an "outstanding individual" by President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama has nominated Connecticut College Trustee Debo Adegbile ’91 for the U.S. Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Adegbile currently serves as senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and previously held several positions at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, including as acting president and director-counsel.

In a statement, President Obama called Adegbile an “outstanding individual.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded the nomination, saying in a statement that Adegbile would “bring a wealth of experience and good judgment to this important office.”

Most of Adegbile’s legal work has focused on voter discrimination. Earlier this year, he was part of a legal team that fought to defend Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which required parts of the country to have proposed voting laws cleared by the federal government or federal court. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately struck down the provision. He successfully defended the Voting Rights Act in 2009, and testified before Congress in support of the Act in 2006.

Adegbile majored in government at Connecticut College, played on the men’s soccer team and was a recipient of the Anna Lord Strauss Medal for community service work. He received a law degree from New York University School of Law in 1994.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504,

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