Department of Justice

Council Member: Eric Holder, Attorney General

Council Designee: Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice

Bea Hanson is the Principal Deputy Director of the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). In her role, she serves as the liaison between the Department of Justice and federal, state, tribal, and international governments on matters involving violence against women. She is responsible for developing the Department's legal and policy positions regarding the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and overseeing an annual budget of nearly $400 million. She has served as OVW's Principal Deputy Director since May 2011.

Ms. Hanson previously served as Chief Program Officer for Safe Horizon, a crime victim service organization in New York City that serves 350,000 victims annually, where she directed a staff of 500 in 60 locations. She joined Safe Horizon (formerly Victim Services) in 1997 as the Director of Emergency Services and went on to oversee the agency's domestic violence, homeless youth, and child abuse programs before being promoted to Chief Program Officer.

Ms. Hanson earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare degree from City University in New York, a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College School of Social Work in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Council Designee: Jocelyn Samuels, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice

Jocelyn Samuels is the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Justice.  In that capacity, she is responsible for leadership of the Civil Rights Division as a whole and for fulfillment of the Division’s mission to defend civil rights and to ensure and expand equal opportunity for individuals across the country.  The Division’s work includes, among other things, enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, lending, education, employment, and public accommodations; prosecution of hate crimes on prohibited bases; efforts to ensure lawful, constitutional and effective policing; and protection of citizens’ fundamental right to vote. 

Previously, Ms. Samuels served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, overseeing the work of the Employment Litigation, Educational Opportunities, and Policy and Strategy Sections of the Division, as well as the administration and operation of the Division as a whole. 

Prior to her tenure at the Department of Justice, Ms. Samuels was the Vice President for Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw an active litigation docket and engaged in legislative and policy advocacy to promote enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and to ensure equality of opportunity in education and employment.  Her prior experience also includes work as a Labor Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, then Ranking Member and subsequently Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and as a senior policy attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Ms. Samuels has additional experience in the private sector and as a law clerk to a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Samuels received her law degree from Columbia University, where she was a Notes Editor of the Law Review, and her bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, where she graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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