2015 Sunday Evening Banquet
Our 2015 National Gathering concluded Sunday evening with a banquet featuring a keynote address by Roy L. Austin, Jr., who encouraged the work of advocacy which EAD advocates and other faith-based groups are engaged in, and especially noted their importance as part of the process of enacting better law enforcement procedures and increasing accountability in the wake of recent civil rights violations.
Roy L. Austin, Jr. is a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity, a position he has held since March 2014. In this position, Austin coordinates the formulation and implementation of policy covering criminal justice, civil rights, housing, labor, human services and initiatives such as Promise Zones. Austin is also a member of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.
Austin began his career as an Honors Trial Attorney with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division investigating and prosecuting hate crime and police brutality cases around the country. After approximately five years, he joined Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco, as an associate working on complex civil and white-collar criminal cases, including a successful pro-bono civil lawsuit aimed at preventing racial profiling by the California Highway Patrol. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted domestic violence, adult and child sexual assault, human trafficking, homicide and fraud and public corruption cases. He left in 2007 to become a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery working primarily on white collar criminal cases. In 2009, Austin returned to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office as a Senior Assistant United States Attorney and Coordinator of the D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force.
In January 2010, Austin was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG), Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice. As a DAAG, Austin supervised the Criminal Section, and the Special Litigation Section’s law enforcement (police departments, corrections and juvenile justice) portfolio. In addition, he supervised work under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act (RLUIPA) and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Among numerous other matters, Austin worked on cases involving the New Orleans Police Department, Missoula (MT) law enforcement and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Over his career, Austin has tried thirty jury trials to verdict. He served as an adjunct trial advocacy professor at George Washington University Law School from 2007 – 2013. Austin received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from The University of Chicago and he grew up in State College, Pennsylvania.