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Matthew Colangelo

Distinguished Lecturer from Government

A.B., J.D., Harvard

Matthew Colangelo is a Distinguished Lecturer from Government and will be teaching a seminar on race and voting rights in the Fall 2017 semester.Professor Colangelo...

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Matthew Colangelo is a Distinguished Lecturer from Government and will be teaching a seminar on race and voting rights in the Fall 2017 semester.

Professor Colangelo spent seven years in the Obama Administration in senior roles related to civil rights and labor policy. From 2016 to January 2017 he served as Deputy Assistant to the President for economic policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council at the White House; from 2013 to 2016 he was Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor under then-Secretary Tom Perez; and from 2010 to 2013 he was counsel and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was primarily responsible for managing the Department’s litigation involving voting rights and nondiscrimination in federally funded programs. Among his significant matters at the Department of Justice, Professor Colangelo personally argued Texas v. Holder, involving the 2011 Texas voter ID law; and South Carolina v. United States, involving the 2011 South Carolina voter ID law.

Before joining the federal government, Professor Colangelo was Director of the Economic Justice Group at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. In that capacity, Professor Colangelo managed LDF’s litigation and advocacy in the areas of employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and environmental justice. Among the matters he litigated at LDF are Lewis v. Chicago (an employment discrimination case on behalf of a class of 6,000 applicants to become Chicago firefighters); Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center v. HUD (alleging discrimination in an $11 billion post-Katrina housing redevelopment program); and Holt v. City of Dickson (involving intentional race discrimination claims on behalf of an African American family whose well water was contaminated by an adjacent landfill). He originally joined LDF as a Skadden Fellow in 2003.

Professor Colangelo graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review and received the Gary Bellow Award for Public Service. He was a law clerk for then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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