Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will serve on the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s national board of directors, the organization announced Thursday.
The Columbia Law School graduate has returned to corporate law since leaving his post as the first African-American head of the U.S. Justice Department. He now serves as partner for the Covington and Burling law firm in Washington, D.C., where he previously worked. The new role is a homecoming of sorts for Holder, who worked as a summer intern for LDF in 1974 following his first year at the prestigious law school.
“I’m honored to join the board of this extraordinary organization. It’s been a long journey since I began as an intern at LDF more than 40 years ago,” Holder said. “But LDF has remained constant in its excellence, its leadership and its commitment to the principle of equal justice under law.”
LDF officials warmly welcomed the newest addition to the board and praised Holder’s work as Attorney General.
“I have been unequivocal in my admiration for Mr. Holder’s leadership,” President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said in a news release. “He presided over the restoration of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, launched the groundbreaking criminal justice reforms of President Obama, and confronted the challenges in Ferguson, Missouri with tremendous sensitivity during a volatile time in our nation.”
“We could not be more pleased that Mr. Holder has decided to join our board. His leadership and commitment to civil rights are unparalleled,” said Gerald Adolph, LDF co-chair and Principal with PwC’s Strategy&.
Holder was officially nominated by President Obama in January 2009 and easily approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a bipartisan vote of 17 to 2. He served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from February 3, 2009, until his resignation in 2015. His rocky six-year tenure was marked by groundbreaking advancements for civil rights and intense battles with Congress over the ATF gun walking probe and his handling of terrorism suspects.
He was last year’s recipient of the LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, the defense fund’s highest honor. The nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1940. It was the first civil and human rights law organization in the country.