The Division’s Diversity Committee vigorously promotes diversity and inclusion initiatives. From supporting the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series to participating in legal recruiting events across the nation, the Diversity Committee serves as a leader in both the Division and the Department.
Division attorneys, paralegals, economists, and support staff from a variety of sections and offices collaborate to address issues and promote initiatives stemming from five subcommittees: Outreach, Training, Support Staff, Management Culture and Retention, and Disability. The Diversity Committee is currently chaired by Michelle Rindone (Counsel to the Director of Criminal Enforcement, Office of Operations) and Molly Kelley (Trial Attorney, Chicago Office). Past co-chairs of the Diversity Committee include Peter Mucchetti (Chief, Litigation I Section) and Maribeth Petrizzi (Chief, Litigation II Section).
This past year, the Diversity Committee continued its support for diversity and inclusion training for all employees, particularly managers, on topics such as lowering attitudinal barriers to hiring and promoting qualified persons with disabilities, as well as raising awareness about micro-inequities and implicit bias. The Diversity Committee also sponsored numerous events, such as the Third Annual Year End Diversity Committee Celebration, to highlight the important diversity and inclusion work of Division employees and the Diversity Committee.
Maribeth Petrizzi interviews the Honorable Richard Bernstein during the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series (November 9, 2016)
The Diversity Committee continued its strong outreach and recruiting efforts to increase and enhance the Division’s ability to attract applicants from diverse and under-represented groups. To do so, the Diversity Committee participated in over 70 legal recruiting events in fiscal year 2016, as well as strengthened relationships with law schools, student affinity groups, career counselors and professors.
Diversity Committee members have been recognized for their valuable contributions. On June 9, 2016, the Division presented the first “Diversity Champion Award” to Fred Parmenter (Trial Attorney, Litigation II). Fred was recognized for his significant contribution toward fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, particularly for persons with disabilities. In addition to chairing the Diversity Committee’s Disability Subcommittee for many years, Fred serves as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities.
In addition, on November 10, 2016, Maribeth Petrizzi, Melanie Krebs-Pilotti (International Counsel, Foreign Commerce Section) and Jade Eaton (Trial Attorney, Transportation, Energy and Agriculture Section) were presented with the Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity, the Department’s highest award for performance in support of the Equal Employment Opportunity program. Maribeth, Melanie, and Jade (each a current or past member of the Division’s Diversity Committee) were commended for their participation on the Diversity and Inclusion Dialogue Program project team. The project brings together small groups of employees from components across the Department to explore a wide range of diversity topics and to foster a more inclusive work environment. Since 2014, almost 50 Division employees have participated.
Find more information about the Division’s Diversity Committee on our Diversity page.