Russlyn H. Ali has stepped down from her post as assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position on May 1, 2009.
During her tenure, the Office for Civil Rights focused more on complaints of discrimination than had been the case in the Bush administration. Her office also issued new guidance for how colleges and universities should respond to incidents of sexual assault.
Prior to joining the Department of Education in 2009, Ali served as vice president of the Education Trust and as founding director of Education Trust-West. She has also taught at the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of California at Davis.
Ali attended Spelman College in Atlanta but transferred to American University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society. She is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law.