- The Indian American who most recently served as the legal director for the Sikh Coalition, worked as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago for more than 11 years.
Amrith Kaur Aakre has been named director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Chicago District, the federal agency announced today. The Indian American who most recently served as the legal director for the Sikh Coalition, began her new role on Jan. 29. The EEOC’s Chicago District is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with area offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
As the legal director for the Sikh Coalition, she coordinated legal and policy initiatives to protect the civil rights of all Americans, create community empowerment, and continue efforts to engage communities for positive opportunities. Under her leadership, the Sikh Coalition drafted significant amicus briefs, including one cited by the Supreme Court in its most recent religious accommodation case, Groff v. DeJoy. She also previously served as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago for more than 11 years, during which time she directed efforts to expand access to restorative justice and rehabilitative courts.
In a statement, Akare said is looking forward “to working together with the dedicated members of the Chicago District to create impactful change and combat unlawful employment discrimination across our region.”
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Illinois and the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of Chicago, and the leadership committee for the American Bar Association’s Religious Liberty Section. She is the 2022 recipient of SABA North America’s Public Interest Achievement Award, the 2023 and 2021 recipient of SABA Chicago’s Public Interest Lawyer Award, and the 2017 recipient of the Asian American Coalition of Chicago’s Community Service Award. She also has served as an Emerging Leaders Fellow for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
She earned dual bachelor’s degrees in applied science and technology engineering and English literature from George Washington University, and her juris doctor from The University of Illinois at Chicago Law School.
Top photo: Amrith Kaur Aakre, second from left, poses during her swearing-in ceremony as the director of the EEOC’s Chicago District on Jan. 29, with Thomas Colclough, director of field management programs, and her parents Rajinder and Navinder Mago. Aakre took her oath on the Guru Granth Sahib. (EEOC photo).