Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and its sister organization, The Leadership Education Fund, announced the selection of Vanita Gupta as the new president and CEO of both organizations. Gupta is an accomplished advocate and litigator who most recently served as head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice under President Barack Obama. She succeeds civil rights titan Wade Henderson who served as president and CEO since June of 1996. Henderson announced his retirement in November of 2015.

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) President Mike Calhoun released the following statement:

Vanita Gupta is a revered public servant with a proven track record of fighting for civil rights and economic fairness. She has worked tirelessly against discrimination in lending and housing, in favor of criminal justice reform, and in numerous other avenues for furthering the cause of equal justice under the law. As she takes the helm of The Leadership Conference, the Center for Responsible Lending is excited to work together in partnership to expand access to sustainable credit and homeownership for low-to-moderate income families and people of color; protect consumers from abusive lending practices; and advocate for bail and debt reform.

CRL would also like to thank and recognize Wade Henderson for his great work in creating a more just society. Wade is one of the premier civil rights leaders of our time who has fought to advance smart public policy and deepen our common humanity. Because of Wade’s work and Vanita’s commitment to justice, the future of the Leadership Conference will continue to be bright.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Ricardo Quinto at