Spotlight on Commerce: Jorge Ponce, Director of the Policy and Evaluation Division, Department of Commerce Office of Civil Rights
Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting members of the Department of Commerce and their contributions to an Economy Built to Last.
Guest blog post by Jorge Ponce, Director Policy and Evaluation Division, Office of Civil Rights U.S. Department of Commerce
Cuba is my birth place. My parents, my sister and I left our homeland for the United States when I was 11 years old in search of freedom. No, I did not come in a raft as I have strong allergies to shark-infested waters! While most people think that if you are Cuban, you must be from Cuban Mecca Miami, I am an anomaly to this assumption. I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and attended St. Thomas More Elementary School, Bishop O’Connell High School, and graduated from Washington-Lee High School. Subsequently, I attended George Mason University, and completed my graduate studies at Catholic University.
This year’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month is an important one in our history as we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the landing of Juan Ponce de Leon in Florida.
I consider myself to be a civil rights champion. As such, I’ve co-chaired the Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives from 2001 to 2012, and maintained its webpage. I have met with the top leadership of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management regularly to address civil rights issues in the Federal Government.