This year’s Kaufman Dinner, being held on April 12 at the Harvard Faculty Club, will feature a keynote speech by HLS alum Matthew Colangelo ’02, currently the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.


Matthew Colangelo is Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, Mr. Colangelo is responsible for oversight of the Division’s work in the areas of voting rights, immigration-related civil rights issues, and federal compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Colangelo was Director of the Economic Justice Group at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. In that capacity, Mr. Colangelo managed LDF’s litigation and advocacy in the areas of employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and environmental justice. Among the matters he litigated at LDF are Lewis v. Chicago (an employment discrimination case on behalf of a class of 6,000 applicants to become Chicago firefighters); Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center v. HUD (alleging discrimination in an $11 billion post-Katrina housing redevelopment program); and Holt v. City of Dickson (involving intentional race discrimination claims on behalf of an African American family whose well water was contaminated by an adjacent landfill). He originally joined LDF as a Skadden Fellow in 2003.

Mr. Colangelo graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review and received the Gary Bellow Award for public service. He was a law clerk for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Before law school Matthew worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Boston, and as a legislative and human rights researcher at the Institute for Democracy in Cape Town, South Africa.