Chai Feldblum is a long-time civil rights advocate and scholar. As Legislative Counsel to the ACLU AIDS Project in the late 1980s, Chai played a leading role in drafting and negotiating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. She later played the same role on the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Chai also led the drafting and negotiating of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a law professor at Georgetown Law, Chai created a Federal Legislation Clinic where she and her students helped non-profit organizations advance their legislative social justice goals. The Clinic’s clients included various disability organizations and Catholic Charities USA. Chai also founded and directed Workplace Flexibility 2010, an effort designed to bring employers and employees together on policy approaches to advance workplace flexibility.
Chai served as a Commissioner of the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 2010 to 2019 where she played a significant role in establishing the rights of LGBTQ employees under existing sex discrimination laws, enhancing the employment of people with disabilities, protecting the rights of pregnant workers, and leading a proactive effort to prevent harassment in the workplace. From 2019 to 2021, Chai was a Partner and Director of Workplace Culture Consulting at Morgan Lewis, where she helped employers create safe, respectful, diverse and inclusive workplaces. She continues to consult with Morgan Lewis on selected projects.
In 2021, Chai became a free-lance civil rights advocate. She assists with legislative and regulatory work regarding civil rights, particularly for LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities and women. She also serves as Vice Chair of the AbilityOne Commission, a federal agency devoted to the employment of people with significant disabilities.
Chai attended Barnard College and Harvard Law School and clerked for Judge Frank M. Coffin on the First Circuit Court of Appeals and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.