Ramón Surís Fernández, Esq.
Director for the Civil Rights Center
U.S. Department of Labor
Ramón Surís Fernández was sworn in on April 28,
2008 as the Director for the Civil Rights Center, Department of Labor. He is
responsible for administering the Department of Labor's Internal (Title VII)
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) programs and ensuring Equal Opportunity (EO)
in the Department's financially assisted and conducted (Title VI) programs.
Prior to joining the Department of Labor team, Mr. Surís
Fernández was a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) serving as
the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Equal Employment and Civil Rights at the
Department of the Army. In this leadership position he was responsible for
policy, guidance, direction and oversight of all plans and programs affecting
equal employment opportunity for approximately 254,000 Army civilian employees.
In addition to directing EEO, he had responsibility for addressing
accessibility issues that affect the Army workplace and public use of Army
Mr. Surís-Fernándezs leadership in civil rights
includes serving as the Director of Diversity, EO Strategic Planning and
Programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a
member of NASA's cadre of Senior Executive Service leaders, Mr.
Surís-Fernández was responsible for managing, directing, and
coordinating agency-wide all matters pertaining to diversity strategic planning
and implementation, technical assistance and voluntary compliance regarding
NASA's assisted and conducted programs, as well as equal opportunity programs
advocacy and training.
Before joining NASA, Mr. Surís-Fernández served as
Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (OEOCR), Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). At the OEOCR, he served as the
principal advisor to the CMS Administrator on all EEO and civil rights matters.
As such, he was completely responsible for agency-wide implementation of those
Mr. Surís-Fernández was born and raised in San Juan,
Puerto Rico. He received his BA degree with a double major in economics and
management, and his Juris Doctor degree from the Interamerican University of
Puerto Rico. He completed postgraduate legal studies at Georgetown University
Law Center, Washington, D.C., where he received a Masters in Labor Law (LLM).
Upon receiving his LLM, Mr. Surís-Fernández served at the
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as an attorney specializing in EEO,
Personnel, Employment and Labor Relations. In addition to his legal counseling
responsibilities, Mr. Surís-Fernández represented the agency
before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems
Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, as well as in
numerous arbitration hearings stemming from the collective bargaining agreement
with the employees' union. Also, he assisted the Department of Justice
attorneys handling NRC EEO cases in Federal court.
Mr. Surís-Fernández is an enthusiastic cyclist and
frequently takes his four kids on long bike rides, favoring the Mount Vernon
trail along the Potomac river in Virginia.