Anurima Bhargava served as the Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She led the Division’s efforts to provide equal educational opportunities for all students by enforcing federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, language status, religion and disability in schools and institutions of higher education. Through litigation, guidance and policy, the Division addresses a broad range of issues, including school segregation; school discipline and the school to prison pipeline; harassment and bullying; sexual assault; and protecting educational access and services for English Learner, LGBT and undocumented students. She has served on numerous task forces and working groups, including the White House Task Force to Prevent Campus Sexual Assault and the Supportive School Discipline Initiative.
Prior to joining the DOJ in 2010, Bhargava served as the Director of the Education Practice at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where she was actively engaged in litigation and advocacy to expand educational access and opportunities for students of color. She previously worked at the New York City Department of Education and clerked in the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, she served as an investment banking analyst, assisted women elected to local government in India, and field directed a Congressional campaign.
Bhargava earned her law degree from Columbia Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a Truman National Security Fellow; produced and regularly consults on films; and has both chaired and served on numerous boards. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.