Selection Committee Member
Labor Commissioner, State of California
Julie A. Su is a nationally recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights who has dedicated her distinguished legal career to advancing justice on behalf of poor and disenfranchised communities. A MacArthur Foundation "Genius," Su is known for pioneering a multi-strategy approach that combines successful impact litigation with multiracial organizing, community education, policy reform, coalition building, and media work.
Prior to her appointment as Labor Commissioner for the State of California, Su served as the Litigation Director at APALC, the nation’s largest non-profit civil rights organization devoted to issues affecting the Asian American community. In her 17 years as a civil rights lawyer, Su has brought landmark lawsuits on behalf of low-wage workers in California and initiated grassroots campaigns against sweatshop abuses. Her cases have resulted in judgments and settlements of millions of dollars for workers and effected policy changes in California and the United States.
Su is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and received her law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. In 1994, she began her legal career at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) after receiving a prestigious Skadden Fellowship from the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.