Paul M. Igasaki Becomes Section Chair
Paul M. Igasaki, Executive Director of the Rights Working Group in Washington, D.C., succeeded Stephen F. Hanlon as Section Chair at the 2005 ABA Annual Meeting. "It is my honor to succeed Steve Hanlon, and a distinguished list of exceptional leaders, as Chair of the ABA’s Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities. I am equally proud to be the first Asian Pacific American to Chair our Section, and one of only a few that has held ABA leadership positions. I look forward to working with our Council and committees.”
Paul was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Rights Working Group, a coalition of civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, and immigrant rights advocates who seek to develop a coordinated response to policies and attitudes leading to the deterioration of civil and human rights in the aftermath of 9/11. Previously, Paul served as Vice Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1994-2002, the first Asian Pacific American to serve in that position.
In the upcoming year, Paul has made diversity within the Section’s membership one of his main goals. “It is one of my top priorities to strengthen and institutionalize our diversity efforts this year. The Individual Rights Section is rooted in the civil rights movement. For us, increasing diversity should not be solely for its own sake, as valuable as that is, but to enable our Section to speak for us all.”
"Our rights are never stronger than they are for the weakest and most unpopular among us at any point in time. The rule of law and the role of lawyers in protecting those laws has never been more important."
Other 2005-2006 officers elected at the Section’s Annual Meeting include Robert E. Stein, Washington, D.C. (Chair-elect); Robyn S. Shapiro, Milwaukee, Wis. (Vice Chair); Neal R. Sonnett, Miami, Fla. (Secretary); Roy A. Hammer, Boston, Mass. (Finance Officer); C. Elisia Frazier, Memphis, Tenn. (Section Delegate). John D. Payton of Washington, D.C. and Steven T. Walther of Reno, Nev. were re-elected to three-year terms on the Council. William M. Kanecko of Honolulu, Hawaii was elected to a three-year Council term. Kay H. Hodge of Boston, Mass. and Patrick McGlone Washington, D.C. were both elected to one-year unexpired terms.