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Who We Are/Chandra Bhatnagar

Chandra Bhatnagar

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights
avc for civil rights chandra bhatnagar
We are living through challenging and unprecedented times; simultaneously confronting a global pandemic, pernicious and unrelenting structural forms of discrimination and anti-Black racism, and an economic crisis. In this historic moment, we need to work together to remove barriers to equality and to be intentional in ensuring that we advance opportunity for all.

In January 2021, Chandra S. Bhatnagar began serving as UCLA’s inaugural assistant vice chancellor for civil rights within the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. In this capacity, Bhatnagar oversees the newly created Civil Rights Office which serves UCLA’s campus and the UCLA Health System. Bhatnagar also serves as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Affirmative Action Officer, ensuring that UCLA remains in compliance with all federal and state affirmative action, equal opportunity and nondiscrimination laws as well as University policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment. The Civil Rights Office was created to coordinate all civil rights investigations involving academic personnel, faculty and staff and unify the campus’s existing investigatory capacities led by the Title IX Office, the Discrimination Prevention Office, and the Staff Diversity & Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) Compliance Office. The Civil Rights Office will also strengthen UCLA’s ability to combat discrimination and harassment and support EDI’s broader strategic priorities of advancing opportunity for all members of the UCLA community. Bhatnagar formerly served as UCLA’s director of staff diversity and AA/EEO. In that role, Bhatnagar was responsible for overseeing investigations of discrimination and harassment complaints involving staff in the university and the UCLA Health System, and the development and implementation of UCLA’s staff affirmative action plan, programs to ensure equal employment opportunity for staff and educational efforts to advance staff diversity and inclusion throughout the university and the UCLA Health System. Prior to joining UCLA in November 2017, Bhatnagar was the senior attorney advisor to Commissioner Jenny R. Yang of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). From 2015 to 2017, Bhatnagar served as senior attorney advisor to Commissioner Yang when she was Chair of the EEOC. Bhatnagar advised on a range of legal and policy matters including complex employment relationships, immigrant migrant and other vulnerable workers, LGBT discrimination, advancing diversity in law enforcement, labor trafficking and strategic communications. Bhatnagar previously served as a senior staff attorney in the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he spent a decade leading the program’s litigation and strategic policy advocacy on racial justice and immigrants’ rights issues and litigated human rights cases in domestic and international contexts. From 2002-2004, Bhatnagar was a staff attorney and Skadden Fellow with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he directed the South Asian Workers’ Project for Human Rights, a community-based project providing legal services to low-wage workers from South Asia. Bhatnagar holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LL.M. with a focus in international human rights law from Columbia Law School.

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