Throughout her career as an attorney and public servant, Irasema Garza has championed the interests of women and disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups, and has promoted their economic advancement by advocating for increased access to education and employment opportunities. On May 1, 2008, Garza was named President of Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls. She joined Legal Momentum from her most recent post as Community Outreach Director for Working America, the Community Affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Before that, Garza served as Director of the Women’s Rights Department of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
In 1999, Garza was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 14th Director of the Women’s Bureau, the only federal agency mandated by Congress to represent America’s wage-earning women in the public policy process.
From 1994 to 1999 Garza served, under the Clinton Administration, as the first Secretary of the U.S. National Administrative Office, the office charged with the implementation of the labor side agreement of NAFTA.
Garza began her legal career in Ann Arbor, Michigan as an attorney and later as a magistrate for the Friend of the Court, the domestic relations division of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
A first generation Mexican American, Garza grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She holds an undergraduate and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
To learn more about ways you can support Legal Momentum's work and increase the personal and economic security of all woman and girls, visit www.LegalMomentum.org.