Jason E. Kearns, Chair of the United States International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission), announced today that Namon C. Friends has been designated as the Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) at the USITC. Mr. Friends will manage the USITC’s EEO program and policies. He will advise the Chair, the Commission, USITC managers, and staff on all EEO issues, in addition to advising on the Commission’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program.
Mr. Friends comes to the USITC from the United States Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Workplace Inclusion where he has served as an attorney advisor since December 2012, and most recently he was Acting Director of the Office. Mr. Friends is a certified federal EEO Investigator, and he has been working in the field of EEO and civil rights law for over a decade. Prior to the FTC, he worked at the United States Office of Personal Management’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and at the Government of the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights.
Mr. Friends received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Arizona. He is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Born in New Jersey, Mr. Friends and his wife have two children, ages four and ten. He is a volunteer board member of University Legal Services, the protection and advocacy organization for people with disabilities in Washington, D.C.
The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that investigates and makes determinations in proceedings involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry, violations of U.S. intellectual property rights, or other unfair methods of competition in connection with imported goods; provides independent analysis and information on tariffs, trade, and competitiveness to the President and the Congress; and maintains the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.