Joy Cherian: The First Indian American Commissioner at the EEOC

Joy Cherian: Champion of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity

In the annals of American history, certain names stand out as beacons of progress and change. Dr. Joy Cherian is one such luminary, whose journey from Kerala, India, to becoming the inaugural Asian American Commissioner at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is nothing short of extraordinary.

From Kerala to Capitol Hill: A Journey of Diligence and Excellence

Born on May 18, 1942, in the picturesque state of Kerala, India, Joy Cherian exhibited a penchant for excellence from a young age. His academic prowess shone through as he completed his matriculation studies at Sacred Heart High School, Thevara.

Fuelled by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, he pursued higher education at the University of Kerala, earning his Bachelor of Arts in 1963, followed by a Bachelor of Law in 1965.

Undeterred by geographical boundaries, Joy Cherian’s quest for knowledge led him across continents to the United States. He furthered his academic journey at the Catholic University of America, where he attained a Master of Arts in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1974, before obtaining a Master of Comparative Law from George Washington University in 1978.

Trailblazing Achievements and Unwavering Commitment of Joy Cherian

Cherian’s ascent to prominence was marked by his unwavering commitment to excellence and service. His scholarly contributions, including his seminal work “Investment Contracts and Arbitration,” have cemented his legacy as a leading authority in legal academia. Moreover, his second book, “Our Relay Race,” serves as a testament to his dedication to public and community service.

Beyond academia, Joy Cherian’s impact reverberated through his active involvement in professional organizations. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the formation of key committees within the American Bar Association (ABA), leveraging his expertise to advance international insurance and employment law.

Championing Diversity and Inclusion

Cherian’s appointment as Commissioner at the EEOC in 1987 marked a watershed moment in American history. Breaking barriers as the first Asian American and Indian American to hold this esteemed position, he paved the way for greater diversity and inclusion in the highest echelons of government.

Throughout his tenure, Cherian remained steadfast in his commitment to upholding the principles of equality and fairness in the workplace. His leadership catalyzed pivotal advancements in civil rights enforcement, ensuring that individuals of all backgrounds were afforded equal opportunities and protections under the law.

Legacy of Leadership and Service

Beyond his tenure at the EEOC, Cherian’s impact continued to reverberate through his entrepreneurial ventures and advocacy efforts. As the founder and President of J. Cherian Consultants, Inc. (JCC), he provided invaluable guidance to organizations seeking to navigate complex legal and regulatory landscapes.

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