Director, DC Office of Human Rights
Mónica Palacio has served as the Director of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) - the District’s civil rights enforcement agency - since March 2014. She moved to the District in 1990 to attend law school and has worked both locally, national and internationally to tackle issues of racial inequity, violence prevention, immigrant integration and civil rights. Mónica is proud to serve under the leadership of Mayor Muriel Bowser and is deeply committed to people of the District of Columbia. She holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Fordham University.
She brings extensive experience advocating in partnership with under-represented and disenfranchised communities through issue-based coalitions, government and community partnerships, and social justice organizations at the local and national level. She served as a senior consultant at the Management Assistance Group, Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the National Crime Prevention Council, and Associate Director of Latino Leadership Programs with the National Coalition Building Institute.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Palacio served as the Director of the District’s Language Access Program, which is also housed at the Office of Human Rights. Her mandate was to ensure all District agencies operate in compliance with the 2004 Language Access Act. During her two year tenure as director, Mónica led agencies to improve overall compliance by implementing new assessment methodologies, supporting the creation of language access teams at over 30 agencies and building capacity at agencies through dynamic and culturally competent training to over 3000 front-line customer representative and agency managers.