Chief Counsel, Demand Justice
Chris is Chief Counsel of Demand Justice, a new advocacy organization empowering citizens to organize around our nation’s courts and fighting for progressive change because the rights described in our Constitution are only made real through the power of citizen activism. He has been an ACS Board member since 2016.
Chris served in the Obama White House for nearly seven years—as Deputy Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President; Senior Counsel to the President; and Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.
He oversaw the selection, vetting, and confirmation of more than 220 of the president’s judicial nominees—who set records for the most people of color, women, and openly gay and lesbian judges appointed by a president.
From 2014 to 2015, Chris also was in charge of advising President Obama on commutations and pardons, working with the Department of Justice to establish a new initiative that would lead to commutations for more than 1,700 federal prisoners serving unjust and disproportionate sentences for non-violent crimes (compared to fewer than 200 commutations in the preceding 40 years).
In the Office of Legislative Affairs, as an advocate for the administration before Congress, Chris helped spearhead the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.
Chris also served as National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and worked for U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin, of Illinois, as Director of Floor Operations, Judiciary Committee Counsel, and Counsel for labor issues.
The National Law Journal named Chris one of the top 40 minority lawyers in the nation under the age of 40 in 2011, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association gave him its President’s Award in 2012.