On August 3, 2020, Patricia Nation joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties supports the Department as it secures the Nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Nation was Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). While at DOJ she served on the AbilityOne Commission, which strives to reduce the unacceptably high percentage of Americans with disabilities who do not have jobs. She also served as a delegate to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Presidential Initiative.
Before her time with DOJ Ms. Nation, per appointment by the Governor of Arkansas, served as Deputy Counsel in the Office of Civil Rights and Employee Relations at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. She also served on the Specialty Court Program Advisory Committee which was established to reduce jail recidivism in the Arkansas prison population, implement wide-ranging reforms to the criminal justice system, promote collaboration and provide recommendations to the Governor on issues involving adult and juvenile specialty courts.
Ms. Nation served as a civil rights trial and appellate advocate in the private sector for more than 20 years, where she changed the way Arkansas state prisons administered antipsychotic drugs to mentally challenged inmates. Her practice focused on employment discrimination; Americans with Disabilities Act, gender, and race-based discrimination; prison litigation; criminal defense; and juvenile proceedings. She also represented Arkansas workers with discrimination claims before the Arkansas Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ms. Nation is a graduate of the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where she earned both her bachelor’s and law degrees.