Colleen Melody

Part-time Lecturer - Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Colleen Melody Headshot

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Colleen Melody is a lecturer who teaches GWSS 310, Women and the Law.

Colleen serves as Chief of the Civil Rights Division in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. The Civil Rights Division enforces federal and state laws protecting the rights of Washingtonians, with an emphasis on civil rights, anti-discrimination, and consumer protection work.

Colleen manages a team of attorneys, investigators, and staff on enforcement matters touching on many areas of social justice. Most recently, Colleen co-led a multi-state lawsuit to protect reproductive choice in the face of nationwide threats to the availability of abortion medication. Colleen also co-led Washington State’s challenges to the Trump Administration’s Muslim Travel Ban, Transgender Military Service Ban, and attempt to repeal DACA. The Civil Rights Division has successfully challenged unlawful labor practices at the Northwest ICE Processing Center and in industries ranging from aerospace to agriculture

Colleen and her colleagues protect the rights of Washingtonians to live and participate in our communities without discrimination on the bases of protected characteristics including: race, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, disability, or use of a service animal by a person with a disability. The Civil Rights Division challenges unconstitutional police practices in Washington cities and sues to block discrimination by nationwide companies like Motel 6, Greyhound, and Facebook.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Colleen served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Following law school, she served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald M. Gould of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.