Acting Commissioner | Deputy Commissioner, Enforcement | Deputy Commissioner, Regional Affairs & Federal Programs | General Counsel
MARIA L. IMPERIAL
Maria L. Imperial was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul as Commissioner for the NYS Division of Human Rights in October 2021. Ms. Imperial will serve as Acting Commissioner until confirmation by the Senate.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Imperial served as the CEO of the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, whose mission is eliminating racism and empowering women. Under Ms. Imperial's leadership, the YWCA completed a $26 million green renovation of its Residence, a $4 million bond refinancing of its North St. Activity Center, re-aligned the organization's programs to better reflect its mission, including the creation of the Westchester Center for Racial Equity opening April 2021.
Previous to her tenure at the YWCA, Ms. Imperial was Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center, and Assistant Director and General Counsel of Safe Horizon. She began her career working as an associate at O'Melveny and Myers law firm.
Ms. Imperial has been recognized by Westchester 914 as a 2018 Women in Business Awardee and received Fordham Law School's Feerick Center for Social Justice Champion of Justice Award, the Westchester Human Rights Commission Award for promoting human rights in the County and also the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WESTCOP) Community Service Award. She serves on the Community Council for SUNY Purchase.
She is a graduate of Harvard University, the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Harvard Law School.