Sharon McGowan is an American lawyer. She is the legal director and chief strategy officer for Lambda Legal. McGowan was an Obama administration appointee in the role of Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Policy at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She also served as Principal Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice. In 2019, she was honored with the Stonewall Award, bestowed by the American Bar Association's Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Early life and educationEdit
McGowan was raised in Queens. Her father was an NYPD lieutenant and commanding officer of the hostage negotiation team. Her mother was a secretary at St. Kevin’s Roman Catholic Church. McGowan entered storytelling contests as an adolescent and as a teen, partook in her high school forensics club. She came out as gay to her parents in the late '90s.
While earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, McGowan acted as a help desk clerk to GLAD attorneys. She graduated from the university with honors in 1995, after which she attended Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 2000.
Early on in her career, McGowan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Norman H. Stahl, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Helen Ginger Berrigan, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. McGowan was also an associate at Jenner & Block, Washington, D.C. Early on in her career, McGowan served as Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project.
In August 2019, McGowan presented at The 2020 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair, leading workshops such as "A Comprehensive Look at Transgender Equality in the Workplace," "A Lifetime of Power: How the Trump Administration is Overhauling the Judiciary with Anti-LGBT Judges," and "Title IX and the Future of Protection for Students."
Awards and honorsEdit
|Sept. 20, 2019||Out in Left Field with Dana Goldberg||"Sharon McGowan Goes Out in Left Field"|
|Feb. 2, 2019||Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick, a Slate podcast||"What Did We Learn From The Trans Ban Injunction Decision?"|
|April 19, 2019||Human Rights Campaign||"Lambda Legal Supports the Equality Act"|
|March 21, 2019||Human Rights Campaign||"Unprecedented Support for the Equality Act"|
|June 27, 2018||89.0 KBBI||"LGBTQ Rights Group Reflects On Justice Anthony Kennedy's Retirement"|
|June 4, 2018||90.9 WBUR||"Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Colorado Baker In Cakeshop Case"|
|Oct 22, 2018||PBS NewsHour||"HHS reportedly considering a limited definition of gender. Is it legal?"|
- "Trump's Judicial Appointments Were Confirmed At Historic Pace In 2018". NPR.org.
- "Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Colorado Baker In Cakeshop Case". www.wbur.org.
- Johnson, Carrie; Media, NPR Digital. "LGBT Advocates: Trump Administration's Stance In Cake Case Is Yet Another Letdown". WBEZ.
- Kasperkevic, Jana. "Do LGBT conservatives still have faith that Trump will protect workers' rights?". www.wunc.org.
- "Top DOJ Lawyer Joins Lambda Legal". Lambda Legal.
- "Symposium: Let's talk about sex: why Title VII must cover sexual orientation and gender identity". SCOTUSblog. September 5, 2019.
- "An Interview with SOGI Stonewall Awardee Sharon M. McGowan". www.americanbar.org.
- "Sharon McGowan, Emily Hecht". June 5, 2010 – via NYTimes.com.
- McGowan, Sharon (October 11, 2018). "30 years in, National Coming Out Day is as important than ever". Medium.
- "Sharon McGowan".
- "Staff Profile: Sharon McGowan". Lambda Legal.
- Council, Family Equality (May 31, 2017). "Bittersweet News: Farewell and THANK YOU to Emily Hecht-McGowan". Medium.
- "Legal Director of Lambda Legal Sharon McGowan Goes Out in Left Field from Out In Left Field with Dana Goldberg". www.stitcher.com.
- "Lambda Legal Supports the Equality Act" – via www.youtube.com.
- "Unprecedented Support for the Equality Act" – via www.youtube.com.
- "LGBTQ Rights Group Reflects On Justice Anthony Kennedy's Retirement". www.kbbi.org.
- "HHS reportedly considering a limited definition of gender. Is it legal?" – via www.youtube.com.