For Immediate Release: May 27, 2010
MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor Pawlenty Appoints James Kirkpatrick to Head State Human Rights Department
New Commissioner has served as Deputy Commissioner since 2003
Saint Paul – Governor Tim Pawlenty today appointed James Kirkpatrick as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, effective June 1, 2010.
Kirkpatrick is currently Deputy Commissioner at the department, a position he has held since 2003. He has previous experience in the private sector as a finance and accounting manager for LSG Sky Chefs and revenue controller with National Car Rental Systems.
Kirkpatrick also served in the United States Army for 20 years, retiring with the rank of major.
"James is experienced in working in support of fairness and justice," Governor Pawlenty said. "He also has the skills and background to manage the department's budget and ensure that cases that come before the Human Rights Department are resolved in a timely manner."
The mission of the Department of Human Rights is to enforce Minnesota's anti-discrimination laws and promote equal opportunity for all people in Minnesota. The Department aims to eliminate discrimination and inter-group conflict; inform and educate the public about their rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Act; collaborate with other agencies and groups which share common goals; and, inform and educate the public.
Human Rights Commissioner Velma Korbel, who was appointed to the position in January 2003 by Governor Pawlenty, is leaving state service to become director of the City of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.
Kirkpatrick, 57, has a Bachelors of Arts & Science degree from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia and a Master of Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California. He and his wife, Wanda, live in Lakeville with their son. They also have two adult daughters.