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Irina Vaynerman

Deputy Commissioner

In February 2019, Commissioner Rebecca Lucero appointed Irina Vaynerman to serve as the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She was reappointed in November 2022.

Irina has experience working in a variety of civil rights organizations across the country, focusing on racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and immigrant rights. She is proud to call Minnesota her home. 

Irina is committed to advancing civil rights work across the state. As Deputy Commissioner, she oversees the agency’s legal work, investigation unit, strategic compliance unit, and process improvement team. Irina works closely with staff at MDHR to advance strategic impact litigation; identify needed improvements to policies, trainings, and accountability systems to address and prevent discrimination across the state; and she served as the chief negotiator for the State to reach a consent decree with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department to address
race-based policing and strengthen public safety.

Irina has worked with several nonprofits, and was an attorney with a civil rights law firm in Detroit, Michigan, where she litigated statutory and constitutional anti-discrimination claims. Immediately before joining MDHR, Irina was an attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School. After graduating from law school, Irina served as a federal law clerk for the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

To schedule a meeting with Irina, please email

Irina Vaynerman
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