Dianne is a civil rights lawyer with over 25 years of experience in litigation, policy development and advocacy in the areas of civil rights and educational equity. She joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as senior counsel and director of education programs in January 2011.
Between 2009 and 2010, Dianne served in the Obama administration as the deputy assistant secretary for enforcement and special counsel at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). At OCR, she supervised the legal work of the agency’s 12 regional offices and managed investigations and negotiations in complex, high-profile cases.
At the department, Dianne also served as the assistant secretary’s representative in developing the administration’s proposals for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). She provided technical assistance to congressional offices and advised offices within the department on the civil rights dimensions of a variety of funding programs, including Race to the Top, ESEA (Titles I, II and III), the Charter School Program, the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, and School Improvement Grants.
In the litigation arena, Dianne’s top accomplishments include negotiating comprehensive settlements for African-American school children in desegregation cases in St. Louis, Missouri and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
She graduated from SUNY Albany with majors in Women’s Studies and English and a minor in American Studies. She received her J.D. from Catholic University, where she was a member of the Law Review, and graduated 3rd in her class. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Rick Roe, a clinical law professor at Georgetown University and founder of the highly successful Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School. They have three sons who attended public schools in Maryland.