Carmelyn Malalis ’01

My goal is to help people to transcend barriers ... so that we can all move forward together.

Carmelyn Malalis ’01

Employment discrimination. Sexual harassment. Bigotry. These are the types of offenses that Carmelyn Malalis has fought throughout her career, mostly recently as chair and commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights for seven years.

“At the New York City Commission on Human Rights, my challenge was not just enforcing the city’s Human Rights Law, but also educating the public about why the protections of the law are so important. We talked about fair housing and recovering from the trauma of violence. For a lot of people, their jobs inform their most basic sense of identity,” says Carmelyn, who previously practiced with Outten & Golden and Sullivan & Cromwell.

“Strangers meet and a likely first question is: ‘What do you do?’ So much is assumed from what a person does for a living and even more is assumed from the fact that someone is employed or unemployed. There are basic, everyday economic and social barriers that keep people from engaging with and understanding their fellow New Yorkers,” she explains. “During my tenure at the Commission and moving forward, the goal is to improve our communication channels and collaborative efforts with other agencies, legal advocates and community groups,” says Carmelyn. “In everything I do, my goal is to help people to transcend those barriers, to help them imagine walking in someone else’s shoes so that we can all move forward together.”


US District Court for the Southern District of New York, New York, New York

On her first co-op, Carmelyn worked under the supervision of Judge Ronald Ellis.


Kaplan, Friedman & Associates, Boston, Massachusetts

For her second co-op, Carmelyn worked for one of Boston’s most respected immigration law firms.


Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, New York

Carmelyn decided to explore the large firm setting, so she headed to Sullivan & Cromwell, a leading international law firm which was founded more than 130 years ago. This co-op resulted in a post-graduate job offer for Carmelyn.


Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Asia-Pacific, Manila, The Philippines

Carmelyn headed to the The Philippines for her final co-op, where she focused on social justice issues.

After Graduation

Associate, Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, New York

Most Recently

Chair and Commissioner, New York City Commission on Human Rights, New York, New York (former)


One of the nation’s top human rights law experts.