By Catharine Skipp
Special to UM News
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 4, 2015)—Vice President Joe Biden announced today the appointment of Miami Law’s Caroline “Carrie” Bettinger-López as the new White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. Bettinger- López, a leading advocate for gender-based equality and human rights, has worked at local, national, and international levels to bring an end to violence against women.
In her new role, Bettinger-López will serve as an advisor to the president and vice president on domestic violence and sexual assault issues and as a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy communities, according to the White House.
She also will collaborate with federal agencies on the implementation of Violence Against Women Act programs and the coordination of federal efforts to address violence against women and girls both domestically and globally, and drive the development of new initiatives and policies to combat domestic violence and sexual assault with key public and private stakeholders.
“Throughout her career, Carrie has made clear that the most basic of human rights is freedom from violence,” Biden said. “I am honored that she will be joining my staff to continue the work we began with the Violence Against Women Act, and I know she will be a strong voice for women everywhere who continue to suffer from sexual assault and domestic violence in the worst prison on earth—the four walls of their own home.”
As a litigator and an advocate, Bettinger-López has fought for the protection of victims of domestic violence and the provision of remedies for violations of survivors’ rights. Prior to her legal career, Bettinger-López engaged in social services advocacy and youth education centered on women and girls’ empowerment, as well as anti-violence programming.
Most recently, Bettinger-López founded and served as director of the Human Rights Clinic at the School of Law, where she served as an associate professor of clinical legal education. Her scholarship included a focus on violence against women, gender and race discrimination, and immigrant rights.
“We are delighted that Vice President Biden has asked Professor Bettinger-López to play this important role,” said School of Law Dean Patricia D. White. “Her path-breaking advocacy work makes her uniquely qualified to carry out her charge.”
Bettinger-López will lead the Obama administration’s efforts to put an end to violence against women. Among many important steps forward, the administration has led efforts to combat campus sexual assault, worked to prevent domestic violence homicides, and fought to extend protections to women of color and LGBT Americans who have been victims of violence, according to the White House.