From the Pritzker Administration:
Gov. Pritzker Makes Six Appointments to Illinois Human Rights Commission
Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:
James A. Ferg-Cadima will serve as Chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Ferg-Cadima has built a public service career on shaping and enforcing civil rights protections at the federal, state and local levels. He joined the City of Chicago’s Office of Inspector General in 2017, where he serves as an Associate General Counsel to a recently created Public Safety Section that audits Chicago’s police and police accountability functions. He was most recently the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, where he coordinated the Obama Administration’s schools- and college-related regulatory interpretations under federal law prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex and disability. Prior to this, Ferg-Cadima headed a regional office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and worked at the ACLU of Illinois, pressing units of government and covered private entities for more than minimal construction of education, employment, immigration, open records, privacy and voting laws. He has also served as a judicial clerk for the Northern District of Illinois. He currently serves on the board of directors of Free Spirit Media, a nonprofit providing opportunities for emerging digital content creators from Chicago’s West and South sides, and the Chicago Mosaic School, a nonprofit school dedicated to the comprehensive study of mosaic arts. He is a native Washingtonian, child of an undocumented immigrant, openly gay, and a person with a non-apparent disability. Ferg-Cadima is a member of the ADA25 Advancing Leaders Network. He earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.
Steven A. Andersson will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Andersson has been a licensed attorney for more almost three decades. He is a partner at the law firms of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi and Andersson, P.C. and the Elder Law Center, P.C. He is admitted to practice law at all Illinois courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Andersson was also the state representative for Illinois’ 65th legislative district from 2015 to 2019 where he served as Republican floor leader in 2018.
During the 99th General Assembly, Andersson was a leader of the Republican coalition that joined with the Democratic caucus to end the longest state budget impasse in U.S. history.
He has also been a strident defender of the rights of all people, including being the chief co-sponsor for the ERA, a two-time sponsor of the Equal Pay Act and chief co-sponsor of the LGBTQ curriculum bill. Prior to joining the Illinois House of Representatives, Andersson served his community as a trustee and treasurer on the Geneva Library District Board for approximately 5 years, including serving 2 years as treasurer. Andersson is a past president of the Kane County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Kane County Bar Foundation; Illinois Bar Association; American Bar Association; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; and served on the governing board of the Aurora Family Counseling Service and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Barbara Barreno-Paschall will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Barreno-Paschall is an accomplished, well-respected attorney and policy advocate. She is currently a Senior Staff Attorney with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in the Housing Opportunity Project and previously worked as an Employment and Labor Associate at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she received the firm’s highest pro bono honor for her representation of immigrants seeking asylum. Barreno-Paschall serves on the Kenwood Academy High School Local School Council as a Community Representative and is a recipient of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 2019 Top Lawyers Under 40 Award and Chicago Scholars’ 2018 35 Under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact Award. She earned her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School, her Master in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard College.
Manuel Barbosa will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Barbosa is a retired US Bankruptcy Judge who served for 15 years in the Northern District of Illinois before retiring in 2013. He served as Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission upon its creation under Governor Thompson and also under Governor Edgar. He started his legal career as a Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney and was in private practice in Elgin for twenty Years. Barbosa obtained his bachelor’s degree in Literature from Illinois Benedictine University where he serves on the President’s advisory council, as well as the Liberal Arts advisory council. He received his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1977 and serves on the Board of Visitors for Northern Illinois University School of law. He served on the Metra board of directors and has been Chairman of the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals.
Robert A. Cantone will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Cantone is an attorney who has devoted much of his professional life to representing the rights and interests of Illinois residents. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and history from DePaul University and his Law degree from Lewis University College of Law, Cantone soon began practicing law as an Assistant Public Defender of Cook County. In his more than five years representing individuals charged with traffic, misdemeanor and felony offenses, he gained considerable experience dealing with the issues individuals face in society. Cantone then joined what is now Goldstein, Bender & Romanoff, a Plaintiff Personal Injury law firm in downtown Chicago. There, he obtained extensive litigation experience and spent over 25 years enthusiastically handling cases for hundreds of persons injured due to motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, product defects and medical malpractice. In 2013, Cantone established his own law firm, concentrating in Plaintiff Personal Injury, Workers Compensation and Collections. Drawing on his legal experience, he has also been thrilled to have been engaged as an Arbitrator for the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration program since 1990. He is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Cantone was first appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission in 2011, then reappointed in 2015.
Jeffrey Shuck will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Prior to his appointment, Shuck served Attorneys General Kwame Raoul and Lisa Madigan as a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Springfield General Law Bureau since 2016. In that role, he represented state officials, state agencies and state employees in a variety of civil litigation in state and federal courts. His work included cases alleging discrimination, retaliation and civil rights violations. Shuck also served as an Assistant Attorney General earlier in his career, from 2000 to 2003 under Attorneys General Jim Ryan and Lisa Madigan. Before rejoining the Attorney General’s Office, he twice served the Department of Central Management Services as its Deputy General Counsel for Personnel. In that role, Shuck was responsible for advising the governor’s office, agency directors and general counsels on employment law matters, interpreting applicable statutes, rules and case law and establishing legal policy in personnel matters. While at CMS, Shuck was appointed by Governor Quinn to serve as Chairman of the Task Force on Inventorying Employment Restrictions. The Task Force was created to review the statutes, administrative rules, policies, and practices that restrict employment of individuals with a criminal history and to report to the governor and the General Assembly those employment restrictions and their impact on employment opportunities. Shuck also twice served at the Illinois State Board of Education, first as an Assistant Legal Advisor and later as Chief of Labor Relations. Throughout his career, Shuck has held a particular interest in preventing and addressing disability discrimination, including by being a role model of capability as a paraplegic since an automobile accident in 1982. Shuck received his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.