Timothy J. Downing, Chief Diversity Officer of Ulmer & Berne LLP, has been appointed to Cuyahoga County’s Human Rights Commission, which aims to promote diversity, inclusion, and harmony through every facet of the county. Downing will serve as one of three attorneys comprising the first assembly of the Commission, which was formed through an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the Cuyahoga County Council last fall.
Downing will serve in this role for a two-year term beginning March 1. The Commission will resolve discrimination complaints, and has the ability to level civil penalties, award attorneys’ fees, and order individuals to stop engaging in discriminatory practices. It will also educate, hold community events, and give advice to County Council Members and the County Executive.
As a nationally recognized litigator and longtime champion of diversity and inclusion, Downing serves in dual roles at the firm – as a fierce advocate for clients and as Chief Diversity Officer. Focusing his legal practice on complex business and employment and labor litigation, Downing helps companies develop and implement policies to attract the best and brightest employees, protect their confidential information, and resolve conflicts with employees based on claims of discrimination.
As Ulmer’s Chief Diversity Officer, Downing helps support the firm’s successful diversity and inclusion initiatives, and works to increase its diversity and inclusion programming and community involvement, while overseeing its implementation and execution. He has also served in several leadership roles with local and national civil rights organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s national Emeritus Council.