Courtney Chappell

Courtney Chappell

Adjunct Professor


  • BA, cum laude, History, St. Mary's College of Maryland, 1998
  • JD, magna cum laude, American University Washington College of Law, 2004


Courtney Chappell has dedicated her career to promoting racial and social justice. She is currently consulting for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders where she provides programmatic, strategic, and administrative support to expand access to federal resources and programs for the diverse AA and NHPI communities. Prior to this role, she was the Advocacy Director and part of the shared leadership team at Legal Voice where she managed the organization's strategic initiatives to advance the legal rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals across the Pacific Northwest. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, including as the Senior Director of State Capacity Building at State Voices and the Executive Director of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. During the Obama administration, Courtney served as Deputy Director at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, creating a regional interagency working group that brought the federal government to the farthest corners of the country, linking local AA and NHPI communities with federal services and programs, and becoming one of the Initiative's strongest legacies.

Courtney is passionate about using multiple strategies to advocate for communities of color and populations that have been historically marginalized - organizing, coalition building, community lawyering, and policy advocacy. As the Deputy Director at the DC Employment Justice Center, she worked in coalition to help the District pass comprehensive unemployment insurance legislation and a "ban the box" bill that prohibited discrimination against workers with criminal records. Courtney also served as the first Policy & Programs Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum where she spearheaded the organization's reproductive justice program and developed an intersectional action agenda that included lobbying, grassroots organizing, and public education. Courtney was also an associate at James & Hoffman, P.C., representing unions and individual employees in all matters relating to labor and employment law.

Courtney graduated magna cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law where she was a staff member of the American University Law Review. She has served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and the DC Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. She is a recipient of a New Voices Fellowship and a Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship. Courtney currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.