Phil Telfeyan

img_2243-cropExecutive Director

Phil was born and raised in Sacramento, California, where his parents still live.  He left Sacramento for Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Government and a law degree, both from Harvard University.  During law school, Phil was a Notes Editor on the Harvard Law Review, winner of the Williston Contracts Competition, and the National Champion of the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition.  He is the author of Never Again Should a People Starve in a World of Plenty, 121 Harv. L. Rev. 1886 (2008)Gender Discrimination: Ninth Circuit Holds that Women Can Be Fired for Refusing to Wear Makeup, 120 Harv. L. Rev. 651 (2006); and Sexual Violence, Counting to Twenty, and the Metaphysics of Criminal Acts, 29 Harv. J.L. & Gen. 493 (2006).  In 2008, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he clerked for the Honorable Janice Brown in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  From 2009 to 2014, Phil served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where, specializing in employment discrimination, he litigated complex pattern-or-practice cases on behalf of victims of discrimination and successfully settled the three largest cases in his section’s history.  He left the Civil Rights Division in 2014 to co-found Equal Justice Under Law.

In addition to his legal career, Phil spends his time in Washington volunteering throughout the community, including weekly commitments at a local soup kitchen and a mentoring program.  Phil is also a regional board member for UNICEF as well as a charity magician.  He enjoys barefoot running, card games, bowling, hiking, friendship, conversation, and philosophy.  He has also toured and photographed every state capitol building and every National Park in the United States.

You can reach Phil at