James is smiling in a leafy outdoor setting.

James A. Ferg-Cadima

Lambda Legal
Deputy Legal Director

Over the last twenty years, James A. Ferg-Cadima, Esq. has built a public service career on enforcing civil rights protections at the local, state, and federal levels. In 2021, Jim left his appointment as the head of the Illinois Human Rights Commission – a state-level, quasi-adjudicative body – to join Lambda Legal, as a deputy legal director. He has also worked: (1) for the City of Chicago's Office of Inspector General on police accountability; and (2) in the final stretch of the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, where he oversaw a wide range of policy pronouncements, including a historic 2015 Dear Colleague Letter concerning the rights of transgender students. Before government service, Jim worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the ACLU of Illinois, and the Advancement Project, pressing for more than minimal construction of education, employment, immigration, privacy, and voting laws.

Civil Rights, Education, Government
Legal, Public Policy, Program Development