Patricia L. Gatling is the Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She is in charge of enforcing the Human Rights Law and combating discrimination in New York City. She also worked as a senior trainer with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as part of the U.S. State Department's International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), teaching "Human Dignity and the Law" in newly emerging democratic countries, such as Botswana, Thailand, and Budapest, and at the Dubai Police Academy International Conference in the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Gatling has also served on the New York City Charter Revision Commission.
Ms. Gatling is formerly the First Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in charge of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau, the Community Relations Bureau, Legal Hiring, Inter-Agency Training, and Inter-Governmental Affairs. As First ADA, Ms. Gatling also oversaw all of the Office’s legal and administrative operations.
Ms. Gatling attributes her interest in law to her days growing up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. She also attended New York University in Paris, France. Ms. Gatling is the former President of the National Black Prosecutors Association. She served as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office to Investigate the New York City Criminal Justice System from 1987 to 1990. While in that office, she prosecuted corruption cases involving public officials, police officers, and corrections officers, specializing in the prosecution of police brutality and death-in-custody cases.
Ms. Gatling is an active participant in community outreach programs and a widely respected speaker. She has lectured at the United Nations African Mothers Association Conference, the University of Iowa School of Law, American Women's Economic Development Corporation, the National Association of Black Narcotics Agents, the Practicing Law Institute, and has delivered the John Jay College Lloyd G. Sealy lecture, among others. She has been featured in numerous publications including Black Enterprise, Emerge, Black Elegance, Essence, Aramica and major newspapers such as the New York Times, the Daily News, and the New York Post. Ms. Gatling has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on Court TV and featured in A&E documentaries titled “The Prosecutors” and “Second Chance.” She was featured on NBC, UPN-9, CBS, and New York 1 for her work at the Commission. Ms. Gatling led a successful campaign to remedy the lack of diversity in the advertising industry, and was subsequently ranked #4 of the “10 Who Made Their Mark,” a list in Advertising Age that showcased those who had an impact on the industry in 2006. In 2007, The Network Journal Magazine ranked Ms. Gatling among the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives named Ms. Gatling “Humanitarian of the Year.”
Ms. Gatling is a member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers, and the National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA). She is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York and the State of New York.
Ms. Gatling has received many awards throughout her career, including honors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, Women in Islam, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York County Lawyers Association. She received the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Alumnus of the Year Award and the Benjamin L. Cardin Public Service Award, both from the University of Maryland School of Law. Recently, Ms. Gatling was honored with The Metropolitan Black Bar Association Public Service Award. In September 2007, Ms. Gatling was a member of Harvard University’s “Executive Session on Human Rights Commissions and Criminal Justice” Symposium.
Commissioner Gatling was recently elected to the University of Maryland Carey School of Law’s Board of Visitors, a distinguished group of alumni and friends, who advise the Dean on a variety of issues affecting the law school.
Ms. Gatling resides in Manhattan.