Dr. Joy Cherian, Ph.D.

Dr. Joy CherianDr. Joy Cherian is a recognized authority in international trade in services with more than thirty-five years of experience in the field.  In 1993, he founded J. Cherian Consultants, Inc. (JCC), a government relations firm that assisted clients in developing international insurance business in foreign countries. In 2005, he retired from providing professional services with JCC and voluntarily assumed the full-time presidency of the Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility (AACR). This tax exempt non-profit organization (based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area) promotes domestic and global civic engagement on the part of all American institutions and individuals through educational programs (To learn more about AACR’s activities, please visit www.aacri.org). 

Before founding JCC, Dr. Cherian served as a Commissioner of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pursuant to a subcabinet-level presidential appointment, under the administrations of Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton (1987 – 1993). As a Commissioner twice unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, he was the first highest-ranking Indian American in the US government and developed a reputation for pioneering work on laws relating to international employment affecting multinational corporations.  Prior to his presidential appointment to the EEOC, Dr. Cherian was the Director of International Insurance Law for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI).  In this capacity, he was instrumental in helping the US life insurance industry develop its international business. Notably, Dr. Cherian was a key organizer of two major US Department of Commerce insurance trade missions to Southeast Asia (1985) and Europe (1986).  He joined ACLI’s legal department in 1973. 

Educated in science and law at the Universities of Madras and Kerala, India, Dr. Cherian practiced law in India before coming to the United States in September 1967 to obtain his master's degree (1970) and his Ph.D. (1974) in international law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  In 1978, he received his fifth university degree, a Master of Comparative Law (American Practice), from The George Washington University's National Law Center. His first book, Investment Contracts and Arbitration (1975), is used as a reference resource in graduate school libraries in the United States and abroad.  Our Relay Race (1997), his second book, reflects his public and community service. Scores of his papers, articles and speeches on various subjects have been published around the world.

It was through the initiative, perseverance, and persistence of Dr. Cherian that several committees of the American Bar Association (ABA) were formed, including the Committee on International Insurance Law and the Committee on International Employment Law of the ABA's Section of International Law and Practice.  He chaired these Committees from 1983 to 1987 and 1988 to 1992, respectively. For a decade, he served as president of the American Council for Trade in Services (ACTS), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit service industry trade association (1994-2004). 

Over the past three decades, Dr. Cherian has been an influential leader for the Asian American community.  In 1986, he was elected National Chairman of the Asian American Voters Coalition (AAVC), an umbrella organization for more than a dozen Asian American associations.  In 1982, he founded the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), a civic organization that assists the Indian American community in interacting effectively with the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government.  Dr. Cherian continues to serve as a respected advisor for leaders of the US immigrant community.