Betsy Cavendish has 27 years of experience in the public arena, including work in all three branches of government and in academia. She is the President of Appleseed, a non-profit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico.
Under Betsy’s leadership, and despite the recession, the Appleseed network has grown. Betsy has guided Appleseed on a number of practical and ambitious research and advocacy programs, particularly in the fields of financial access and asset building, education, immigrant rights, elder justice and skills-based civic engagement.
Before joining Appleseed in early 2007, she served as interim president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she previously had been vice president of the NARAL Foundation, legal director and general counsel. At the Department of Justice, she served in both the Office of Legal Counsel and the Civil Fraud section, and she was an assistant professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Betsy was a law clerk for Judge Gerhard Gesell on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on one of the most high-profile cases of the 1980s, United States v. Oliver North. She is a graduate of Yale University, summa cum laude, and Yale Law School.