A leading voice in public interest law for over 30 years, Nan Aron is President of Alliance for Justice, a national association of over 100 public interest and civil rights organizations. Nan, who founded AFJ in 1979, guides the organization in its mission to ensure that all Americans have the right and opportunity to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives.
In 1985, Nan founded AFJ’s Judicial Selection Project, now the country’s premier voice for a fair and independent judiciary and a major player in the often-controversial judicial nominations process. Notable accomplishments include helping to defeat Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987; supporting the nomination of Roger Gregory, the first African American judge in the Fourth Circuit, in 2001; and organizing the effort that helped support ten Senate filibusters against President George W. Bush’s most extreme judicial nominees.
In addition to increasing judicial advocacy, Nan has led Alliance for Justice to expand its programs to support the participation of nonprofit and foundation staff in public life. The Judicial Selection Project’s workshops, technical assistance and publications encourage lobbying, involvement in ballot measures and election activities. Nan has also developed advocacy training for young people through the creation of the Co/Motion and Student Action Campaign (formerly First Monday) programs, which educate and inspire students to engage in social justice activism. To date, tens of thousands of people have participated in AFJ programs.
Nan is nationally recognized for her vast expertise in public interest law, the federal judiciary and citizen participation in public policy. She is the author of Liberty and Justice for All: Public Interest Law in the 1980s and Beyond and has appeared as an expert in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Vanity Fair and National Public Radio. She is also a frequent guest speaker at universities, law schools, corporations, nonprofits and foundations.
Nan has taught at Georgetown and George Washington University Law Schools, and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at American University’s Washington College of Law. She has served as Executive Producer for several award-winning films on immigration, courageous judges, and gun violence.
Prior to founding Alliance for Justice, Nan was a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Prison Project, where she challenged conditions in state prison systems through lawsuits in federal and state courts. As a trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she litigated race and sex discrimination cases against companies and unions in federal and district courts. She has a BA from Oberlin College and a JD from Case Western Reserve.
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