The Board of Directors of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) recently announced the appointment of Sherrilyn Ifill as President and Director-Counsel.
A civil rights scholar, litigator, author, philanthropist and civic leader, Ifill is a long-time member of the LDF family. Early in her career, she served as assistant counsel in LDF’s New York office, where she litigated voting rights cases, including the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers’ Association v. Attorney General of Texas.
In 1993, Ifill joined the faculty of the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Ifill launched several innovative legal clinics while at Maryland Law School, including an environmental justice clinic and one of the first legal clinics in the nation focused on the legal rights of ex-offenders.
A critically acclaimed author, her book On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century, reflects her lifelong engagement in, and analysis of, race in American life.
For the past two years, Ifill has served as the chair of the U.S. Programs board of the Open Society Foundations, one of the largest philanthropic supporters of civil rights and social justice organizations in the country.