President & Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, leads one of the country’s most important national civil rights organizations in the pursuit of equal justice for all. She has dedicated her entire professional career to promoting civil rights and safeguarding the rights of vulnerable communities.
Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she led broad civil rights enforcement on matters including criminal justice, voting rights, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access and LGBT issues. She also spent several years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she helped lead the organization’s work in the areas of voting rights and election law across the country. She started her career at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division. While at the Justice Department, Ms. Clarke served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Division, handling police misconduct, police brutality, hate crime and human trafficking cases. She also worked on voting rights and redistricting cases through the Division’s Voting Section.
Ms. Clarke received her A.B. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is one of the leading commentators on race, law and justice.
Her many honors and awards include the 2018 Louis L. Redding Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 Harvard College Service to Society Award, the 2017 Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni of the Year, the 2017 Thurgood Marshall Award from Quinnipiac University School of Law, the 2016 Alumni of the Year by the National Black Law Students Association, the New York Law Journal’s 2015 Rising Stars, the 2014 New York State Senate Proclamation for Exemplary Service, the 2012 Best Brief Award for the 2012 Supreme Court term from the National Association of Attorneys General, the 2012 Network Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, the 2011 National Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40 and the 2010 Paul Robeson Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia Law School.