National Political Director
Ronald Newman (@ronaldlnewman) joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in February 2017. As National Political Director, he manages the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD), which consists of 5 Divisions: Justice Division, Equality Division, Democracy Division, Liberty Division and Organizing Division. NPAD includes a central office in Washington, DC and a large contingent of staff based in New York, NY that support ACLU political advocacy campaigns and other programming across the nation. Political advocacy staff, both policy counsels and campaign strategists, work together to plan issue-based legislative and administrative campaigns that change policies and practices. In addition, NPAD engages in national and state/local level efforts to elevate the importance of civil rights and civil liberties issues through non-partisan electoral work (ballot measures and candidate races).
Prior to the ACLU, Ronald served as Director of Human Rights and Refugee Protection on the National Security Council in the Obama Administration, serving under National Security Advisor Susan Rice. There, he led Administration efforts to expand the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, planned and coordinated President Obama’s September 2016 Leaders’ Summit on Refugees at the United Nations, managed U.S. engagement with the United Nations Human Rights Council, and directed a range of other White House and interagency actions in the areas of human rights, immigration and refugee protection. He coordinated major Administration initiatives involving all key diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and engaged regularly with representatives of foreign nations, state and local governments, and non-profit advocacy organizations. Prior to that, he served as an Attorney Advisor in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the U.S. Department of State, under Legal Advisor Harold Koh.
Ronald graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College, and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to law school, Ronald spent periods of his career living and working in China, studying issues related to trade and development. In prior periods, he has contributed to teams that brought class action litigation against the State of Connecticut to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged Connecticut youth, and submitted a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in defense of voluntary integration programs in Washington and Kentucky. Ronald also spent a period of his early career in the investment banking sector. He is based in Washington, D.C.