Deputy National Political Director and Director of Campaign for Smart Justice,
Udi Ofer is the Deputy National Political Director of the ACLU and Director of the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, which is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in the United States. Ofer is also a visiting lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
During his tenure at the ACLU, Ofer has overseen passage of more than 200 criminal justice reform laws that will lead to tens of thousands of fewer people incarcerated. He has overseen the launch of new and innovative electoral, legislative, public education and litigation strategies, including the ACLU’s first-ever voter mobilization campaign in a district attorney race as part of a broader initiative to hold prosecutors accountable for fueling mass incarceration.
Ofer brings more than 15 years of experience as a civil rights lawyer to the ACLU. From 2013-2016, he served as Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey. Under his leadership the organization achieved historic victories on a variety of issues, including overhauling New Jersey’s broken bail system, creating one of the nation’s strongest police civilian review boards in Newark, banning the use of solitary confinement as punishment of juveniles, and launching a bipartisan campaign to tax and regulate marijuana. From 2003-2013, he worked at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where he founded the Advocacy Department. There he challenged the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices and spearheaded the successful effort to pass legislation banning racial profiling by the NYPD and creating an NYPD Inspector General’s office.
Ofer began his legal career in 2001 as a Skadden Fellow at My Sisters’ Place, a domestic violence organization. He was an adjunct professor at New York Law School from 2009-2012, and has published widely including in the Seton Hall Law Review, Columbia Law School Journal of Race and Law, and New York Law School Law Review. Ofer’s work and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of news outlets. He has testified before numerous legislatures, including the United States Senate, and is frequently cited as an expert on criminal justice matters. Ofer is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2007, Fordham Law School’s Stein Scholars Program presented Ofer with its Distinguished Graduate Award.