About the ACLU's National Security Project

The ACLU National Security Project advocates for national security policies that are consistent with the Constitution, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights. The project litigates cases relating to detention, torture, discrimination, surveillance, censorship, and secrecy. Originally created as an informal working group after the September 2001 attacks, the National Security Project is now at the forefront of virtually every major legal battle relating to national security, civil liberties, and human rights.

Contact us: nspintake@aclu.org

STAFF

Hina Shamsi — Director
Hina Shamsi is the director of the ACLU National Security Project. She engages in civil liberties and human rights litigation, research, and policy advocacy on issues including the freedoms of speech and association, torture, detention, and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and religious minorities. Her work has included a focus on the intersection of national security and counterterrorism policies and international human rights and humanitarian law. She is the author and coauthor of publications on torture, targeted killing, extraordinary rendition, and privacy and surveillance, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. She is a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course on International Human Rights Advocacy. Ms. Shamsi previously worked as the acting director of Human Rights First's Law & Security Program and then as a ataff attorney in the ACLU's National Security Project. Before returning to the ACLU in her current position, Ms. Shamsi served as senior advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Northwestern University School of Law.

Hugh Handeyside — Staff Attorney
Hugh Handeyside is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, where he works on issues related to government watchlisting, racial and religious discrimination, due process, and border-related practices. He is a graduate of Stanford University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Handeyside previously worked for several years on complex litigation matters at Perkins Coie LLP and Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner & Preece LLP.  From 2011-2012, he clerked for the Hon. John C. Coughenour of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Prior to law school, Mr. Handeyside worked for two years at the CIA, where he was an analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence and the Counterterrorism Center.

Patrick Toomey — Staff Attorney
Patrick Toomey is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, where he works on issues related to electronic surveillance, national security prosecutions, whistle-blowing, and racial profiling. Mr. Toomey is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nancy Gertner, United States district judge for the District of Massachusetts, and to the Hon. Barrington D. Parker, United States circuit judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Toomey worked on criminal defense, regulatory defense, and intellectual property matters at a law firm in New York.

Dror Ladin — Staff Attorney
Dror Ladin is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, where he works on issues related to detention, secrecy, profiling, and the intersection of immigration and national security.  He is a graduate of Vassar College and Yale Law School. Prior to rejoining the National Security Project in his current position, Mr. Ladin clerked for the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was a Skadden fellow at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project and a fellow at the ACLU National Security Project.

Ashley Gorski  Staff Attorney
Ashley Gorski is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, where she works on issues related to post-9/11 racial and religious discrimination, torture, detention, and religious freedom.  She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the ACLU, Ms. Gorski worked at a New York law firm and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Jon O. Newman, United States circuit judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the Hon. Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, United States district judge for the Southern District of New York.

Anna Diakun — Nadine Strossen Fellow
Anna Diakun is the Nadine Strossen fellow in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where she works on issues related to the government’s targeted killing program, surveillance, and discrimination against racial and religious minorities. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. Prior to joining the ACLU, Ms. Diakun served as a law clerk to the Hon. Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Amy Gordon — Paralegal
Amy Gordon is a paralegal with the ACLU’s National Security Project. She is a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where she majored in International Studies and minored in Law and Society. Prior to joining the ACLU, Amy worked as a litigation paralegal at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. During college she interned at the Legal Aid Society, US-Asia Institute, and Asia Catalyst.

Molly Buckley — Legal Assistant
Molly Buckley is a legal assistant with the ACLU's National Security Project. Prior to joining the ACLU, Molly was a program assistant to the Social Science Research Council’s Anxieties of Democracy program. As a student at Vassar College, Molly concentrated in media studies and political science and completed internships at Free Press and WNYC’s On the Media.

Erica Mildner Legal Assistant
Erica Mildner is a legal assistant with the ACLU’s National Security Project. She is a graduate of Cornell University, where she majored in Industrial and Labor Relations and minored in Law and Society. Prior to graduating, Erica worked as a writing tutor at Cornell University’s Knight Center and as a research intern at the International Labor Organization’s Special Action Program to Combat Forced Labor.

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