ACLU Announces New Acting Political Director

February 22, 2019 9:30 am

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today the naming of Ronald Newman as acting national political director of its National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD).

“I’m excited to appoint Ronnie to lead and carry forward the ACLU’s strategic political advocacy work to expand and protect civil rights and civil liberties for all,” said Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Under Ronnie’s direction, we will be able to build on our successes in the midterms and continue the momentum to expand our advocacy and political work in the 2019 legislative fights and the 2020 election cycle.”

As NPAD’s director of strategic initiatives, Newman has played an integral part in the development and implementation of the ACLU’s 2018 Electoral Program, which represented an innovative and impactful expansion of the organization’s political advocacy work. In its push to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the U.S., Newman helped to implement the ACLU’s $30 million investment in seven candidate races and 10 ballot initiatives across more than 15 states, including elevating civil liberties in the Kansas gubernatorial and St. Louis County district attorney elections, Florida’s voting rights restoration for individuals with prior felony convictions, Michigan’s expanded access to the ballot and Nevada’s automatic voter registration initiatives. In addition, he helped launch the “ACLU Voter” program — a national program designed to boost turnout amongst ACLU members, supporters, and the broader public.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to guide the ACLU’s political work and continue to build our political power,” said Newman.

Newman joined the ACLU in February 2017 as director of strategic initiatives. Under his leadership, the organization developed and implemented grassroots organizing initiatives on voting and immigrants’ rights across the country.

Prior to his time at the ACLU, Newman served as director of human rights and refugee protection on the National Security Council in the Obama administration. 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 immigration, refugee protection, and human rights. Prior to that, he served for several years as an attorney advisor in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the Department of State.

Newman graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in business administration, finance, and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to law school, Newman spent periods of his career living and working in China and in the investment banking sector. He is based in Washington.

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