ACLU of Arizona Names New Executive Director

Affiliate: ACLU of Arizona
December 29, 2005 12:00 am

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Alessandra Soler Meetze, 30, is the first Latina to head the ACLU of Arizona.

PHOENIX – The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today announced the appointment of Alessandra Soler Meetze as its new Executive Director. Meetze, who brings nearly seven years of ACLU experience to Arizona, is the first Latina to head the Arizona civil liberties organization.

After a nationwide search, the ACLU of Arizona Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Meetze as the Executive Director. She succeeds Eleanor Eisenberg, who led the organization for the past eight years.

“Vigilance to protect individual rights is necessary now more than ever,” said Meetze, 30, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. “What continues to motivate me to do this very important work is the fact that people from all across the political spectrum are joining with the ACLU to defend fundamental constitutional freedoms.”

Meetze will officially begin at the ACLU of Arizona on February 1, 2006. She is currently the Communications Director of the ACLU’s fifth largest affiliate in Florida, where she is responsible for spearheading statewide public education campaigns.

Her accomplishments include reaching out to Latinos by coordinating two Spanish-language media campaigns to protect civil rights and combat police misconduct.

Dawn Wyland, who is on leave as an ACLU of Arizona board member from Tucson, has been serving as the interim director since September. “Alessandra will be able to hit the ground running as soon as she arrives,” said Wyland. “The entire staff is dedicated to her success and the goal of promoting civil liberties statewide.”

Born in Miami of immigrant parents from Brazil and Argentina, Meetze graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a minor in Latin American studies. Before joining the ACLU, Meetze worked as a reporter for the Miami Herald , where she covered local government, business, crime and education. She also worked for a brief period at the Roanoke Times in Virginia.

“I truly love this organization,” said Meetze, who has a one-year-old son with her husband of four years, Richard Meetze. “The ACLU tackles issues that are important to my family and me – and they’re of no small importance to everyone in America.”

Founded in 1959, the ACLU of Arizona is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization dedicated to preserving Constitutional freedoms and the Bill of Rights. With approximately 8,000 members, the ACLU of Arizona is an affiliate of the national ACLU, which boasts a membership of 500,000.

The ACLU is funded entirely with private donations, foundation grants, court-awarded legal fees and membership dues, and does not receive any government funding. For more information on the ACLU of Arizona, visit

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