ACLU Names Zoe Brennan-Krohn as Director of the Disability Rights Program

March 19, 2024 11:00 am

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today the appointment of Zoe Brennan-Krohn as director of the Disability Rights Program.

As director of the Disability Rights Program, Brennan-Krohn will oversee the ACLU’s work to defend and advance the rights and liberties of people with disabilities. This includes the right of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves; the right to receive the appropriate access and accommodations in schools, the criminal legal system, at the ballot box, and more; and the right to be free from discrimination.

“We are thrilled that Zoe has answered the call to be the next director of the ACLU’s Disability Rights Program,” said David Cole, national legal director. “In her eight years at the ACLU, Zoe has established herself as a person of vision, an outstanding litigator, and a leader. Her dedication to her clients and rigorous advocacy on behalf of all people with disabilities demonstrates that she has the skills, savvy, and will to take on the toughest disability rights fights of our time.”

Brennan-Krohn is a nationally recognized expert on issues affecting people with disabilities. She has led cases challenging the utter failure of prisons, parole, and probation systems to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She has played a key role in creating public outrage demanding alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship, accurately pinning guardianship as a rights-stripping mechanism and urging reforms that prioritize supported decision-making to respect the autonomy of individuals with disabilities. When the state has come to deprive parents with disabilities of their children, she has called out the state’s failure to first provide support as required by law.

“In my eight years at the ACLU, the Disability Rights Program has grown into an incredible powerhouse of expertise on issues ranging from guardianship to crisis response. As a member of the disability community, I am proud to be part of this strong, dedicated team, and I am thrilled and honored to lead the program into its next chapter,” said Brennan-Krohn.

She will assume the role of director of a program led for nearly 12 years by Susan Mizner, who built the program from a team of one to a team of seven, and who developed and strengthened disability expertise throughout the ACLU’s legal department.

“Zoe is not just a magnificent thinker, litigator, and advocate, she also brings a level of insight and sensitivity to her leadership style that is, simply put, superb. I’m excited to see how she — and the team — will expand and improve DRP’s work,” said Susan Mizner, now director emeritus with the ACLU Disability Rights Program.

Brennan-Krohn is a 2015 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 2009 graduate of Brown University. Before going to college, she worked for two years at Camphill Ballytobin, an inclusive community in Ireland for people with and without disabilities. After college and before law school, Zoe was a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following law school, in addition to working at the ACLU, Zoe clerked for the Honorable Judith Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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