Last updated on: 2/4/2014 | Author:

Anthony D. Romero, JD Biography

Executive Director of the ACLU
Pro to the question "Is the ACLU Good for America?"

“The ACLU is the only organization that can serve as a wholesale bulwark against attacks on our civil liberties. While most civil rights and civil liberties organizations focus on a specific issue or a particular constituency, the ACLU is the only organization that defends all of our constitutional liberties and the rights of all Americans.”

Official statement upon appointment as Executive Director of the ACLU, 2001

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Executive Director of the ACLU, 2001-present
  • Director, Ford Foundation Human Rights and International Cooperation Program, 1997-2001
  • Program Officer, Ford Foundation Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program, 1992-1996
  • Senior Program Adviser, Equal Opportunity Division, Rockefeller Foundation, 1990-1992
  • Case worker, International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, 1987-1990
  • Room service busboy, Warwick Hotel, 1983-1987
  • Newspaper deliverer, 1977-1983
  • Chairman, Center of Disability and Advocacy Rights Board of Directors
  • Vice-Chairman, New World Foundation’s Board of Directors
  • Member of New York Bar Association, Council on Foreign Relations, and Hispanics in Philanthropy
  • Former Vice-Chairman, White House Internship Advisory Committee
  • JD, Stanford University School of Law, 1990
  • BA, Princeton University, 1987
  • Public Interest Lawyer Award, Stanford University Law School, 2004
  • Lived in public housing in the Bronx with no heat or hot water for the first 10 years of his life.
  • Fired 50% of ACLU staff within the first six months of becoming Executive Director.
  • Stated life lessons are 1) “To whom much is given much is expected.” 2) “Hire people who know far more than you do.” 3) “Always ask questions, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.”
Quoted in:
  1. Is the ACLU Good for America?
  2. Does the ACLU Undermine the War on Terror?
  3. Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote?