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Susan M. Liss to Join Justice at Stake as Executive Director

January 5, 2016


Susan M. Liss to Join Justice at Stake as Executive Director
New E.D. Will Bring Proven Leadership, Experience, Passion to the Role

Contact: Laurie Kinney, lkinney@justiceatstake.org, 202-588-9455, cell 571-882-3615
Washington, D.C., January 5 – The Justice at Stake Board of Directors is honored and pleased to announce that following a nationwide search, Susan M. Liss has been selected to assume the role of Executive Director of Justice at Stake.  Liss will begin a transition into her new role at Justice at Stake in January of 2016, before joining the organization full-time on February 16, 2016. 

Liss brings to her new role at JAS an unparalleled combination of strong leadership, passionate commitment to issues of justice and democracy, and dedication to the cause of fair and impartial courts. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, overseeing all operations of a $34 million dollar organization with global reach. She has held numerous positions in government service, and has also previously led the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a JAS partner organization that also works on fair-courts issues. 
“We could not be more enthusiastic about the selection of Susan Liss to lead Justice at Stake at this critical juncture in its history,” said Mark Harrison, Justice at Stake Board Chair. “This choice is emblematic of an exciting new direction for JAS, and the start of a new chapter in our leadership of the fair-courts field. Under Susan’s proven leadership, we are absolutely confident that Justice at Stake can drive major and lasting reforms that will protect fair and impartial courts well into the future.”  
“It is a great privilege to accept this opportunity to lead Justice at Stake as its Executive Director,” added Liss. “I have watched with great concern as our courts at all levels have come under attack by special interests, while the flow of money into judicial elections has continued to increase. JAS has grown into the most credible bipartisan organization fighting back against these harmful influences. I believe deeply in its mission, and am eager to work with the JAS staff to fight harder than ever to protect the courts that protect all our rights.”
Liss’s career as a public interest attorney in Washington, D.C., spans more than thirty years, during which she has been a champion for civil rights, women’s rights, public health and constitutional issues. Before assuming her leadership positions at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Brennan Center, she served as Director of Federal/State Relations for Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.    Earlier in her career, she served in the White House, as Chief of Staff to Mrs. Tipper Gore and Special Counsel to Vice President Al Gore. Her government service includes positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, and her earlier nonprofit work includes leadership roles at People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice. 
She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and B.A. from the University of Michigan.  
Since 2000, Justice at Stake has worked to keep courts fair and impartial. JAS is the leader of a nationwide campaign to defend courts, engaging bipartisan state and national allies in efforts to safeguard courts from political attacks, promote merit-based systems of judicial selection that keep money and politics out of courts, and advance diversity on the bench. Justice at Stake’s Honorary Chair is former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Liss will assume Executive Director duties at JAS from Liz Seaton, the current Interim Executive Director of JAS, who will return to her prior role as Deputy Executive Director. Longtime Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg departed the organization to assume the role of President of Appleseed in August of 2015.  
The positions and policies of Justice at Stake publications and campaign partners are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of other campaign partners or board members.
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