Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress announced that Nicole Lee Ndumele will be its first senior vice president of Rights and Justice. In this new role, Ndumele will lead the organization’s work to advance large-scale policy solutions that chart a new path forward for advancing rights, justice, and equity in our increasingly diverse America. This will include developing, communicating, and executing policies that cut across the issues of criminal justice, disability justice, faith, gun violence prevention, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and racial equity and justice.
Ndumele, who previously served as CAP’s vice president for Racial Equity and Justice, has broad expertise in civil rights, racial justice, criminal justice, anti-poverty, and pro-democracy work. She has deep experience within government, the advocacy community, and in philanthropy working for a bold rights and justice agenda. Prior to joining CAP, she served as the inaugural director of litigation strategy at Arnold Ventures. There, she led the organization’s efforts to develop a philanthropic investment portfolio leveraging high-impact litigation to foster criminal justice policy reforms. She also served in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice as both a prosecutor and legislative policy counsel. She’s also worked as a state public defender and worked as a counsel at Protect Democracy, where she was responsible for identifying and combating emerging threats to American democracy. Early in her career, she was a Skadden Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and a judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Ndumele earned a Juris Doctor at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts at Brown University.
“Nicole has deep expertise in leading cross-movement work and a strong commitment to building an America where all people have an opportunity to thrive,” said Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “Nicole’s significant policy and legal experience, as well as her commitment to ensuring that we develop bold policy solutions that ensure that our country lives up to its ideals, make her the ideal person to lead our cross-cutting rights and justice work at this critical moment for our country.”
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