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Susan N. Herman

Susan N. Herman

President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Susan N. Herman

President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)


Susan N. Herman was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in October 2008, after having served as a member of the ACLU Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and as General Counsel.

She holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she currently teaches courses in Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law as well as seminars on Law and Literature in addition to Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She writes extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications. Her most recent book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy – winner of the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize – is being published in an updated paperback edition in 2014.

Herman has discussed constitutional law issues on radio, including a variety of NPR shows, and on television, including programs on PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC and a series of appearances on the Today in New York show. In addition, she has participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues. Herman received a B.A. from Barnard College as a philosophy major, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Note and Comment Editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review. Before entering teaching, Professor Herman was Pro Se Law Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Staff Attorney and then Associate Director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.

Herman has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events. Organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center and the American Bar Association, she lectures and conducts workshops for various groups of judges, lawyers and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many schools and universities. Herman’s in depth knowledge on national security issues, marriage equality, women’s and voting rights, the criminal justice system and civil liberties will provide audiences with the necessary tools to understand the social issues we face today.

Speech Topics

Surveillance and National Security Issues

Marriage Equality and the LGBT Rights Revolution: From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall

Women’s Rights

Voting Rights

Students’ Rights

General Civil Liberties: Myths About the ACLU