Julie A. Fernandes is a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations. In that capacity, Fernandes works to influence public policy in support of the protection of civil and human rights in the United States, with a focus in the areas of voting rights, election reform, and racial justice.
Prior to her current position, Fernandes was deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Fernandes was responsible for oversight of the Division’s work in the areas of voting rights, federal compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and international human rights. Fernandes also spent a year as director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, a coalition of national organizations working together to end modern slavery in the United States and around the world.
For more than six years, Fernandes was the senior policy analyst and senior counsel at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. Fernandes also served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton at the White House Domestic Policy Council where her work focused on the development of policy in the areas of immigration, race relations, and civil rights.
Prior to her position with LCCR, Fernandes served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Bill Lann Lee, working primarily on legal and policy issues related to voting rights, international human rights, and police misconduct, including racial profiling, and was a trial lawyer in the Housing and Voting Sections of the Civil Rights Division.
Fernandes received both her JD and AB degrees from the University of Chicago. She was the Karpatkin Fellow in the National Legal Department of the American Civil Liberties Union and clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.