Sherrilyn Ifill

In addition to being vice chair of the Open Society U.S. Programs board, Sherrilyn Ifill is the president and director- counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and education Fund. She is also a professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she has taught since 1993. She has litigated cases with her students involving environmental justice, co-founded a clinic focused on the rights of people seeking to re-enter society after incarceration, and taught a law clinic on transitional justice.

She previously worked for the NAACP as an assistant counsel for the Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she litigated voting rights cases, and is a former fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union. Ifill is a leading national voice on race, voting, and political participation, writing regularly on these issues and appearing frequently on television and radio. Her 2007 book, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century, explores the continuing effects of the last two recorded mass lynchings in the state of Maryland.

A member of the OSI-Baltimore board since 2003, she joined the U.S. Programs board in 2009.