Nkechi Taifa

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Nkechi Taifa
Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice, Open Society Policy Center

Photo credit:
Melissa Golden for the Open Society Foundations
Nkechi Taifa

What do you do at the Open Society Foundations?

I serve as advocacy director for criminal justice for the Open Society Policy Center, advising congress and the executive branch on criminal justice policies. I also convene the Justice Roundtable, a Washington-based advocacy network advancing federal criminal justice policy reforms. Our coalition was successful in supporting the passage of two major bills, the Second Chance Act Reentry legislation in 2008, and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.  

How long have you worked here?

I have worked at Open Society since 2002.

Why did you want to work at the Open Society Foundations?

I wanted to get back on the front lines of criminal justice advocacy, having worked on such issues as legislative counsel for the ACLU 10 years earlier. After teaching and directing a program at Howard Law School, the Open Society Foundations gave me the opportunity to get back in the mix of things and effectuate meaningful legislative change. 

How does your job challenge you?

I challenge myself by brainstorming exciting, new, and better ways to effectuate policy change.  

What’s the best thing about working here?

The best thing about working here is that I am working on issues I am really passionate about, and have the opportunity to engage with colleagues who are not only smart, but fun!