Julie Fernandes is the advocacy director for voting rights and democracy at the Open Society Foundations where she works to influence public policy in support of the protection of civil and human rights in the United States.
Prior to her current position, Fernandes was deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was responsible for oversight of the division’s voting rights program.
For more than six years, Fernandes was the senior counsel at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Fernandes also served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton at the White House Domestic Policy Council; was counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, Bill Lann Lee; and spent time as a trial lawyer in the Housing and Voting Sections of the Civil Rights Division. Fernandes has testified before Congress on voting rights issues and has authored several research reports and magazine pieces primarily in the areas of voting rights and criminal justice reform.
Fernandes received both her JD and AB degrees from the University of Chicago and clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.