NEW YORK–OSI President Aryeh Neier today announced the appointment of Ann Beeson, a distinguished human rights advocate and litigator, to Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute (OSI). Beeson, the Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will commence the position as of June 2007.
"Ann Beeson is a fitting successor to Gara LaMarche, who served in the post for more than a decade and is leaving to be President of another foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies," said Mr. Neier.
At the ACLU since 1995, Ms. Beeson spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives to stop the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security and to expand the use of international human rights strategies in the areas of national security, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights and racial justice. As founder of the National Security Program and Human Rights Program, she developed campaigns that combined litigation, public education, community organizing, and legislative reform.
As Director of U.S. Programs, Beeson will continue OSI’s work to protect civil liberties, reform the criminal justice system, and strengthen democracy by removing barriers to opportunity for marginalized people. She will play a leading role in advancing equality and respect for human rights in the United States and around the world.
"Ann Beeson is one of the most impressive leaders and advocates to emerge in the human rights and social justice community in the last ten years, and I have followed her career with great admiration," said Gara LaMarche, outgoing Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs. "She is a person of great energy, vision, and savvy. I can’t think of a better person to assume the leadership of OSI’s U.S. Programs."
"OSI has identified and is fighting the most acute threats to open society in the United States, including the growing gap between haves and have-nots, the blatant race discrimination in our criminal justice system, and the threat that immigration and national security policies pose to human rights," said Ms. Beeson. "I am honored to join OSI, which has the stature, the daring and the resources to improve the lives of Americans and to promote equality and human dignity everywhere."
An accomplished litigator, Ms. Beeson has argued twice before the United States Supreme Court. Last August, she won a historic lawsuit on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars and attorneys challenging the National Security Agency’s illegal surveillance of Americans without a warrant; the decision is currently on appeal. The World Economic Forum designated Beeson a "Global Leader for Tomorrow" and American Lawyer Magazine recently named her one of its 50 rising legal stars under the age of 45. She is frequently interviewed by the national media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, and National Public Radio. Prior to being named Associate Legal Director of the ACLU in 2001, Beeson was a pioneer in the movement to ensure free speech and privacy on the Internet. Ms. Beeson graduated magna cum laude from Emory University School of Law in 1993 and was Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Law Journal.