NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Kevin Keenan

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Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Kevin Keenan joined LDF as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel in 2013. Mr. Keenan previously served as the executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, which he grew from seven staff members to twenty four and where he increased the budget by 376 percent.  He aligned the organization around a vision of building power together with local San Diego communities and strategies that integrated communications, organizing, policy advocacy, and litigation. 

He helped create the ACLU of California, an unprecedented, comprehensive collaboration between the state’s three ACLU affiliates, as well as a statewide voting rights project and a multi-state litigation project to combat border-related civil liberties abuses. In order to build the power of underrepresented Latino residents, he and his team led a voter mobilization campaign in 2012 that contacted 15,000 households and mobilized seven percent of the electorate in a city of 55,000 voters.

At the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, he served as an attorney for children in Virginia’s juvenile prisons and succeeded in pressing new laws to improve reentry services for children with mental health and educational difficulties.

Mr. Keenan also served in the General Counsel's office of the Vera Institute of Justice and as interim director of the ACLU affiliates in Nevada and New Jersey. He helped human rights reform efforts in Belfast, Northern Ireland following the Good Friday Peace Agreement and, on three missions, monitored elections in the former Yugoslavia.

He is author of Invasion of Privacy: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO 2005) and, with Samuel Walker, An Impediment to Accountability? An Analysis of Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights (Boston University Journal of Public Interest Law 2005).  In 2010, Keenan was appointed to a five-year term on the Council on Foreign Relations, and, in 2013, to the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee.  

He is a graduate of Yale Law School and Swarthmore College.