Debo P. Adegbile is Special Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), the nation’s leading civil rights legal organization. Debo has served LDF in various roles over the last decade, and until recently, served as its Acting President and Director-Counsel, and before that as Associate Director-Counsel/Director of Litigation. LDF’s legal program is focused in the areas Economic Justice, Criminal Justice, Education, Political Participation and includes policy and legislative advocacy. Its national litigation practice encompasses trial, appellate, and United States Supreme Court cases. On February 27, 2013, Debo argued against a constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act before the United States Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder . In 2009, Debo argued Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One v. Holder  in which the court left Section 5 intact in the face of an earlier constitutional challenge. In 2010, Debo supervised the LDF team that successfully litigated an employment case before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of African-American firefighter applicants in Lewis v. City of Chicago . John Payton argued the case and achieved a rare unanimous ruling in this civil rights case. Drawing upon his litigation expertise, Debo has testified before Congress on several occasions. Prior to joining LDF in 2001, Debo was a litigation associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for seven years. At Paul, Weiss, Debo worked closely with Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. on several major cases, and represented the firm’s clients in a broad range of commercial and civil rights matters.
Debo received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1994; and a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in 1991, where he was awarded the Anna Lord Strauss Medal given annually to the graduating senior who has rendered outstanding college and community service. Debo is a Trustee of Connecticut College and of the Manhattan Country School in New York City.