Todd A. Cox Joins NAACP Legal Defense Fund as Director of Policy

At Critical Time for Civil Rights, Key Hire a Powerful Addition to LDF Team

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is proud to announce that Todd A. Cox is joining LDF as the Director of Policy. In this key role, Mr. Cox will lead LDF’s strategic policy initiatives including institutional priorities ranging from policing reform to the restoration of the Voting Rights Act to ensuring a diverse and staffed federal judiciary. The nation is at a critical juncture on the path to racial justice, and Mr. Cox brings a depth of experience and acumen to LDF that will be crucial in driving policy initiatives that will continue to move us forward on that path.

Cox is familiar to LDF. He was Assistant Counsel from 1997 to 2003 where he litigated a variety of matters, particularly in the area of voting rights, and oversaw LDF’s political participation work. He later served as Director of the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs in the Administration of President Barack Obama at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and most recently as Director of Criminal Justice Policy at leading Washington think tank the Center for American Progress where he provided a crucial and influential voice on federal criminal justice reform.

“It’s always special to welcome back a member of LDF’s extended family, but we are particularly proud and pleased to welcome Todd back in this role as our Director of Policy,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel. “Todd was a great litigator at LDF. He has worked in government, philanthropy and in a number of leadership positions in the policy arena. In each incarnation, Todd’s work has focused on the struggle for racial equality and justice,” added Ifill. “Todd is a perfect fit for LDF at this critical transitional moment in our nation. His long background in government and civil rights leadership gives him a unique understanding of how best to effectively engage our partners, legislators, and agencies in order to advance a vital federal civil rights agenda. We are thrilled to have someone of Todd’s caliber lead LDF’s policy team,” she concluded.

Mr. Cox’s impressive list of credentials also includes serving as Deputy Chief of the Special Litigation Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as a Program Officer and Acting Deputy Director of the Human Rights Unit at the Ford Foundation. He has years of experience as a civil rights litigator and policy advocate, including at the Department of Justice and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

“I am so honored and pleased to be rejoining LDF and working arm-in-arm with some of the best attorneys, organizers, and staff the civil rights community has to offer,” said Mr. Cox. “We live in a challenging time in America. Segregation and racial discrimination persist, African-American men are being gunned down at an alarming rate by law enforcement officers, and more Americans are in prison than at any point in history. I am eager to help facilitate and bring about concrete change in these and other crucial areas.”

Mr. Cox received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 


  • Todd A. Cox bio


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.