Anthony D. Romero, JD
Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He took the helm of the organization just seven days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. He led the ACLU in its subsequent campaigns to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis, as well as in a joint project to assist the under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions.
An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero led the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on human rights, racial justice, religious freedom, technology and privacy, reproductive freedom, criminal law reform, and LGBT rights.
Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. In 2005, Romero was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.
In 2007, Romero and co-author and NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston published In Defense of Our America: The Fight for Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror, a book that takes a critical look at civil liberties in this country at a time when constitutional freedoms are in peril.
Before joining the ACLU, Romero was the Ford Foundation’s Director of Human Rights and International Cooperation.
Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and has sat on numerous nonprofit boards.
Mr. Romero joined the PHR Board in 2012.