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NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Oct 25, 2021

From the Courtroom to the Streets: Renowned Trial Lawyer, Reform Advocate, and Teacher Lisa Monet Wayne Named Executive Director of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Oct. 25, 2021) – On Saturday, October 23, 2021, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)voted to appoint NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ) President and NACDL Past President Lisa Monet Wayne to serve as NACDL’s and the NFCJ’s next Executive Director. Effective Monday, November 1, 2021, Wayne succeeds Norman L. Reimer, who served in that role from 2006 to July 2021, and Kyle O’Dowd, NACDL’s Associate Executive Director for Policy, who has served as Interim Executive Director since July 16, 2021.   

The 2005 Recipient of the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, NACDL’s most prestigious honor, Wayne has served NACDL and the NFCJ in countless ways over decades. In addition to serving as President of both NACDL and the NFCJ, Wayne has chaired NACDL’s Women’s Committee, Diversity Committee, and multiple CLE programs. She is also a past member of NACDL’s Executive, Budget, Audit, White Collar, Public Defense, and Strategic Planning Committees.

"We are at a crossroads and cannot hesitate in our mission to make the criminal legal system fair and rational," said incoming NACDL and NFCJ Executive Director Lisa Monet Wayne. "After many years in the courtroom, I am committed to redressing the injustices of the criminal legal system including the legacy of systemic racism and discrimination against the poor. I have fought in the courts and taught in the classroom and am ready to translate these experiences into service of our colleagues and clients. I look forward to joining forces with all those who appreciate the need for profound reform including the many excellent reform-oriented organizations in the trenches. I am honored to work with NACDL’s visionary board of directors and top-notch staff, and I am confident that we will make change happen."

"Congratulations to NACDL and my dear friend and fellow Past President Lisa Wayne on her appointment as Executive Director of NACDL. I have no doubt that she will lead the organization to ever greater heights and success during her tenure," said Rick Jones, NACDL Past President and Executive Director and CEO of the Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc. (NDS). "In addition to an outstanding career of fighting for justice as a criminal defense lawyer, bar leader, reform advocate and educator, Lisa brings her lived experience as a Black woman to this important post. She is a brilliant trial lawyer, and that experience will be an important component of what she brings to the role, but it will be her humanity, empathy, wisdom, and tireless commitment to the mission of NACDL that will define her service as Executive Director." 

"From legal education and resources to advocacy and reform, from fundraising to pro bono legal services, and so much more, Lisa Wayne brings to this role extensive, high-level experience in the numerous areas of NACDL’s and the NFCJ’s operations," said NACDL Past President and Co-Founder and Director of the Innocence Project Barry Scheck. "Lisa’s long and successful history of engagement, commitment, and leadership in the nation’s criminal defense bar and criminal legal system reform movement speaks for itself. I am confident that NACDL under Lisa’s leadership as Executive Director will thrive. I trust I speak for many when I express my gratitude for her desire and willingness to take on this important work."


Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.

This article was syndicated from the NACDL website and originally appeared on:

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NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.