UN 61st Session Commission on Human Rights - ACLU Staff Biographies

Document Date: April 1, 2005

Ann Beeson is the Associate Legal Director of the ACLU and leads the Human Rights Working Group, which uses a human rights framework to advance social justice in the areas of national security, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights and criminal justice. In October 2003 she convened a landmark national conference for over 250 social justice advocates entitled “Human Rights at Home: International Law in U.S. Courts,” at the Carter Presidential Center. Ms. Beeson is currently leading efforts to stop the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security. She has filed three legal challenges to surveillance provisions in the USA Patriot Act and represents national security whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation for exposing security breaches and government misconduct. As counsel to several national organizations, Ms. Beeson filed a Freedom of Information Act demand for records about FBI spying on political and religious groups, and is coordinating a nationwide advocacy project to end FBI spying. She was named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, and one of America’s Top 50 Women Litigators by The National Law Journal. Ms. Beeson has contributed to two reports that describe the devastating effect of unlawful detention and deportation on immigrants and their families: “America’s Disappeared: Seeking International Justice for Immigrants Detained After September 11,” and “Worlds Apart: How Deporting Immigrants After September 11 Tore Families Apart and Shattered Communities.”

Jamil Dakwar is a senior human rights attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Working Group, which uses a human rights framework and strategies to advance social justice in the areas of national security, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights and criminal justice. Previously, Mr. Dakwar was a senior attorney with Adalah, one of the most prominent human rights groups in Israel focusing on Arab Palestinian citizens. At Adalah, Mr. Dakwar used both international human rights and domestic law to advance and protect the human rights of Palestinian citizens. He has filed and argued dozens of cases before the Israeli Supreme Court, and advocated before international forums including the UN treaty bodies. Mr. Dakwar has also worked at Human Rights Watch where he conducted research on issues of torture and detention in Egypt, Morocco and Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories. He is the co-author of a recent Human Rights Watch report: “Morocco: Human Rights at a Crossroads.” Mr. Dakwar received his law degree in 1996 from Tel-Aviv University, and an LL.M. in public service law from New York University in 2003. Mr. Dakwar speaks Arabic, Hebrew, English and basic French.

Claudia Flores is an attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. She focuses on employment problems faced by low-wage immigrant women workers and women who have been trafficked into the United States. Ms. Flores addresses labor law violations, sexual harassment, violations of human rights and other abuses faced by women who work in private homes, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, garment factories and other marginal jobs. In addition to litigating cases on behalf of these women, she conducts know-your-rights training sessions at immigrant community centers and collaborates with community organizations and anti-trafficking groups on domestic and international advocacy efforts. Prior to working at the ACLU, Ms. Flores developed an Immigrant Domestic Workers Project at the International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic at CUNY Law School, where she represented domestic workers who were victims of human trafficking and involuntary servitude. Currently, she is collaborating with Global Rights and Andolan, a community organization that organizes domestic workers, on an advocacy effort to address the exploitation of domestic workers employed by staff of international organizations, consulates and embassies.

Jameel Jaffer is a litigator for the National Legal Department of the ACLU. Mr. Jaffer is currently counsel to the plaintiffs in ACLU et al. v. Department of Defense, litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that has resulted in the release of tens of thousands of documents concerning the treatment of prisoners held by the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. Since 2002, Mr. Jaffer has also served as counsel in several of the most significant cases involving the USA Patriot Act. Before joining the staff of the ACLU, he served as law clerk to Hon. Amalya L. Kearse, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then to Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

Lenora M. Lapidus is the Director of the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU. She litigates constitutional and other gender discrimination cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, engages in public policy advocacy, and speaks on gender equity issues in the media and to the public. Her work focuses on economic justice, violence against women and criminal justice, and incorporates an international human rights framework into each of these. Previously, Ms. Lapidus served as the Legal Director of the ACLU of New Jersey, held the John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest and Constitutional Law, at Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, in NJ, was a Staff Attorney Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and clerked for the Honorable Richard Owen, U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y.

LaShawn Warren is Legislative Counsel for the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. She is responsible for analyzing the civil liberties implications of federal legislation relating to voting rights, racial profiling, education equity, women’s rights and international human rights. Ms. Warren works to influence public policy on civil liberties issues as developed and formulated by Congress and the Executive Branch. Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Warren worked as a Legislative Analyst for the Seattle City Council and as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Washington. She also worked as a legal intern for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and for the Center for Constitutional Rights – Voting Rights Office.

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