ACLU Names Veteran Diplomat Executive Director Of South Carolina Office

October 30, 2008 12:00 am

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CHARLESTON, SC – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced the appointment of Victoria Middleton, a career U.S. diplomat who has worked on three continents promoting the constitutional principles of democracy and freedom, as the new Executive Director of the ACLU South Carolina Office.

“I am honored to have the privilege of serving the great state of South Carolina and of working on behalf of all South Carolinians,” said Middleton. “I have spent my entire life working to protect our most cherished American values across the world, and I look forward to working to make sure that each and every South Carolinian benefits from the sacred constitutional protections that are at the heart of who we are as Americans.”

Middleton most recently served as the director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Asia and Western Hemisphere Affairs where she led a team of regional experts who implemented democracy strategies aimed at protecting the freedom of the press, supporting free and fair elections, promoting transparency and the rule of law and encouraging Internet access in countries like Cuba, China, Colombia and Vietnam.

Prior to that, Middleton, a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Bryn Mawr College and the University of California at Berkeley, spent 21 years as a public diplomacy officer for the State Department. In that role, she worked to advance U.S. policies and promote mutual understanding in the Philippines, India, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Finland.

“We are thrilled that Victoria has agreed to become the first Executive Director of the new ACLU South Carolina Office,” said Graham Boyd, who has served as the Office’s interim executive director since its opening last July. “Her commitment to protecting civil liberties, as well her extensive international experience working on behalf of the essential American ideals of democracy, freedom and equality will be an enormous benefit to the state of South Carolina.”

Since its opening, the ACLU South Carolina Office has taken a broad, non-partisan approach to defending constitutional rights in the state and preserving the principles contained within the Bill of Rights for all South Carolinians. Among the Office’s most significant initial achievements has been working to ensure that all eligible voters across the state are aware and take advantage of their right to cast a ballot in next week’s presidential election. Ensuring free and fair elections that are as fully-participatory as possible will continue to be a primary focus of the Office under Middleton’s stewardship.

“The fundamental right of every eligible voter to participate in the political decisions of our state and our nation is a hallmark of our Constitution and our democracy, and that right must be protected,” said Middleton. “We will be closely monitoring next week’s crucial presidential election and, as we move forward, will work to eliminate any barriers that might arise that impede a fair and free election process.”

The ACLU South Carolina Office recently completed a survey which garnered statewide and community-specific input on areas of need and prioritization for the office, as well as a slate of community meetings throughout the state that allowed open, community-wide discussion of specific issues of importance in South Carolina. Middleton will carefully analyze all of the information garnered from these two initiatives as she works to develop additional Office priorities in the coming weeks and months.

“More than anything else, we are here to serve the people of South Carolina,” said Middleton. “I am committed to engaging all of the state’s constituents in an effort to come up with collaborative and unique approaches to responding to the need to protect our constitutional values.”

Additional information about the ACLU South Carolina Office can be found online at:

Additional information about the national ACLU can be found online at:

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.