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Equal Justice Works Announces David Stern Retiring

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Headshot of David Stern
Photo of David Stern

David Stern to retire from Equal Justice Works, effective once a new executive director is in place

Kate Fritz, Vice Chair of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors, to lead the Board of Directors’ Executive Director Search Committee

Equal Justice Works announced today that David Stern has decided to step down from his role as the organization’s executive director, effective upon the appointment and onboarding of his successor. Kate Fritz, Vice Chair of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors, will chair the Board’s Executive Director Search Committee, which will conduct a national search for the next executive director of the organization.

“In his 30 years of service to this organization, David has had an immeasurable impact, enabling countless law students and lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service,” said Board Chair Ivan Fong. “His leadership has been truly transformative, and I am so grateful to have had the privilege of serving as Board Chair during David’s final years as Executive Director. Although I will be sad to see him depart the organization, David and the Board have long been committed to a successful transition plan, and we have full confidence in the strength of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors, leadership team, staff, Fellows, and community.”

Under David’s leadership, Equal Justice Works’ budget grew from less than $2 million to more than $21 million, and from seven Fellows in 1993 to more than 200 Fellows in the field today. Significantly, 85% of the more than 2,500 Equal Justice Works alumni remain in public service.

David joined Equal Justice Works, then known as the National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL), in 1992 to establish a postgraduate fellowship program; in 1995, he was promoted to executive director. Supported by David’s leadership, Equal Justice Works has evolved into the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. David will continue to serve as Executive Director at Equal Justice Works until a new executive director has been identified and is in place.

“I am energized and inspired by the law students and Fellows who have served over the past 30 years, and I have watched with such pride and gratitude as they emerged as passionate public service leaders,” said David. “They give me incredible hope for the future and fuel my own passion for this organization and its mission. I have had the good fortune to work with a great staff and Board of Directors who helped Equal Justice Works become the amazing organization it is today, with so much potential for its future. The organization is well positioned to welcome a new executive director.”

See David Stern’s full bio here.

In his 30 years of service to this organization, David has had an immeasurable impact, enabling countless law students and lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service.

Ivan Fong /
Equal Justice Works Board Chair

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