Jennifer Clarke, our Executive Director, will step down after 14 years at the end of 2020

Jennifer Clarke, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Center
Jennifer Clarke, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Center

Philadelphia, PA—Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center, has announced that she plans to step down at the end of 2020, after a 14-year tenure marked by landmark litigation achievements, expansion and increased diversity of the board and staff, and enhanced financial stability for the 50-year-old organization.

Under her leadership, the Law Center won landmark victories for voters’ rights. The Law Center helped lead the case striking down a proposed Pennsylvania Voter ID law in 2012; and in 2018, the organization successfully challenged Pennsylvania’s 2011 U.S Congressional District Map, one of the most egregious partisan gerrymanders in the country. In addition, Jennifer led the Law Center in persuading the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse 40 years of precedent by agreeing to hear a challenge to the state’s unfair and inadequate funding of public education; securing a settlement in a Medicaid case in Florida providing increased access to health and dental care for 1.9 million children; and other major efforts to take on poverty and discrimination.

“Jennifer has been an exceptional leader for the Law Center,” noted Board Chair, Ellen Friedell. “She united the board, staff, supporters and clients around a clear strategic vision; and then built, inspired and supported a formidable team of lawyers and other professionals to achieve that vision. The Law Center has benefited enormously from Jennifer’s amazing legal acumen, prodigious human and financial resource development, and superior management and strategic skills. Indeed, Jennifer has set a high bar,” Friedell concluded.

“It has been a deep privilege to lead this organization for the past 14 years,” Jennifer stated. “Working with our supportive Board, collaborating with an extraordinarily talented staff and building strong alliances in our local and national community have been the most fulfilling professional experiences of my career. I am proud of our record of success, and it is time to hand the baton to a new leader as I enter a new phase of my life in 2021.”

The Board of Directors of the Law Center has appointed a 7-member Search/Transition Committee to conduct the search and has engaged the national executive search firm of Isaacson, Miller to assist in that endeavor. Individuals who wish to apply or suggest candidates for the position of executive director are directed to the Isaacson, Miller web site at . All inquiries and nominations will be deemed confidential.

The Public Interest Law Center uses high-impact legal strategies to advance the civil, social, and economic rights of communities in the Philadelphia region facing discrimination, inequality, and poverty. We use litigation, community education, advocacy, and organizing to secure their access to fundamental resources and services in the areas of public education, housing, health care, employment, environmental justice and voting.