Detroit — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced the appointment of fundraising veteran Mia Axon as development director today. The announcement was made by Kary L. Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan.

“We are thrilled to have Mia on the ACLU team,” said Moss. “The organization is poised to take a huge step forward and Mia’s appointment represents another critical step in preserving fundamental rights for all Michiganders. The combination of Mia’s years of expertise, her demonstrated excellence and commitment to civil liberties will help take the ACLU of Michigan to the next level.”

In her role at the ACLU of Michigan, Axon will manage and coordinate the organization’s development operations. She is responsible for planning, supervising and executing the development programs and leading the expansion of the ACLU of Michigan’s fundraising strategies. Last year, the ACLU of Michigan announced a significant statewide expansion that will meet the ever-growing challenge to civil rights and civil liberties in the state. The expansion will occur over the next four years, leading to the hiring of additional staff, creation of a new office in Grand Rapids, increased efforts to educate a new generation committed to the ideals of the Bill of Rights, and more resources to defend religious freedom, racial justice and the right to privacy.

"I am delighted to be joining the ACLU of Michigan,” said Axon. “Kary Moss and the team, along with the support of many committed volunteers, have impressively built the activities of ACLU in Michigan over the past decade and the affiliate is now recognized as one of strongest programs in the country."

Axon brings 18 years of development and leadership experience to the position. Most recently, she held the position of lead major gift officer at the University of Michigan's Department of Surgery where she managed a caseload of 150 alumni and patients. Prior to that, she was the regional major gifts officer at the Environmental Defense Fund in Boulder, Colorado and the Director of Development at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Wyoming.

Axon also directed the capital campaign at The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming which raised $17.7 million for Wild Spaces, Working Places, a conservation initiative.

In addition to her successes in development and fundraising, Axon is an accomplished musician and professional rock climber. Before Axon entered the development profession, she served as the principal harpist for the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Also, Axon was the national climbing champion in 1993 and 1994, was fourth-place finisher in the 1994 World Cup in Austria, and third-place finisher in ESPN's 1995 Extreme Games.

Axon graduated with a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree in harp performance from the University of Michigan.

She currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.