FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETROIT, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) is excited to welcome new Executive Director Loren Khogali, a passionate advocate, who has been fighting to protect the rights of Michiganders for nearly two decades. Khogali began her career serving as a federal public defender in Detroit, where she represented people unable to afford an attorney for 13 years. She then led the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) as its Executive Director, overseeing and ensuring the implementation of statewide public defense standards, as well as securing funding to sustain this critical work. Khogali also served as the ACLU of Michigan Board President for a five-year term.
“Loren is an extraordinary person, advocate and leader, who is deeply compassionate and committed to creating a fair, just and equitable world,” said Nathan Triplett, ACLU of Michigan Board President. “Her many years working both as a cooperating volunteer attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, and serving as its board president, give her unique insight and understanding of the civil rights and civil liberties challenges facing our state. This, along with her kindness, generous spirit and devotion to protecting the rights of all, will ensure the continued growth and success of the ACLU of Michigan.”
As Executive Director of the MIDC, Khogali led a 13-person staff that serves a commission mandated to develop, implement and oversee statewide standards for indigent defense. She secured funding to support 120 diverse local public defense systems throughout the state and helped grow the organization's budget from $86 million to $117 million. While serving as a public federal defender, Khogali also volunteered with the ACLU of Michigan’s Detroit Lawyers’ Committee, Detroit Branch Board, and served as a member of the board of directors for more than 10 years, including time as board president.
Along with her professional experience, Khogali also serves as a member of several social justice and legal advocacy organizations, including the board of directors for MI Voices, and as a member of the Michigan Poverty Task Force, Advocates and Law Enforcement for Community Justice, and the Michigan Supreme Court’s Justice for All Commission. Khogali also is a founding member of the resident-led group, Beloved Community Plymouth-Canton, working to engage and facilitate community conversations on issues of racial equity and racial reconciliation.
“I cannot imagine a greater privilege than being chosen to lead this premier civil rights organization, and its talented and passionate staff,” said Khogali. “As an attorney, as a mother and as a lifelong Michigan resident, I have looked to the ACLU to lead on the most important threats to constitutional and civil rights. Now, as the nation continues to confront its history of racism, I believe the work of the ACLU is more critical than ever. As guardians of liberty, we must continue to strive for a more perfect union, ensuring the quality of access to protections guaranteed by our Constitution are not determined by a person’s race or economic status. I am thrilled that I can bring my passion, vision and deep commitment to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all people to the ACLU of Michigan.”
Khogali’s tenure as Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan began November 1. See her staff biography here.