Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Anthony Romero: Leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union in Times of Crisis

Interviewee(s):
Romero, Anthony
Interviewer(s):
Meeker, Martin
Title:
Anthony Romero: Leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union in Times of Crisis
Abstract:
Anthony Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, a position he began just seven days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. Prior to joining the ACLU, Romero worked at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation. In this interview, Romero discusses: his family background and his upbringing and education in New York and New Jersey; his work for the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations; being recruited and hired to the executive director of the ACLU at a relatively young age; ACLU and the response to 9/11; challenges running ACLU and early mistakes; meeting and eventually becoming close friends with Herb and Marion Sandler, seeking advice from the Sandlers on a variety of key issues; working with donors, the art of development work; strategic planning at the ACLU, including greater funding of state affiliates; free speech issues; anticipating President Trump; the current status and future prospects for the ACLU.
Subject area(s):
Politics, Law, and Policy
Interview date(s):
2017, 2018
Project:
Marion and Herbert Sandler
Rights:
Anthony Romero, “Anthony Romero: Leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union in Times of Crisis,” Marion and Herbert Sandler Oral History Project, conducted by Martin Meeker in 2017-2018, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2019.