Contact: Jana Kooren, ACLU of Minnesota, jkooren@aclu-mn.org 651-485-5925 cell or 651-529-1693

St. Paul, Minn. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is pleased to announce that John Gordon has been selected as its new executive director. Gordon has over 40 years of legal experience in the Twin Cities, primarily with Faegre Baker Daniels (formerly Faegre & Benson). Gordon had recently served as the ACLU-MN’s Interim Legal Director while Legal Director Teresa Nelson served as the Interim Executive Director.

“We are excited to have someone with John’s skills and experience providing leadership to the ACLU-MN at this critical time for our community and nation,” said Jonathan Abram, board chair. 

Gordon will step into the leadership role as the ACLU-MN celebrates its 65th anniversary. The nonprofit, non-partisan organization integrates legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties including immigrants' rights, free speech, racial justice, privacy and technology, humane police practices, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and more. 

“It is a critical time for the ACLU’s work.  As we face threats to our rights and liberties every day, it is imperative that we remain a strong and active organization and increase our support and the impact of our activities,” stated Gordon.  “I am thrilled to be working with the board and the excellent staff of the ACLU-MN to preserve and protect the rights and liberties of the many diverse communities and institutions in our civil society.  We all need to stand together to resist oppression, violence, racism and hatred, which threaten the lives of all of us.”

In addition to representing a wide variety of clients in complex commercial litigation, Gordon has a long history of public-interest representation of clients, including LGBT students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District seeking relief from harassment, plaintiffs challenging Minnesota’s “conceal-carry” firearms statute, immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S., and victims of domestic violence.

Gordon has also worked as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of St. Thomas Law School.  He has built relationships with many legal non-profits by serving on their boards, including the Fund for Legal Aid, the Hennepin County Bar Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, Amicus Society, the Infinity Project and others.

Gordon will replace Charles Samuelson, the ACLU-MN’s long-time executive director, who retired in February 2017 after leading the organization for 20 years.

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