Nkechi Taifa

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Nkechi Taifa "is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society Policy Center. In this role, she works to influence the public policy debate around civil and criminal justice reform. Taifa focuses on issues involving federal sentencing reform, accountability in federal law enforcement, domestic criminal justice reform issues, prisoner reentry, and improving prison conditions. She also monitors issues involving the death penalty and judicial nominations.

"Over the course of her notable career, Taifa has played a major role in raising the visibility of issues involving unequal justice. She has been widely published on issues involving sentencing and justice reform. She is an Adjunct Professor at Howard University Law School, teaching a seminar on "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System." Prior to joining OSI, Taifa served as the Director of the Equal Justice Program at Howard University School of Law, where she developed and coordinated projects including collaborating with public interest practitioners, pro bono coordinators and area law schools to create new opportunities for Howard Law School's pro bono activities. Taifa spent 4 years as Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, serving as the principal spokesperson for the ACLU Washington Office on criminal justice issues. Before that, she served as Public Policy Counsel for the Women's Legal Defense Fund and worked as a staff attorney for the National Prison Project. Taifa also spent many years as an attorney in private practice.

"Taifa serves on the board of several organizations including the Washington Council of Lawyers, the Bureau of Rehabilitation, and D.C. Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. She is an active member in several associations, including the American Bar Association's Race and Racism Committee, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Bar Association and the Washington Bar Association.

"Taifa received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a B.A. in history and education." [1]