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ACLU of Illinois legal director to retire

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ACLU Illinois Legal Director Benjamin Wolf (Photo from ACLU of Illinois)

CHICAGO — The legal director of the ACLU of Illinois announced last week that he is retiring.

In a press release, the ACLU said that Benjamin Wolf  announced his upcoming retirement as the legal director of the ACLU of Illinois. Wolf joined the organization in 1984 and has served as legal director since 2015. He will remain in his current position until a successor is identified and retained.  

“It is difficult to imagine finding more satisfaction in a legal career than I experienced at the ACLU,” added Wolf in making his announcement. “It has been an honor – to work with some incredible people, to take on issues that truly matter for those without a voice, and to create a foundation for our work moving forward.” 

“Over more than three decades, Ben has brought his compassion, great intellect, and empathy to his work on behalf of our clients in each step he has taken,” said Colleen Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois. “His thoughtful, strategic approach to long-term reform has improved the lives of thousands and helped guide our organization through these past few years of growth and high demand.” 

As legal director, Wolf has overseen the ACLU of Illinois’ groundbreaking response to efforts by the Trump and Rauner Administrations to curtail basic rights. He presided over unprecedented growth in the legal staff, largely in response to challenges and need in the wake of the 2016 election. During his tenure, the ACLU was able to play a significant role in the consent decree now in place to reform the Chicago Police Department, secure an agreement to improve the dangerous system of health care in Illinois prisons, advance the rights of students who are transgender, and help to facilitate a settlement on behalf of a south suburban police officer discriminated against because she was pregnant. 

The ACLU has retained Koya Leadership Partners to conduct a national search to fill the Legal Director position. Koya Leadership Partners is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm exclusively dedicated to mission-driven search. Please visit www.koyapartners.com to learn more about this role. 

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