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Policy Director



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Lee Rowland is a career-long civil liberties attorney and advocate with extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, educator, and public speaker. She currently serves as the Interim Policy Director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, overseeing the organization’s non-litigation advocacy and legislative work on a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties topics. She joined the NYCLU in 2018 (although she is a lifer of the ACLU and its affiliates), and manages more than a dozen employees in the NYCLU’s Policy Department.

Before coming to the NYCLU, Rowland was a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where she helped steer the ACLU’s free speech work. She served as lead counsel in federal First Amendment cases involving public employee speech rights, the First Amendment rights of community advocates, government regulation of digital speech, and state secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. She authored amicus briefs and blogs on topics including the intersection of speech and privacy, trademark and copyright protection, student and public employee speech, obscenity, and the Communications Decency Act. Rowland was the inaugural host of At Liberty, the ACLU’s weekly podcast.

Rowland has also been a teacher, both as an adjunct clinical professor for New York University School of Law’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic and an adjunct faculty member in the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. She taught many CLEs on free speech, and served for years as a member of the New York Bar Association’s Communications and Media Law Committee.

Rowland was previously a voting rights counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice; and before that, ran the Reno office of the ACLU of Nevada, where she regularly argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Nevada Supreme Court.

Rowland is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School. In her spare time, Lee is a dry stonewaller and jewelry maker.