Derek Ellerman

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Derek Ellerman
Derek Ellerman testifying before Congress
Education Cognitive Neuroscience, Sc.B.
Alma mater Brown University
Known for Co-founder of Polaris Project
Title Member of the Board
Awards Ashoka Fellow; John Hope Award for Community Service

Derek Ellerman (born June 27, 1978) is an American social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Polaris Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that combats human trafficking and modern slavery. As of 2012, he serves as a member of the board of directors of the organization. In 2004, he was selected as a Fellow by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.[1] Ellerman is the co-publisher of the feminist website Everyday Feminism.[2]

Educational background[edit]

Derek Ellerman attended Brown University, graduating in 2002, with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience.[3]

Professional background[edit]

While an undergraduate student at Brown University, Ellerman established the Center for Police and Community (CPAC), an organization that addressed issues of police misconduct in Providence, Rhode Island. At CPAC, Ellerman served as the Executive Director and worked to support individual victims of police abuse. He assisted in successfully advocating for the creation of the first civilian review board for law enforcement in the state of Rhode Island.[1][3]

In 2002, during his senior year at Brown, Ellerman co-founded Polaris Project with Katherine Chon after reading an article in a local paper about a fake massage business, the conditions of which were close to slavery.[4] Located in the United States, Polaris Project works to address and combat all forms of human trafficking, while providing programs and services to help all victims throughout the country.


  1. ^ a b "Derek Ellerman | Ashoka - Innovators for the Public". Ashoka. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  2. ^ "About Derek Ellerman". Everyday Feminism. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Brown Alumni Magazine: "Against Their Will" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 27, 2007)
  4. ^ "This Just In | SLAVE LABOR". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 

External links[edit]