Maxim Thorne

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Maxim Thorne
Maxim thorne hrc sized.jpg
Senior Vice President of the NAACP
In office
October 1, 2008 – Incumbent
Personal details
Born November 24, 1964
Georgetown, Guyana
Nationality American

Maxim Thorne is an American lawyer and civil rights advocate who teaches on philanthropy at Yale University. He is the founder of JusticeInvestor, a litigation crowdfunding company focused on environmental and social justice cases. He became a Senior Vice President of the NAACP in 2008,[1][2] were he helped establish the first LGBT Task Force. Thorne helped argue Abbott v. Burke on behalf of Head Start and the NAACP.[3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Thorne was born in Georgetown, Guyana on November 24, 1964, but spent his early years in Nassau, Bahamas attending St. Thomas Moore's Primary School, until he was 10 and then returned to Guyana where he attended St. Margaret's Primary School and then Queen's College.[6] His mother, who is of mixed Indian and Chinese descent, met his father, who is also multi-ethnic (Black, Scottish, Indian and Chinese); while in Georgetown, Guyana. He immigrated to the United States in 1984.[citation needed] He is the great grandson of Alfred A. Thorne, a human rights advocate and educator in British Guiana.[1]

Thorne holds a bachelor's degree with cum laude honors in economics and political science from Yale College[6][6][7][1] and a JD from Yale Law School.[8]


In 2012 he taught "Philanthropy in Action" at Yale, where a gift by an anonymous donor allowed students to donate $100,000 to charitable causes.[9]

Thorne was appointed Executive Vice President of the Paley Center for Media in 2013.[10]

Thorne was active in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, serving on the Finance and Policy Committees, LGBT Leadership Council and African American Leadership Council. He resigned from the LGBT Council after a personal email exchange criticizing the Clinton campaign became public.[11][12]

Previously[when?] he was Chief Operating Officer at Human Rights Campaign, and Vice President at Human Rights Campaign Foundation.[13]

Formerly,[when?] Thorne was Executive Director of New Jersey Head Start, an association of all the Head Start Programs in New Jersey. While at the NJHSA, he oversaw the implementation of Abbott v. Burke, the New Jersey Supreme Court decision that mandated parity in funding and Whole School Reform. Thorne had represented Head Start, the New Jersey NAACP State Conference, and daycare centers in later litigation (Abbott VIII).[14] For its efforts the agency won the first annual "Lawyer as Problem Solver Award" of the American Bar Association in 2002.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "NAACP press release". 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  2. ^ "Metro Weekly". Metro Weekly. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  3. ^ "A Truce in New Jersey's School War - New York Times". 2002-02-09. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Newlin, Eliza (2010-08-02). "National Journal Online - Education Experts - Contributor Profile". Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  6. ^ a b c "PROGRAM.indd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 17, 2007. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  7. ^ "AYA Blue Print :: Black Alumni Gather in New York". 2005-06-17. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  8. ^ "The League". Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  9. ^ Shelton, Jim (1 January 2012). "Yale class gets $100G gift to donate to others (video)". New Haven Register. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "The Paley Center for Media Announces Three Key Executive Appointments (Press Release)". Paley Center for Media. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "'Live with Dan Abrams' for March 12 - msnbc tv - Morning Joe -". MSNBC. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  12. ^ Akanimo Uwan. "National Journal". Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  13. ^ BBC News Archived January 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Poverty Law". Poverty Law. 2002-02-22. Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  15. ^ James, George (2002-12-15). "NY Times". NY Times. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 

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