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|Senior Vice-President of the NAACP|
1 October 2008 – Incumbent
|Born||24 November 1964
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, where he helped establish the first LGBT Task Force. Thorne helped argue Abbott v. Burke on behalf of Head Start and the NAACP.
Early life and education
Thorne was born in Georgetown, Guyana on 24 November 1964. He spent his early years in Nassau, Bahamas along with his sister, Katya, attending St. Thomas Moore's Primary School, until he was 10, then returned to Guyana where he attended St. Margaret's Primary School and Queen's College. His mother, Eslyn Thorne, 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. Thorne immigrated to the United States in 1984. He is the great grandson of Alfred A. Thorne, a human rights advocate and educator in British Guiana.
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.
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 criticising the Clinton campaign became public.
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 centres in later litigation (Abbott VIII). For its efforts the agency won the first annual "Lawyer as Problem Solver Award" of the American Bar Association in 2002.
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- Essay: New Political and Legal Strategies for African-Americans: Dreaming Big, Dreaming Creatively
- Interview with Mildred Bond Roxborough for NPR's StoryCorps
- Yale Daily News article on Maxim Thorne presiding over the Yale Afro-American Cultural Center 2009 Gala
- Maxim Thorne, testifying before the US Congress's LGBT Equality Caucus on the Census, Co-Chaired by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Barney Frank (D-MA), and Jared Polis (D-CO), April 1, 2010