Maya Wiley

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Maya Wiley
Maya Wiley 2.jpg
President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Assumed office
May 2, 2022
Preceded byWade Henderson
Chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board
In office
July, 2016–August, 2017
Preceded byJonathan Darche
Succeeded byFrederick Davie
Personal details
Born (1964-01-02) January 2, 1964 (age 59)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseHarlan Mandel
RelativesGeorge Wiley (father)
EducationDartmouth College (BA)
Columbia University (JD)

Maya D. Wiley (born January 2, 1964) is an American lawyer, professor, and civil rights activist. She has served as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights since May 2022. Wiley served as counsel to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. She chaired the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from 2016 to 2017.[1][2] She was an MSNBC legal analyst from August 2018 to January 2021.[3] Wiley ran in the 2021 New York City Democratic mayoral primary, placing third.

Wiley is the senior vice president for social justice at The New School and a professor at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment. In March 2022, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights announced Wiley's appointment as its president and CEO, and of its sister group, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, effective May 2.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Wiley was born on January 2, 1964, in Syracuse, New York, and raised in Washington, D.C.[6] Her father was civil rights leader and academic George Wiley. Her mother, Wretha Frances (Whittle) Wiley, was white, and inspired her to focus on progressive issues.[7][8] On August 8, 1973, Wiley's 42-year-old father fell overboard while sailing with Wiley and her older brother on his 23‐foot boat on Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.[9][10] On August 12, 1973, his body was found floating in the bay off the shore of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, after a three-day search.[11][12]

Wiley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Dartmouth College in 1986[13] and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.[14]


Wiley in 2015

Wiley served in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York.[15]

In 2013, Wiley was mentioned as a potential president of the NAACP, but the post went instead to Cornell William Brooks.[16] Before being appointed counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014, she worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Open Society Institute.[17]

Wiley spent two and a half years as counsel to de Blasio, during which time she became known for coining the term "agents of the city" in an attempt to prevent public disclosure of de Blasio's communications with lobbyists.[18] She also founded and served as president of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy strategy organization dedicated to dismantling structural racism.[19][17][20][21]

Wiley has taught at The New School and appeared on MSNBC as a political and legal analyst.[22]

2021 New York City mayoral campaign[edit]

Wiley ran in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City in 2021.[22] In June 2021, Wiley was endorsed by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,[23][24] and former presidential candidates Julian Castro[25] and Elizabeth Warren.[26] She was also endorsed by The Strokes, whose song "Starting Again" was included in a campaign advertisement.[27] The band also played a fundraising concert at Irving Plaza on June 12, 2021.[28] Wiley placed third in the Democratic primary, behind Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Wiley is married to Harlan Mandel, CEO of the Media Development Investment Fund.[18] They live in Brooklyn with their two daughters.[7]


  1. ^ Mueller, Benjamin (August 31, 2017). "Chairwoman Steps Down at New York City Police Oversight Agency". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Two New Appointments To CCRB". The official website of the City of New York. September 26, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ MSNBC Public Relations [@MSNBCPR] (August 27, 2018). "We are excited to announce @TheNewSchool professor of Urban Policy and Management @mayawiley as our newest @NBCNews and @MSNBC Legal Analyst. Tune in to @TheBeatWithAri at 6pm ET on @MSNBC for her first appearance in her new role." (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2021 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Oshin, Olafimihan (March 8, 2022). "Former NYC Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley to head Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights". TheHill. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  5. ^ "Maya Wiley, former de Blasio aide, hired to helm Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  6. ^ "Transcript: Maya Wiley: Racial Justice". Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Maya Wiley's push for civil rights". Politico. July 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Wretha Wiley Obituary - Abilene, Texas |". February 12, 2013.
  9. ^ "George A. Wiley Papers, 1949-1975 (Archival Resources in Wisconsin)".
  10. ^ "DR. GEORGE WILEY FEARED DROWNED (Published 1973)". The New York Times. August 10, 1973.
  11. ^ "Body of Dr. George Wiley Recovered and Identified (Published 1973)". The New York Times. August 12, 1973.
  12. ^ "DR. GEORGE WILEY FEARED DROWNED (Published 1973)". The New York Times. August 10, 1973. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Furlong, Lisa (June 2016). "Maya Wiley '86: An NYC aide on facing urban challenges". Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  14. ^ "NBC News legal analyst Maya Wiley to deliver keynote address for Clemson's MLK Commemorative Service". Newsstand | Clemson University News and Stories, South Carolina. January 15, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Maya Wiley Joins CPD Board of Directors". The Center for Popular Democracy. March 21, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "Who's going to be the next president of the NAACP?". The Washington Post. September 20, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "27 Black Women Activists Everyone Should Know". For Harriet. February 27, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Coltin, Jeff (September 2, 2020). "Five things to know about Maya Wiley". City & State NY. Retrieved May 20, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Maya Wiley". City of New York.
  20. ^ "De Blasio Picks More Liberal Activists Than Managers for City Posts". The New York Times. February 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Women of New York's City Hall". The New York Times. May 9, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (October 8, 2020). "Maya Wiley Enters Mayor's Race: 'I Am Not a Conventional Candidate'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  23. ^ Glueck, Katie (June 5, 2021). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Maya Wiley for N.Y.C. Mayor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  24. ^ "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorses Maya Wiley for New York mayor". the Guardian. June 5, 2021. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  25. ^ "Maya Wiley gets nod from former presidential hopeful Julian Castro". New York Daily News.
  26. ^ Wiley, Maya [@mayawiley] (June 7, 2021). "Big structural change is exactly what New York City needs right now. @ewarren, thank you for your confidence in me. Let's dream big and fight hard for the City welove." (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Blistein, Jon (June 21, 2021). "The Strokes Tease New Song 'Starting Again' in Campaign Ad for NYC Mayoral Candidate Maya Wiley". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  28. ^ Kreps, Daniel (June 13, 2021). "See the Strokes Play Fundraiser Gig for NYC Mayoral Candidate Maya Wiley". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  29. ^ Honan, Katie (July 7, 2021). "New York City Mayoral Race: Eric Adams Wins Democratic Primary". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved July 7, 2021.

External links[edit]