Susan N. Herman

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Susan N. Herman
01 Susan Herman-155.jpg
President of the American Civil Liberties Union
In office
October 2008 – January 31, 2021
Succeeded byDeborah Archer
Personal details
Born1947 (age 73–74)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
EducationBarnard College (BA)
New York University (JD)

Susan N. Herman (born 1947) is an American constitutional law scholar and presided as president of the American Civil Liberties Union from October 2008 to January 2021.[1][2] Herman has taught at Brooklyn Law School since 1980.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Herman was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. Herman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Barnard College in 1968 and a Juris Doctor from the New York University School of Law, where she was a note and comment editor for the New York University Law Review.[5][6]

Herman served as pro se law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She was a staff attorney and later associate director for Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.[5]


Herman teaches constitutional law and criminal procedure, seminars on law and literature, and terrorism and civil liberties,[7] at Brooklyn Law School where she is the inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg Professor of Law.[8]

She began working for the ACLU as an intern in law school.[1] When she was elected president, Herman was the organization's general counsel and had served on its board for 20 years.[1][3]

Herman's book Taking Liberties: the War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy was published by Oxford University Press in October 2011,[9] and won the 2012 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.[10]

Herman has appeared as a guest on NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, NBC News, and MSNBC. She has written opinion columns for The New York Times, Time, Newsday, and HuffPost.[11][12][13][14]

In 2019, Herman was named to Crain's New York Business biennial list of the "Most Powerful Women in New York".[15]

Personal life[edit]

Herman is married to Paul Gangsei, a law partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. They have one daughter.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Law professor elected new ACLU president: Susan Herman plans to reach out to African-Americans, religious groups". Associated Press. 2008-10-18. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Brosh, Brendan (2008-10-18). "New ACLU president from Brooklyn Law School". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Professor Susan Herman". AJC.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Susan N. Herman". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Herman, Susan". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  7. ^ "Susan N. Herman". Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  8. ^ Brooklyn Law School
  9. ^ Herman, Susan (October 3, 2011). Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-978254-3.
  10. ^ Chicago-Kent College of Law; 2012.
  11. ^ "Susan N. Herman". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  12. ^ "ACLU President: We Didn't Always Have Free Speech". Time. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  13. ^ September 15, SUSAN N. HERMAN Susan N. Herman is a professor at Brooklyn Law School; Pm, 2005 8:00. "Roberts' pitch more like a curveball". Newsday. Retrieved 2020-02-10.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Susan N. Herman | HuffPost". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  15. ^ Crain's New York 2019
  16. ^ NYU Law; 2009

External links[edit]