Judith Browne Dianis

Judith Browne Dianis is Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. 

Dianis has served as a lawyer, professor and civil rights advocate in the movement for racial justice. Hailed as a voting rights expert and pioneer in the movement to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, Dianis leads Advancement Project National Office’s work as the Executive Director, combatting structural racism in education, voting, policing, criminal justice and immigration.

Since joining Advancement Project at its inception in 1999, Dianis has worked with grassroots organizations to wage successful campaigns using litigation, advocacy and communications. Dianis authored groundbreaking education reports including: Opportunities Suspended and Derailed: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track, detailing the unnecessary criminalization of students by their schools. Advancement Project National Office’s work with grassroots partners significantly helped decrease student suspensions and arrests in Denver, Baltimore and school districts throughout Florida.

Taking from civil rights activist Ella J. Baker’s philosophy, Dianis’ belief in the “genius of ordinary people” has helped Advancement Project National Office combat discriminatory voting rights measures. For nearly two decades, the organization’s Voter Protection Program has partnered with civic engagement non-profits to thwart voter suppression efforts like strict voter ID requirements, cuts to early voting, the closure of polling locations and felony disenfranchisement. Advancement Project National Office is proud to be a founding member of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, recently credited with the historic passage of Amendment 4 to the Florida’s state constitution. The measure automatically restores the voting rights of those with prior felony convictions.

Judith Browne Dianis was awarded the Prime Movers Fellowship for trailblazing social movement leaders and was named one of the “Thirty Women to Watch” by Essence magazine. She serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Earth and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.