Legal Aid Justice Center Announces New Executive DirectorPosted: Updated:
Press Release from the Legal Aid Justice Center:
Charlottesville, Virginia (November 28, 2018) – The Legal Aid Justice Center is pleased to announce that Angela Ciolfi has been selected to be its new executive director, following the departure of Mary Bauer, who served in that role from 2013 to 2018.
Ciolfi was hired after a six-month search conducted by LAJC’s Board of Directors and the hiring firm Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group LLC (NPAG). Over the hiring period, NPAG engaged over 300 sources and vetted dozens of prospects and leads. The hiring committee of the Board then interviewed six final candidates before the Board decided on Ciolfi.
“Angela is exactly who LAJC and frankly Virginia needs right now,” said LAJC board chair Jonathan Blank, a partner at McGuireWoods LLP. “She has exactly the right set of skills and experience to lead LAJC’s advocacy on behalf of the communities we serve. We looked at a wide pool of potential candidates, and Angela was the best of a very impressive field. I speak for the entire board when I say we are thrilled to know that Angela is at the helm of this vital institution at this particularly troubling time for Virginia.”
Ciolfi began working at LAJC in 2004 as a Powell Fellow, before serving as JustChildren Legal Director from 2010 to 2017 when she became Director of Litigation and Advocacy. During her tenure, Ciolfi has been a prolific and fierce advocate for justice working on and often leading many of LAJC’s signature campaigns and cases, including the Drive Down the Debt Campaign targeting Virginia’s driver’s punitive license suspension statute. She has also litigated significant cases in the Virginia Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. While leading the JustChildren Program, Ciolfi helped to secure and protect state funding for preschool and for positive behavioral supports. Her successful fight in 2012-14 to require public schools to publish suspension and expulsion data broken down by race, gender, and disability and roll back zero tolerance laws set the stage for much of LAJC’s school-to-prison pipeline work ever since. As Director of Litigation and Advocacy from 2017 to 2018, Ciolfi has worked to empower LAJC’s organizers and attorneys to take on high impact campaigns informed by and in partnership with community leaders.
Ciolfi was the recipient of the Oliver White Hill Award from the Virginia State Bar in 2003 and the Child Advocacy Award from the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division in 2010. Ciolfi was also named the recipient of the 2017 Virginia Legal Aid Award by the Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee for her work advocating for children’s rights issues throughout the Commonwealth. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary and University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay.
“I am honored by the trust that the Board has shown in me and deeply indebted to Mary Bauer and others for building such a powerful institution,” said Angela Ciolfi. “Every day our advocates fight to transform oppressive systems and build the power of under-resourced communities. I know that there is a lot more work for us to do in the struggle against poverty and for racial justice, but there is no fiercer group of advocates with whom to do it.”
Ciolfi will officially take the helm December 15, 2018.