ACLU Minnesota has a new leader

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courtesy of aclu-mn.org

After 20 years of leading the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) Charles Samuelson retired this last February. His replacement in the role of Executive Director will be John Gordon. Gordon primarily worked with the firm of Faegre Baker Daniels during his 40 years of legal work in the Twin Cities, while recently serving as the ACLU-MN’s Interim Legal Director, while Legal Director Teresa Nelson served as the Interim Executive Director.

Gordon has had an interesting background in the legal field. He has represented a wide variety of clients in complex commercial litigation, and has a long history of public-interest representation: He represented the LGBT students of Anoka-Hennepin School District when they were looking for relief from harassment, as well as plaintiffs challenging our states “conceal-carry” law, those seeking asylum in the United States, and victims of domestic Violence.

His has also built many relationships with nonprofits by serving on their boards, as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of St. Thomas. Board Chair Jonathan Abram had this to say about Gordon and all his experience; “We are excited to have someone with John’s skills and experience providing leadership to the ACLU-MN at this critical time for our community and nation.”

Gordon will be stepping into the leadership role as the ACLU-MN celebrates its 65th anniversary. Gordon had the following to say about taking the reigns at the ACLU-MN; “It is a critical time for the ACLU’s work.  As we face threats to our rights and liberties every day, it is imperative that we remain a strong and active organization and increase our support and the impact of our activities. I am thrilled to be working with the board and the excellent staff of the ACLU-MN to preserve and protect the rights and liberties of the many diverse communities and institutions in our civil society.  We all need to stand together to resist oppression, violence, racism and hatred, which threaten the lives of all of us.”

(Above information can be found in this press release)


In an open letter John Gordon summed up his mentality in his new role: “Being a spectator makes you fatalistic; being an agent of change makes you hopeful.  I plan to be an agent of change.”