Udi Ofer is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. He is responsible for overseeing the organization’s legal, legislative, public education, and fundraising programs. With 12,000 card-carrying members across New Jersey, the ACLU-NJ is the Garden State’s largest civil liberties and civil rights organization, and among the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation.
Ofer became executive director in February 2013, and under his leadership the organization has already achieved numerous successes. The ACLU-NJ co-founded an unprecedented campaign to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Jersey, and also played a leading role in the passage of the New Jersey Dream Act, which ended tuition discrimination against undocumented students. The ACLU-NJ also successfully advocated for Newark to adopt the nation’s most comprehensive stop-and-frisk reporting policies, and for the Newark Police Department to institute new policies to protect immigrant communities from deportation.
Prior to joining the ACLU-NJ, Ofer founded the Advocacy Department of the New York Civil Liberties Union and helped transform the organization’s work. Under his leadership, the NYCLU achieved many victories, including in the areas of racial justice, students’ rights, and immigrants’ rights. He is best known for his work challenging the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk abuses, and spearheading the effort to pass legislation banning racial profiling by the NYPD and creating an NYPD Inspector General’s office. In 2004, the New York City Council honored his work for its outstanding service to the city and state.
Ofer has authored more than a dozen law review articles and reports, including in the Columbia Law School Journal of Race and Law, Fordham Law School Urban Law Journal, and New York Law School Law Review. He is a frequent commentator on civil liberties and civil rights issues in local and national media, including in The New York Times, The Star-Ledger, WNYC, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Post.
Ofer began his legal career in 2001 as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at My Sisters’ Place, a domestic violence organization where he represented women on their immigration and public benefits matters. From 2009-2012, Ofer served as an adjunct professor at New York Law School.
Ofer is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 “Distinguished Graduate Award” from Fordham Law School, and a 2013 “Distinguished Contributions to Law and Justice Award” from Rider University.