Sherrilyn Ifill Headshot
Sherrilyn Ifill
Sherrilyn IfillHeadshot

Sherrilyn Ifill

Civil Rights Lawyer; former President and Director-Counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

Providing visionary and transformational leadership during one of the most consequential eras in our nation’s history, Sherrilyn Ifill’s voice has powerfully influenced our national dialogue on civil rights.  

Sherrilyn Ifill served as the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) from 2013 to 2022—the second woman to ever lead LDF—and currently serves as its President and Director-Counsel Emeritus. In this role Ifill increased the visibility and engagement of the organization in litigating cutting-edge and urgent civil rights issues, elevating their decades-long leadership fighting voter suppression, inequity in education, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

For over 20 years, Ifill taught at the University of Maryland School of Law and pioneered a series of law clinics focused on challenging legal barriers to the reentry of ex-offenders. Her 2007 book, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century, was highly acclaimed, and credited with laying the foundation for contemporary conversations about lynching and reconciliation.

In addition to being a prolific scholar who has published numerous academic articles, op eds and commentaries in national papers, Ifill is a frequent public commentator on racial justice issues, known for her fact-based, richly contextualized analysis of complex racial issues. She is a trusted and valued advisor to civic and community leaders, national civil rights colleagues, and business leaders.

Ifill has been named one of TIME’s Women of the Year, TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the world, and one of Glamour’s Women of the Year. She was honored with a Spirit of Excellence Award by the American Bar Association and named Attorney of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2020. She was also the recipient of the prestigious Brandeis Medal and the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award.

Ifill previously served as Distinguished Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, and she currently serves as Ford Foundation Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), leading a project focused on exploring the values of the 14th Amendment in artistic expression. Ifill was most recently appointed to be the Inaugural Vernon Jordan Endowed Chair in Civil Rights at Howard Law School, where she will launch the 14th Amendment Center for Law and Democracy. She is currently completing a new book about race and the current crisis in American democracy entitled, Is This America?, which will be published by Penguin Press.

Books & Movies

Interested in placing an order for books or videos by this speaker for your event? Please contact us for more information or to process your order.

Book Cover 0 Book Cover 1


Related Speakers


Tell us a little about your event and our team of experienced sales agents will get back to you with a customized list of speaker recommendations available for in-person and virtual speaking engagements. 

NOTE: We cannot process requests for media interviews, podcasts or other non-speech related inquiries of a personal nature.

All fields are required.*