Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide
Human Rights

Reforming Civil and Criminal Justice Systems

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Kirsten D. Levingston

Program Officer New York

Kirsten D. Levingston works on justice system reform issues at the local and national levels. Her grant making focuses on ensuring the enforcement of fundamental rights through reforms that improve access to effective, fair and nondiscriminatory justice systems.

Prior to joining the Ford Foundation in 2008, Kirsten spent almost two decades as a lawyer and policy advocate focused on criminal justice and civil rights issues.

She directed the Criminal Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, where she engaged in policy advocacy and public education around community-oriented indigent defense, women and families in the criminal system, and reform of the U.S. Census Bureau's count of people in prison, among other issues. She developed and implemented the National Defender Leadership Project at the Vera Institute of Justice, which enhanced political leadership skills among public defenders.

Kirsten practiced criminal law in private practice in Washington, D.C., and in the U.S. Department of Justice where she was a special assistant to the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division. She also served as Western regional counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles, where she litigated environmental justice cases on behalf of communities of color.

Kirsten has a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.

Issues and Initiatives

Kirsten D. Levingston is a member of the following initiative team:

Issue Initiative
Human Rights


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