Kirsten D. Levingston is part of the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team. She has worked on justice system reform issues at the local and national levels and her grant making has focused on ensuring the enforcement of fundamental rights through reforms that improve access to effective, fair, and nondiscriminatory justice systems.
Prior to joining Ford in 2008, Kirsten spent almost two decades as a lawyer and policy advocate focusing 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 US 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, DC, and in the US 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 juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.