Tanya Coke is acting director of the foundation’s Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team, focusing on issues of mass incarceration and the detention of immigrants. Previously, she served as a distinguished lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, teaching courses on public policy and working on school-to-prison pipeline issues. Prior to that, Tanya was a program director on criminal justice for the Open Society Institute and a program manager for the US Human Rights Fund. She also served as a senior consultant to the Atlantic Philanthropies from 2010 to 2013, while running a strategic-planning consulting practice for social justice nonprofits and philanthropies.
Tanya began her career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund as a researcher on its capital punishment project. After attending law school, she practiced as a trial attorney in the Federal Defender Division of the Legal Aid Society, defending clients in drug, immigration, and other federal matters in New York City.
She is a graduate of the New York University School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden public interest scholar and editor in chief of the law review, and she holds an undergraduate degree from Yale College.