Tanya Coke is director of the foundation’s Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team, focusing on issues of mass incarceration, harsh treatment of immigrants, and gender and reproductive justice. 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.