Nancy Northup is President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global human rights organization whose game changing litigation and advocacy work have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies. Under her leadership, the Center has played a key role in securing legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe and at the U.N. on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, maternal health, contraception, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage. With offices in Colombia, Kenya, Switzerland, and the U.S., the Center has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in over 60 countries.
Nancy was previously the founding director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she litigated voting rights, campaign finance reform, and ballot access cases. From 1989 to 1996, she served as a prosecutor and Deputy Chief of Appeals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Prior to that she was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
She has held adjunct appointments at NYU Law School and Columbia Law School, and taught courses in constitutional and human rights law. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nancy graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Brown University recognizing her achievements as an attorney and global reproductive rights leader.
A frequent public speaker, Nancy is quoted widely in the national press including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, FOX News, PBS, MSNBC, and NPR.