Meryl Chertoff Named Co-Director of Justice & Society Program

August 26, 2009  • Alexa Wahl

Contact: Donna Horney, Director
Director of Administration Policy and Public Programs
(202) 736-5800 | [email protected]


Meryl Chertoff Meryl Chertoff

Washington, DC, August 26, 2009 – The Aspen Institute today announced Meryl Justin Chertoff as the co-Director of the Justice and Society Program (JSP), effective September 1. Chertoff will work from the Institute’s Washington, DC office. Chertoff is currently Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project at Georgetown Law, and remains part-time at Georgetown through June, 2010, when she will join the Institute full-time as Executive Director of the Justice and Society Program.


Chertoff will work with Alice H. Henkin, who has directed JSP for over thirty years. Henkin, the current Executive Director of JSP, will become Executive Director-Emerita in June 2010, continuing to run JSP’s signature seminar programs. Both report to Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, Policy and Public Programs and International Partners.


Chertoff’s goal will be to develop a public programming component for JSP, which until now has focused primarily on judicial training in international human rights law as well as its singular and famous seminar on Justice and Society, which has been offered since the program’s inception, including 16 years moderated by Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Chertoff will develop programs targeting a broad audience, focusing on current issues in law, legislation, culture and public policy.


“We are especially fortunate that Meryl has joined the Institute,” said Gerson. “Her success at the O’Connor Project in making complex issues of law and public policy accessible to educated non-experts shows a shared vision with our own public programs. She will aid us to forge a partnership with Georgetown Law, and brings with her a sophisticated understanding of the federal and state judicial systems.”


Chertoff noted: “For the past few years, I have had the distinct pleasure of helping Justice O’Connor further her mission to keep our state and federal courts independent, and to improve civic education. As this project draws to a close, I look forward to joining The Aspen Institute, which I have long admired for its high-quality programming with a lively, intellectually challenging bent.”


As Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary at Georgetown Law, Chertoff studied and educated the public about federal and state courts. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law. Her career has included the private practice of law in New York City and New Jersey, and work as a legislative relations professional and government lawyer. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She served as Law Clerk to Honorable Myron H. Thompson (U.S. District Ct., M.D. Ala).


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