The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law today announced that Dr. Kareem Crayton has joined the organization as Senior Director for Voting and Representation. An esteemed scholar and expert on the intersection of law, politics and race, Crayton will help lead the organization’s efforts to combat suppression, intimidation, and abuse in our systems of voting and representation. Crayton will work closely with other members of the Brennan Center’s leadership team, including Wendy Weiser, Vice President for Democracy, and Sean Morales-Doyle, Director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program.
Crayton comes to the Brennan Center from full time service as a consultant to public officials and organizations in the South on voting rights and redistricting matters. He was also the executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a North Carolina-based legal advocacy organization where he hired and trained a voting rights legal team that argued two gerrymandering cases before the US Supreme Court. In his new role, he will help craft the Center’s way forward amid a wave of redistricting abuses, vote suppression, election interference, and the rollback of voting rights in the courts.
“At such a precarious time for our democracy, we’re thrilled to be joined by a thinker and leader of Kareem’s stature,” said Wendy Weiser, Vice President for Democracy at the Brennan Center. “Kareem brings a wealth of expertise and a long-standing commitment to fair and equal representation; he has the skills and experience to help us forge a path forward.”
“I’m delighted to join the Brennan Center’s program leadership as Senior Director for Voting and Representation,” said Crayton. “With so many new and complex issues that question the basic usefulness of democracy, I’m excited to work with Brennan’s thoughtful, interdisciplinary scholars and experts to shape the next chapter of America’s work in these important areas.”
Prior to joining Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Crayton, an Alabama native, served as chief of staff and special counsel to the leader of the House Democratic Caucus in the Alabama House of Representatives. He also served on several university faculties, including Vanderbilt University Law School, the University of North Carolina School of Law and the University of the Southern California School of Law. His academic writings explore the relationship between race and politics in representative institutions. Crayton is the co-creator of the pioneering The Redistricting Game, the first game to explore issues of redistricting and reform.
Crayton holds a Ph.D. in Political Science as well as a law degree from Stanford University and is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College.