Former New York Times Editorial Board Member Dorothy Samuels Joins Brennan Center

July 21, 2015

Dorothy Samuels, a former 30-year member of The New York Times editorial board, has joined the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law as a Senior Fellow. At The Times, Samuels wrote on a wide array of legal and public policy issues, with a particular focus on the justice system, civil rights, and civil liberties.

“For the past three decades, Dorothy Samuels has been one of the most influential opinion writers in the country,” said Brennan Center President Michael Waldman. “She has been a critical voice for many of the issues we care deeply about at the Center — at one of the most essential media outlets. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to her important contributions that will continue to shape the public debate.”

Prior to beginning her record tenure with The New York Times editorial board in 1984, Samuels served for three years as executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the largest affiliate of the national ACLU, where she focused on issues of democratic governance, most prominently, improper dilution of minority voting strength, and political influence. Her previous experience additionally includes an early stint as a corporate attorney and work for the Ford Foundation. She is also the author of a comic novel, “Filthy Rich,” published by HarperCollins. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Northeastern University School of Law, where she will teach a First Amendment course in the coming year. 

“Coming to the Brennan Center seems a natural fit,” commented Samuels. “I am a longtime admirer of the Center’s work, including on an array of matters I covered as an editorial writer for The Times, such as campaign financing, judicial elections and ethics, intelligence agency excesses, and access to justice for poor people. I embrace my new role at the Center as a chance to engage more deeply with those and other issues I care about, through my own research efforts and reform-oriented projects.”