A former prosecutor and Louisiana Supreme Court staffer will be the first Black executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
The New Orleans Advocate reports 36-year-old Alanah Odoms Hebert starts Monday, succeeding the retired Marjorie Esman.
In the wake of the organization’s successful legislative push for criminal justice reform last year, Hebert says she hopes to continue to tackle Louisiana’s status as a top incarcerator and expand the group’s focus on issues like gay rights.
The New Jersey native has somewhat of an atypical background for the group, which often spars with prosecutors. She says she joined the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office with idealistic hopes, but felt she became “complicit” in pursuing harsh penalties.
She’s also served as the state Supreme Court’s deputy general counsel.