Udi Ofer is the Deputy National Political Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Director of the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, which is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in the United States. At the ACLU he oversees the legislative, advocacy, and legal strategies to reduce the nation’s jail and prison populations by 50 percent and to challenge racial disparities in prisons and jails.
As a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Ofer teaches a public policy course focusing on the causes of mass incarceration. He works with students to produce research papers proposing policy solutions to reducing incarceration rates in the United States.
Ofer has more than 15 years of experience as a civil rights lawyer and policy advocate. From 2013-2016, he served as Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey. Under his leadership the organization achieved historic victories on a variety of issues, including overhauling New Jersey’s broken bail system, creating one of the nation’s strongest police civilian review boards in Newark, banning the use of solitary confinement as punishment of juveniles, and launching a bipartisan campaign to tax and regulate marijuana for adults. From 2003-2013, he worked at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where he founded the Advocacy Department. There he challenged the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices and spearheaded the successful effort to pass legislation banning racial profiling by the NYPD and creating an NYPD Inspector General’s office.
Ofer began his legal career in 2001 as a Skadden Fellow at My Sisters’ Place, a domestic violence organization. He was as an adjunct professor at New York Law School from 2009-2012, and has published widely including in the Seton Hall Law Review, Columbia Law School Journal of Race and Law, and New York Law School Law Review. Ofer is a frequent commentator on civil liberties and civil rights issues in national media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He has testified before numerous legislatures, including the United States Senate, and is frequently cited as an expert on criminal justice matters. Ofer is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2007, Fordham Law School’s Stein Scholars Program presented Ofer with its Distinguished Graduate Award.