SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The ACLU of Utah has selected Brittney Nystrom of Washington, D.C., as its new executive director, replacing Karen McCreary, who is ending her ten-year tenure this summer.
“The opportunity to lead the ACLU of Utah as the organization that engages on critically important issues affecting Utahns is one that I find immensely exciting,” said Nystrom. “The caliber of the staff is superb and I’m honored to be joining their ranks.”
Born and raised in Ogden, Utah, Nystrom has been the Director of Advocacy at the Washington, D.C.-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) since 2012. LIRS advocates on behalf of refugees, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention and other populations. She is a recognized expert on immigration and refugee issues, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Previously, Nystrom was the Director of Policy and Legal Affairs at the National Immigration Forum, where her advocacy focused on due process concerns and overdue reforms to the immigration system. Earlier in her career, she represented detained individuals facing deportation and advocated for humane detention conditions as the Legal Director at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. She spent several years in private practice, as well, as part of the litigation team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen, LLP, also in Washington, D.C. She holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University School of Law, and is admitted to the bar in D.C. and Illinois.
“After an intense search, during which we had the unique opportunity to meet with many impressive candidates from within the state and across the country, we are so pleased to welcome Brittney back to Utah as our new Executive Director,” said Michael Weinholtz, President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Utah. “From a deep pool of passionate and highly-qualified individuals who are committed to civil liberties and the work of the ACLU, Brittney stood out for her breadth and depth of experience working on urgent racial justice issues, both through litigation and policy advocacy.”
A graduate from Bonneville High School in Ogden, Nystrom was born at Hill Air Force Base, where her father served as a Lieutenant Colonel before retirement. She and her husband, Patrick, have two daughters, Anastasia and Genevieve.
Nystrom will start at the ACLU of Utah on August 8; current director Karen McCreary will remain with the organization until August to overlap with her successor.