Alpha Brady is the new ABA executive director

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Alpha Brady headshot

Alpha Brady has worked for the ABA since 1988, holding positions including director of policy administration, senior associate director and chief governance officer.

Alpha Brady is the ABA's new executive director, the association announced on Monday. Brady, who has served as the interim executive director of the ABA since March, will be the first person of color to hold the position of executive director of the association in its 145-year history.

“It gives me great pleasure to make this historic announcement,” ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross said in a news release. “Alpha has a deep well of knowledge about the association and the needs of its members based on her many years of experience. Her vision for the American Bar Association’s future and her talents at leading a large organization are exactly what we need today.”

As executive director, Brady will manage staff operations at the ABA’s headquarters in Chicago as well as at its Washington, D.C., office, and program sites in Texas, California and about 60 other countries. She will oversee more than 1,000 employees and a consolidated budget of more than $200 million.

In her role, she will also direct membership and non-dues revenue programs, implement the association’s strategic goals and lead programs and activities adopted by the Board of Governors and House of Delegates.

“I am deeply honored and excited to lead the ABA,” Brady, who joined the association’s staff in 1988, said in the news release. “Our association is the national voice of the legal profession. Our members are devoted to defending the rule of law in the United States and around the world, and our dedicated professional staff is second to none. I look forward to working with every lawyer, judge and legal professional in the country to improve our nation’s justice system.”

The Board of Governors selected Brady for the executive director position following an extensive nationwide search led by Chair of the House of Delegates Palmer Gene Vance II and other volunteer leaders of the ABA.

The search committee evaluated many candidates but “Alpha Brady, with her long history within the ABA and her abundant talents as a leader, stood out as clearly the best,” Vance said in the news release.

Brady, a graduate of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, worked for a year as assistant corporation counsel with the City of Chicago before moving into the role of assistant director of the ABA’s Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession (now the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession). She has served as special assistant to the president, director of policy administration, senior manager of the Governance and Public Services Group and senior associate director and chief governance officer.

In September 2022, Brady became the ABA’s deputy executive director. She served on the executive director’s leadership team with the association’s general counsel, chief financial officer and chief of staff.

Jack Rives, the previous executive director of the ABA, left the position on March 3. He joined the association in 2010, after serving for 33 years in the U.S. Air Force.

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