Ryan P. Haygood
Ryan P. Haygood, Esq. serves on CFNJ’s Board of Trustees.
One of the nation’s leading civil rights lawyers, Mr. Haygood became the third president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (the “Institute”) in 2015. In this role, he leverages his national expertise to advance the Institute’s cutting-edge work in empowering urban communities where residents of color are connected to full-time, meaningful jobs, have access to affordable housing and the democratic process, and are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
Prior to leading the Institute, Mr. Haygood served as the deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. (LDF), where he worked for more than a decade. At LDF, Mr. Haygood litigated some of the most important civil rights cases of our time. In two of those cases, he defended a core provision of the Voting Rights Act, widely regarded as one of the nation’s greatest pieces of civil rights legislation, before the United States Supreme Court.
A passionate advocate, Mr. Haygood speaks and writes regularly on issues concerning race, law, civil rights, and democracy. He is frequently interviewed by media outlets, including: MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio, and the New York Times. Prior to joining LDF, Mr. Haygood was a litigation associate in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, and was a recipient of the prestigious LDF/Fried Frank Fellowship. At Fried, Frank, Mr. Haygood represented clients in a variety of complex commercial and civil rights matters before federal courts.
Mr. Haygood received his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and B.A. in American History and Political Science cum laude from Colorado College, where he was nominated for the Rhodes scholarship and earned academic and athletic All-American honors as a football player.