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Wade Henderson

Former President

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  

Wade Henderson is the immediate past president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund.

Henderson recently retired as the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law's first Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law.

From 1996 until 2017, Henderson served as President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. The Leadership Conference is the nation's premier civil and human rights coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.

Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues, and is the author of numerous articles on civil rights and public policy.  After taking the helm of The Leadership Conference in 1996, he worked diligently to address emerging policy issues of concern to the civil and human rights community and to strengthen the effectiveness of the coalition. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference became one of the nation's most effective organizations in advocating for progressive civil and human rights policies.

Henderson currently serves on the University of the District of Columbia Foundation Board; FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion; the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Lending; and the Board of Trustees of the Educational Testing Service.

Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, Henderson was the Washington Bureau Director of the NAACP; Associate Director of the Washington national office of the ACLU; and Executive Director of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity.

Henderson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Civil and Human Rights;  the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Award; the US State Department’s Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award; and the AFLAC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law, and holds honorary doctorates from CUNY Queens College School of Law and Gettysburg College. He is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia and the US Supreme Court.