June 01, 2014

Personal Note from Director Robin M. Maher: My Departure

After 13 years as Director of the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project, I am stepping down to accept a leadership position at the Office of Defender Services at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. In my new position I will be managing strategic projects that will ensure a meaningful right to counsel, and directing communications within and outside Defender Services to enhance the profile and effectiveness of the defense function.

Deciding to leave was extremely difficult, but I am excited at this opportunity to broaden my advocacy in support of a zealous defense effort, a mission that has been the heart of our work at the Death Penalty Representation Project. And I know I leave the Project in very capable hands: an amazing staff, including Senior Staff Attorney Emily Williams, Project Associate Kaitlin Sandin, and new Staff Attorney Meredith Gallen; a committed Steering Committee, led by current Chair Steven Schneebaum and incoming Chair Robert Rothman; and the many volunteers and supporters who have provided me with inspiration and friendship over the years. I feel so fortunate that I have had this wonderful job for so long, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together. Thank you for making my time here so memorable.

A search is currently underway for my successor, and I will remain at the ABA through mid-August to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. Of course I plan to continue supporting the Project’s work in whatever way I can, and I will be cheering loudly from the audience at this year’s Volunteer Recognition Event on September 11th. I hope I will see you there.

Until then, my heartfelt thanks for your efforts to ensure fairness and justice for all those facing a death sentence. The fight is not yet won, but victory is closer than ever before—and when that day arrives, you will know that you were there when it mattered.

My best wishes.

-Robin