Director, Criminal Justice Project
Myesha Braden is the Director for the Criminal Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Criminal Justice Project seeks to prevent the criminalization of poverty and secure criminal justice reform through impact litigation, public education, programming, and policy advocacy.
Braden joined the Lawyers’ Committee after a lengthy career with the United States Department of Justice. As a federal prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division, Braden investigated and prosecuted criminal violations of federal civil rights laws; including hate crimes, police misconduct, interference with federally protected activities, and human trafficking. She also worked as a Legislative and Policy Counsel in the Civil Rights Division’s Policy & Strategy Section, where she led the Division’s efforts on prisoner reentry issues, served as Chair of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council’s Collateral Consequences Working Group, and worked as part of the team tasked by Attorney General Eric Holder to develop his signature Smart on Crime Initiative.
Braden was detailed by the Department of Justice to serve in the Obama administration as a Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Domestic Policy Council & the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where she worked to develop and promote implementation of a broad range of criminal justice reform and civil rights policies. She coordinated the Administration’s multi-agency review of federal programs that provide equipment and weapons to law enforcement agencies, which culminated in President Obama’s signing of Executive Order 13688, “Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition.” She also led efforts to present the 2014 White House convening on Children of Incarcerated Parents and collaborated with the Council on Women and Girls to develop a strategy and platform for promoting equity and empowerment for women and girls of color. Braden also led efforts to expand the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, a federal interagency initiative focused on increasing equal employment opportunities and financial independence for individuals with serious disabilities, and spearheaded organization for the 2015 White House Summit on Disability and Employment.
Prior to joining the Civil Rights Division, Braden was a federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, where she investigated and prosecuted child exploitation crimes. She also served as the Department’s Intermittent Legal Advisor for Human Trafficking in the Republic of Indonesia, and led U.S. government efforts to engage Indonesian government officials and civil society stakeholders to increase political will and build public support for passage of the Law on the Eradication of Criminal Acts of Human Trafficking (PTPPO), the Republic of Indonesia’s first comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation.
Braden is the recipient of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the National Crime Victim’s Rights Award. She received her J.D. from the Tulane University Law School and her B.S. from Southern University and A&M College.
District of Columbia