Marlene Sallo is our new Executive Director! Marlene has served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS), the Nation’s “Peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions arising from conflicts based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability. Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Sallo was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. While at the Commission, Ms. Sallo had the opportunity to direct several fact-finding public hearings and reports investigating civil rights violations based on gender, religion, national origin, or in the administration of justice.
Ms. Sallo previously worked at UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, where she developed issue awareness campaigns to educate UnidosUS affiliates, state and federal government officials, and the public on national and state level policies and initiatives that disparately and/or disproportionately impact Latino youth.
Ms. Sallo has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of disenfranchised and vulnerable children through her work as a case manager, special education teacher, and child welfare attorney. As a zealous advocate for children, she has challenged policies and practices within public school systems that push minority students with disabilities out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Ms. Sallo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Manhattanville College and a Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University College of Law. Ms. Sallo is also the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Manhattanville College.
Ms. Sallo serves as the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Litigation, Children’s Rights Litigation Committee and previously served as both a Commissioner with the ABA’s Commission for Youth at Risk and as a member of the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on the Legal Needs of Children.