Professor of Law
Former President, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 1991-2008
Nadine Strossen has written, lectured, and practiced extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, and international human rights. From 1991 through 2008 she served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization. Professor Strossen is currently a member of the ACLU’s National Advisory Council .When Strossen stepped down as President of the ACLU in 2008, three Supreme Court Justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and David Souter) participated in her farewell/tribute luncheon.
The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” In 1996, Working Woman Magazine listed her among the “350 Women Who Changed the World 1976–1996.” In 1997, Upside Magazine included her in the “Elite 100: 100 Executives Leading The Digital Revolution.” In 1998, Vanity Fair Magazine included Strossen in “America’s 200 Most Influential Women.” In 1999, Ladies’ Home Journal included her in “America’s 100 Most Important Women.” In 2005, Strossen was honored by the University of Tulsa College of Law and the Tulsa Law Review, which made her scholarly work the subject of their Fifth Annual Legal Scholarship Symposium, en titled “Nadine Strossen: Scholar as Activist.”
Strossen has made thousands of public presentations before diverse audiences, including on more than 500 campuses and in many foreign countries. She has commented frequently on legal issues in the national media, having appeared on virtually every national news program. She has been a monthly columnist for two online publications and a weekly commentator on the Talk America Radio Network. In October 2001, Strossen made her professional theater debut as the guest star in Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, during a week-long run at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Strossen’s writings have been published in many scholarly and general interest publications (more than 300 published works). Her book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights (Scribner, 1995), was named by The New York Times as a “Notable Book” of 1995. Her coauthored book, Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (NYU Press, 1995), was named an “outstanding book” by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.
In 1986, Strossen became one of the first three women to receive the U.S. Jaycees’ Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award; she was also the first American woman to win the Jaycees International’s The Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award. Strossen has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the University of Rhode Island, the University of Vermont, San Joaquin College of Law, Rocky Mountain College, the Massachusetts School of Law, and Mount Holyoke College. Other awards include: the Women of Distinction award from the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, the Media Institute’s Freedom of Speech Award, the Free Speech Coalition’s Freedom Isn’t Free Award, the National Council of Jewish Women’s Women Who Dared Award, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs Albert D. Chernin Award, and the National Forensic League’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Strossen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College (1972) and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (1975), where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law for nine years in Minneapolis (her hometown) and New York City.
Strossen is married to Eli M. Noam, professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and founding director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. They have residences in Manhattan and New Milford, Connecticut.
O: 57 Worth Street, E914
Harvard, A.B. 1972 Phi Beta Kappa, J.D. 1975 magna cum laude
(Harvard Law Review, Editor)
Law Clerk, the Honorable John J. Todd, Minnesota Supreme Court
Head of ACLU from 1991 through 2008 and first woman to hold post. One of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” (National Law Journal). Frequent public speaker and media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties. Member, Council on Foreign Relations.