May 08, 2012

Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, Executive Director 

Monica Hopkins-Maxwell

Monica Hopkins-Maxwell became the Executive Director of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital in 2014. Hopkins-Maxwell served as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho since 2008 in which time she oversaw sweeping statewide victories, particularly in the areas of criminal justice reform, LGBTQ equality, immigrants’ rights and upholding the First Amendment.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Hopkins-Maxwell had a distinguished career in the nonprofit sector which included executive and development positions. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for Boise State University’s College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs and has been a recipient of numerous awards including the Idaho Business Review’s “Accomplished Under 40” and Women Making History Award. In 2008, she was a Rotary Group Study Exchange participant in Sri Lanka and in 2012-13, she was a Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow for LGBTQ Advocacy.

Hopkins-Maxwell holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Science from Boise State University.

Arthur B. Spitzer, Legal Director

Arthur Spitzer was born in Brooklyn, which explains a lot. He was raised in Queens and graduated from Bayside High School, Cornell University, and Yale Law School. After clerking for Judge Walter K. Stapleton (then D. Del., now 3rd Cir.), he practiced for several years at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) before assuming his current position on April Fool’s Day, 1980. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Master at the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. His dog’s name is Justice. He is not related to former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.

Fritz Mulhauser, Staff Attorney

Fritz Mulhauser has been a staff member of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital for almost two decades. As staff attorney, he litigates cases involving fundamental rights in various settings, with a concentration on cases challenging police misconduct.   He represented misdemeanor criminal defendants in D.C. Superior Court while he was in law school.  He has been adjunct professor at several law schools in the District.  He is on the board of the Council for Court Excellence and was on the board of D.C. Prisoners’ Legal Services Project before it merged with the Washington Lawyers Committee.  He has for many years been on the Steering Committee for the D.C. Bar Section on Courts, Lawyers & the Administration of Justice.

He earlier served for 11 years as a staff member for the U.S. Congress, first on the Education and Labor Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and later as Assistant Director in the U.S. General Accounting Office where he led research and investigations and testified on a wide range of legislative policy topics including the war on drugs, education, immigration and the civil service.  For his GAO service he received the Comptroller General’s Award. He directed research in education policy for a decade as a member of the staff at the National Institute of Education, formerly a part of the U.S. Department of Education.  He began his career as a high school teacher. 

His undergraduate degree is from Harvard (magna cum laude) and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  He also holds graduate degrees in history from Yale University and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jennifer Wedekind, Staff Attorney and Dunn Fellow

Jennifer WedekindJennifer Wedekind joined the ACLU-NCA staff in November 2012. Previously, she was a Litigation Fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project, where she litigated class action lawsuits challenging prison conditions. Her work there culminated with a U.S. District Court trial in Alabama challenging that state's mandatory segregation of all HIV-positive prisoners. During both her undergraduate and legal studies, Ms. Wedekind participated in investigative work in innocence projects, and her discovery of long-lost DNA evidence for a Maryland prisoner during the law school project led to a petition for DNA retesting. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Wedekind worked as a journalist in Washington, DC and taught English in Vietnam.

Ms. Wedekind received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and her law degree from Georgetown Law.

Seema Sadanandan, Policy and Advocacy Director

Seema Sadanandan

Seema Sadanandan is the Policy and Advocacy Director at ACLU-NCA. She joined the ACLU-NCA in 2013 and oversees legislative and advocacy efforts in defending civil rights and liberties in the District. Seema leads the organization’s efforts in combating discrimination and addressing other issues that have a disproportionate impact on communities of color, such as the enforcement of the District’s marijuana laws and the need for decriminalization. Prior to joining the ACLU, Seema was a documentary filmmaker and campaign strategist for social movements in the United States and abroad. She is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law and Tulane University.

Felicia Smith, Office Manager

Felicia Smith

Mrs. Felicia D. Smith joined the ACLU of the Nation's Capital in December 2012.  After proudly serving our country in the US Navy, she had the opportunity to work with many organizations including Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., National Association of Realtors® and Nikon.  Most recently, Mrs. Smith served as Office Administrator for a national non-profit professional association.  Mrs. Smith brings over 25 years of administrative, vendor management, procurement, bookkeeping, and accounting experience to Nation's Capital affiliate. 

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