ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Announces Departure After 20 Years

Kary L. Moss to join national ACLU senior leadership team

DETROIT – After serving twenty years as the executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, Kary L. Moss announced today that she will leave her post in November to join the senior leadership team at the ACLU national office as the Director of Affiliate Support & Nationwide Initiatives.  The ACLU’s greatest strength is its network of state affiliates and more than 1100 staff who work out of the state offices.

“We are sad to lose Kary’s leadership at the state level,” said Dan Varner, ACLU of Michigan Board President.  “However, we are thrilled that she will put her skill, dedication, and passion to work for the benefit of the entire country. The members of the Board of Directors and the senior leadership team at the ACLU of Michigan are dedicated to guiding and supporting our very accomplished staff through this transition.”

Under her leadership, Moss built the ACLU of Michigan into one of the strongest and most impactful state offices in the country.  The affiliate’s work on the Flint water crisis, its anchor role in Promote the Vote, a ballot measure campaign to expand the right to vote, as well as its leadership role on issues affecting African American, Latino, LGBTQ, immigrant  and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities truly have distinguished its work.

“The success of our office is due entirely to the work of a tremendous staff and lay leadership whose work is consistently outstanding,” said Moss.  “I am forever grateful and appreciative to have had the fortune to work with people who bring compassion, brilliance, and heart to their work every day.  I am honored to join the ACLU’s national office, under the leadership of Anthony D. Romero, to help the organization and our country meet the many threats to democracy that we face today.”

In her new position, Moss will lead the development and implementation of initiatives and programs that strengthen and maintain the connections between the ACLU and its 54 affiliates as a cohesive nationwide organization.  She and her staff will help the state affiliates advance the ACLU’s litigation and advocacy priorities, build their capacity, and help ensure that the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is furthered across the country.  She will also lead efforts to share knowledge, talent, and skill across the organization, building the next generation of civil rights leaders and positioning the organization for future challenges. 

During her time as Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan, Moss served as the chair of the ACLU’s Executive Directors’ Council, a leadership body of all state offices.  Moss also received numerous awards including Michiganian of the Year from the Detroit News in 2017; the Ida Thurtell award from the NAACP Detroit Branch; Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women; and the State Bar’s Champion of Justice.  The organization and its staff have received recognition from dozens of institutions during Moss’ tenure.  She began her career as a staff attorney in the ACLU national office’s Women’s Rights Project, which was founded by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The ACLU of Michigan’s Board of Directors will soon appoint a transition committee and launch a national search for the next executive director.  More information about that search will be available in the weeks ahead on the ACLU of Michigan’s website,