The ACLU of Alaska’s board of directors has chosen longtime Anchorage-based attorney and advocate, Susan Orlansky, as the part-time interim executive director for the civil liberties organization. Orlansky will lead the ACLU of Alaska team until the board selects a permanent executive director.
Orlansky has lived in Alaska since 1980. She has been volunteer senior counsel for the ACLU of Alaska since 2014. Additionally, her résumé includes an impressive variety of other work that has impacted the lives of Alaskans and many others Outside.
Orlansky spent 12 years with the Alaska Public Defender Agency – where she supervised appellate litigation – and nearly 20 years as a partner at Feldman, Orlansky & Sanders. She has spent thousands of hours donating her expertise to pro bono work, including 10 years representing an individual on death row in Texas. Orlansky has also served on the Alaska Judicial Council, the Alaska Bar Association’s ethics and area discipline committees, and the Alaska Supreme Court’s Appellate Rules Advisory and Criminal Rules Advisory Committees.
“I’m honored to have been asked by the Board to lead the ACLU of Alaska on an interim basis,” Orlansky said. “ACLU cases from the 1960s and ’70s helped inspire me to go to law school, and I am delighted for this opportunity to help the Alaska organization continue to be a voice in support of civil liberties.”
Orlansky’s first day as interim executive director will be Aug. 14. Current executive director, Joshua Decker, will continue to support the transition until his last day, Sept. 3.
"As I leave the ACLU of Alaska to pursue my Ph.D., I’m thrilled that Susan will be stewarding the organization while our board conducts its nationwide search. For decades, as an ACLU cooperating attorney to our volunteer senior counsel, Susan has championed the rights of Alaskans and fought to ensure our government lives up to the Constitution’s promise. The ACLU of Alaska could not be in better hands," Decker said.
The ACLU of Alaska Board of Directors is conducting a comprehensive search to select the next permanent executive director.