The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska today announced the hiring of Legal Director Stephen Koteff and Policy Director Triada Stampas. The organization’s dramatic growth in membership, activity, and visibility over the last two years necessitated separating the previous role of legal and policy director into these separate positions.

As the ACLU of Alaska’s top lawyer, Koteff will create, manage, and implement a program of strategic litigation to defend and expand Alaskans’ civil liberties. Koteff went to law school to become a public interest lawyer, and upon graduating from the University of Oregon and spending some time in the wilds of Utah, the mountains and wilderness of Alaska beckoned. Steve soon found himself driving north in his Volkswagen bus with all his possessions and his loyal yellow lab Al riding shotgun.

Prior to joining the ACLU of Alaska, Steve was the Human Rights Advocate and Chief of Enforcement for Alaska’s Human Rights Commission, where he litigated cases for more than twenty years on behalf of discrimination victims and guided the agency’s enforcement policies and investigative activities. 

As Policy Director, Stampas is responsible for leading the ACLU of Alaska’s policy advocacy to local, state, and federal law makers and administrators, as well as overseeing an aggressive program of grassroots organizing.

Triada joins the ACLU of Alaska from New York City where she led high-impact investigations for the New York City Council into a broad array of policies and programs, from ensuring voting access to preventing misuse of public funding.  Most recently, Triada was Vice President for Research and Public Affairs at Food Bank For New York City. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University.

“Steve and Triada are both the rarest blend of talent, intellect, and experience,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker. “The next few years could be trying for Alaskans as fiscal realities and political polarization create unique challenges for our state and our people. With top-tier talent like this the ACLU of Alaska is well-prepared to force the government to respect Alaskans’ rights and honor its constitutional obligations.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to preserve and expand the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Alaska, founded in 1971, is one of the 53 state ACLU affiliates that strive to make the Bill of Rights real for everyone and to uphold the promise of the Constitution—because freedom can’t protect itself.