Children's Defense Fund – California is ecstatic to report that our new executive director, Shimica Gaskins, will be joining us on June 5. Our search for a new leader involved a multiple interview process and engaged staff, board members, national team members and, of course, our fearless founder, Marian Wright Edelman. In short, we were seeking a brave leader to serve CDF-CA externally and internally, and we ultimately are excited for Shimica to be that leader.
Shimica has worked in law and public policy specializing in legislative, regulatory, and policy issues associated with criminal justice reform and children's rights. She served as the acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Shimica worked to develop and implement innovative policy initiatives in areas such as Smart on Crime, law enforcement and emerging technologies, prison reform, reentry, and issues affecting children with incarcerated parents. Prior to joining DOJ, she was in private practice at Covington & Burling LLP where she managed complex civil litigation. She clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable Victoria Roberts on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated cum laude with BA in philosophy from the Catholic University of America.