Leo Morales named interim director at ACLU of Idaho

May 1, 2014 

Morales, the communications and advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, was appointed to take over for Monica Hopkins while the organization searches for a new executive director. He has worked for the group since 2011.

Hopkins was picked to head the ACLU's Washington, D.C., office. Her last work day in Boise will be May 16. “We are extremely confident in Leo’s proven ability to lead the organization during this transitional period,” Michael Barlett, board president for the ACLU of Idaho, said in a written statement. “Leo is a tireless advocate with a wealth of experience in both advocacy and staff management. We are confident the organization is in good hands and will continue to champion the rights of all Idahoans.” Morales is part of the ACLU of Idaho’s senior leadership team and has helped make strategic decisions regarding the organization’s priority issues, including challenging the state to fix what he says is a broken public defender system; addressing over incarceration in Idaho’s jails and prisons; effectively fighting back legislative attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights, and filing a lawsuit against the state to declare Idaho’s Ag Gag law unconstitutional.

Hopkins also praised Morales. “I am so pleased the board appointed Leo as interim director. Leo has been a critical member of the ACLU team and his expertise, connection with the community and ability to “stay the course” are important leadership qualities during this transition,” Hopkins said. “I can depart for my new position in D.C. with full confidence that the ACLU of Idaho is in good hands.” Before coming to the ACLU of Idaho, Morales was a senior staff member at a statewide grassroots organization challenging the state and federal government to fix the immigration system. Morales was also responsible for leading state campaigns to restore fundamental rights to low-income Idahoans and to improve access to Medicaid. His professional experience includes managing a staff of four and overseeing two executive director transitions.

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