A Letter from Javier N. Maldonado, Board Chair
Javier N. Maldonado
October 9, 2018
After more than 32 years leading the fight for immigrant rights at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), Dan Kesselbrenner has announced that he will be stepping down as Executive Director in the spring of 2019.
Through his unflagging ingenuity, legal brilliance, and compassion, Dan advanced NIPNLG’s mission by teaching, training, and mentoring thousands of immigrant advocates over the years. Dan was there in the fight for asylum for Central Americans in the 1980s; he was a lead strategist in the long struggle to curb the draconian effects of the destructive 1996 immigration laws; he played a key role behind the scenes in several “crim-imm” Supreme Court decisions; and he has provided uncounted hours of legal and moral support to countless immigrants, immigrant advocates, and immigrant communities besieged by anti-immigrant policies.
Dan has been an exceptional leader with a tireless determination to stand up for ALL immigrants, including those entangled with the criminal justice system.
His unwavering commitment to justice has benefited innumerable immigrants, immigrant communities, immigration legal practitioners, and advocates for over three decades. Our world is a better place for it.
-Javier N. Maldonado,
Dan’s leadership has transformed a small organization into a formidable force that today stands at the forefront of the legal struggle to defend immigrant rights - in Washington, in the courts, and in partnership with immigrant communities nationwide. What began as a $30,000 non-profit with a staff of 1.5 has grown into a $1.3 million organization with a staff of nine, including five attorneys.
Dan’s dedication and humility have been a source of great inspiration to thousands of immigrants, law students, advocates, and attorneys. His awards and accomplishments are many, and he has made lasting contributions to the arc of history.
The Board of Directors extends its deepest appreciation to Dan Kesselbrenner for his extraordinary leadership and dedication to our mission. Thanks to Dan's efforts, NIPNLG today is a strong, impactful, and thriving organization, with an exceptionally talented staff and a cutting-edge legal strategy.
With the support of Strategies for Social Change, the NIPNLG Board of Directors and staff are actively engaged and invested in the leadership transition process. We invite our colleagues, members, allies, partners, supporters, and donors to help us circulate the Executive Director job announcement, as we launch the search for our next visionary leader.
Dan will always be a part of the NIPNLG family. We wish him much health and happiness as he embarks on his well-deserved retirement.