News Release ~ 01/09/2001

Grunewald named executive director of key criminal justice organization

Washington, DC (January 9, 2001) -- Ralph E. Grunewald has been named executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers after a six-month nationwide search.

Grunewald currently serves as Assistant Executive Director of the 120,000-member American Jewish Committee in New York City. Prior to that he served as Deputy Director and Counsel and then as Director of External Affairs for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He was also an attorney in a Washington, D.C. law firm, and served in the public liaison office for President Jimmy Carter.

Grunewald was born in Ecuador, where his parents had fled from Nazi Germany, and eventually emigrated to the United States.

“Ralph Grunewald is particularly aware of the distinction between law and justice, and the extent to which the law can all too easily be misused for purposes which may be technically legal, but are morally corrupt,” said Edward Mallett, a Houston criminal defense lawyer who serves as NACDL’s president. “We think he’ll be an excellent fit, both in terms of promoting our criminal justice mission, and in service to our members.”

In addition to holding degrees from both the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the National Law Center at George Washington University, Grunewald is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of California at San Diego.

Grunewald will replace Stuart Statler, who is retiring after six years as executive director, during which the size of the national office has doubled and membership has increased by more than a third.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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