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Moving Justice Forward For 60 Years!

ACLU of Utah Announces New Executive Director

12 November 2006 Published in Newsroom


November 13, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY -- The board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is pleased to announce that it has selected Karen McCreary, an attorney and dedicated community volunteer, to be the new executive director of the organization. 

ACLU of Utah President Sue Marquardt, who served as chair of the search committee, noted that McCreary’s extensive legal and community service experience make her an ideal fit for the ACLU of Utah. “Karen’s intellect, accomplishments, enthusiasm, wide range of experience, and sense of humor are just several of the reasons for the board’s unanimous decision to choose her to direct the Utah ACLU affiliate,” said Marquardt. 

McCreary’s professional legal experience includes over a dozen years as associate and senior associate general counsel for the University of Utah. She has also worked as general counsel for the Western Governors University, has been an associate attorney at a private law firm, and a judicial law clerk for Federal Court Judge David Winder. 

In addition to her legal career, McCreary has been involved in a variety of service activities, including international relief work in Africa and India, migrant worker education and advocacy in Alabama, and instruction and counseling for at-risk youth. Among other volunteer positions she has held, she is a past-president and current board member of the Salt Lake City chapter of Amigos de las Americas, an elder and deacon at the Wasatch Presbyterian Church, and a trustee of Prescott College in Arizona. 

McCreary, who grew up in Colorado, received an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, a master of arts from the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies, and a law degree from the University of Utah. She has called Utah home for over twenty-five years.

The ACLU of Utah search committee, which, in addition to Marquardt, included Karen Denton, Laurie Wood, Lincoln Hobbs, Robert Wood, Jill Sheinberg, and Trystan Smith, received over fifty applications, interviewed a dozen nominees, and met again with four finalists before unanimously choosing McCreary to lead the organization. 

“For almost fifty years, the ACLU of Utah has protected fundamental freedoms and individual liberties for all Utahns,” said Sheinberg, Utah board representative to the national ACLU. “The board of directors looks forward to the next phase for our affiliate, led by Karen, with her depth of professional and community experience.” 

For her part, McCreary is very much looking forward to heading the Utah ACLU affiliate. “I am passionately committed to the values and principles of the American Civil Liberties Union,” she said, noting that while these are very difficult times for civil liberties, “they are also hopeful times in which the efforts of dedicated individuals working together can have a profound influence on the creation of a better world.”