Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law
Professor Henderson is the School of Law's first Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law, a position established in 1999. He co-teaches the course Civil Rights in the 21st Century with Professor John Brittain.
Professor Henderson also serves as President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. The Leadership Conference is the nation's premier civil and human rights coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.
Professor Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues, and is the author of numerous articles on civil rights and public policy issues. Since taking the helm of The Leadership Conference in June 1996, he has worked diligently to address emerging policy issues of concern to the civil and human rights community and to strengthen the effectiveness of the coalition. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation's most effective advocates for civil and human rights.
Professor Henderson currently serves on the National Quality Forum Board of Directors, which seeks to improve healthcare quality through performance measurement and public reporting; the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, which was created in 2006 to provide the FDIC with advice and recommendations on important initiatives focused on expanding access to banking services by underserved populations; the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices; and the Board of Trustees of the Education Testing Service, a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research.
Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, Professor Henderson was the Washington Bureau Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In that capacity, he directed the government affairs and national legislative program of the NAACP. He was previously the Associate Director of the Washington national office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he began his career as a legislative counsel and advocate on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues. He also served as Executive Director of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO).
Professor Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law. He is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. As a tireless civil rights leader and advocate, Professor Henderson has received countless awards and honors, including the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. He holds an honorary Doctorate in Law from Queens College School of Law, City University of New York.