Rachel Wainer Apter became the Director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights on October 15, 2018. As Director, she has transformed the Division to strategically protect the civil rights of all New Jersey residents.
She previously served as Counsel to the Attorney General, advising on civil rights and immigration matters and leading the New Jersey team that defeated a preliminary injunction motion by Texas and seven other states to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Rachel worked at the American Civil Liberties Union on cases concerning the right to be free from discrimination, voting rights, and other federal constitutional questions. Prior to the ACLU, Rachel worked in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, where she briefed and argued cases in federal and state courts.
Rachel, who grew up in Rockaway, New Jersey, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received her law degree from Harvard Law School. After law school, Rachel served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court, Judge Robert Katzmann on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed Rakoff on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Rachel lives in Englewood with her spouse and children.