April 07, 2002

MALDEF (the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) announced that Joseph A. Stern has been elected its new Board Chair.

Stern was elected at MALDEF's annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, where the nation's premier Latino civil rights organization also announced that it will launch a new legal program covering the Southeastern United States.

Stern said he looks forward to continuing his service with MALDEF as it faces the challenges posed by anti-immigrant backlash in a post-9/11 world and the educational equity issues of Latinos in the United States.

Stern, a MALDEF board member since 1991, is a partner in the New York-based international law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. The firm has supported MALDEF throughout its 33-year history with a partner on the Board and fellowships for attorneys to work for MALDEF, plus pro bono legal and other support. However, this is the first time a Fried Frank attorney will serve as Board Chair. Stern replaces Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who remains on
the board after three one-year terms as Chair.

"We are thrilled that Joe Stern will continue his long-term commitment to MALDEF and have the opportunity to lead our organization," said MALDEF President and General Counsel Antonia Hernandez. "We look forward to his leadership, particularly in the emerging areas of need in the Southeast."

MALDEF, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and promote the civil rights of the more than 35 million Latinos living in the United States, decided to launch its Atlanta legal program after its successful outreach campaign following the 2000 Census, which showed tremendous growth in the Southeast. Last year, it established a
Parent School Partnership office in Atlanta, which provides parents with the knowledge and tools necessary to advocate for a quality education for their children.

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