News Press Release

NAACP Announces Janette M. Louard Interim General Counsel for the NAACP

July 10, 2020

Washington, D.C. – President Derrick Johnson has announced that Janette McCarthy Louard, Deputy General Counsel for the NAACP from April 2017 to May 2020, has assumed the role of Interim General Counsel for the Association.  As Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Louard was deeply involved in every aspect of the work of the Office of General Counsel for the past three years, and she takes the reins of the Office at a critical moment in the history of the organization and the nation as a whole.

“For the past several years, I have had the privilege to work on some of the most transformational legal cases put forth by the NAACP as Deputy General Counsel,” said Ms. Louard.  “I am deeply honored to lead the Office of General Counsel. As we face demanding and unsettling times, I look forward to working with President Derrick Johnson and all of my colleagues at the NAACP to continue our collective efforts to bend the universal arc toward justice for all.”

“I am fortunate to have had the pleasure to work alongside Janette for the past three years,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Her intellect and dedication to the tireless fight on behalf of Black and Brown communities is a testament to her unyielding pursuit of liberty and justice for all.  I have full confidence in her readiness to lead the NAACP’s legal department during this challenging period in our history.”

Janette McCarthy Louard joined the NAACP as the Deputy General Counsel in April 2017. Ms. Louard is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in English and graduated cum laude with Department Honors. She attended Columbia Law School, where she was a member of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. After graduating from Columbia Law School, Ms. Louard served as a law clerk to the Honorable John R. Hargrove, Sr., United States District Judge for the District Court of Maryland. Following her clerkship with Judge Hargrove, Ms. Louard was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She then moved to Cleveland Ohio, where she was a partner for a national labor and employment firm for several years.


Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organizations known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund — also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.