Readout of Director Rachel Rossi of the Office for Access to Justice’s Participation in the 2023 American Bar Association Public Defense Summit
Director Rachel Rossi of the Office for Access to Justice provided remarks today at the American Bar Association’s 2023 Public Defense Summit and named Nikhil Ramnaney as the Office for Access to Justice Senior Counsel, who will serve in a position dedicated to support for state and local public defense. Mr. Ramnaney brings over a decade of experience as a former county public defender and expert on public defense policy, and most recently served in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
In March, the Office for Access to Justice was joined by Justice Department senior officials to launch a National Public Defense Day Tour in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, which held that criminal defendants are entitled to counsel. The Tour included stops in Miami; Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Nashville, Tennessee; Las Vegas; and Des Moines, Iowa, where Director Rossi was joined by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. At the Des Moines listening session with local leaders, Associate Attorney General Gupta announced the creation of this new attorney position in ATJ dedicated to supporting, collaborating with and engaging the state and local public defense community.