Executive Director, The Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program
Meryl Justin Chertoff is Director of The Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law, where she teaches about state government, intergovernmental affairs and state courts.
From 2006-2009, Ms. Chertoff was Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary at Georgetown Law, studying and educating the public about federal and state courts. At Georgetown Law, she also developed educational programs for visiting judges and other government officials from overseas.
She served in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), participating in the agency’s transition into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Ms. Chertoff has also been a legislative relations professional, Director of New Jersey’s Washington, D.C. Office under two governors, and legislative counsel to the Chair of the New Jersey State Assembly Appropriations Committee.She served on the Board of the Anti-Defamation League on New Jersey, and chaired it civil rights committee. For her work, she received its award for Distinguished Service in Civil Rights in 2000.
She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School. While in law school, she was Articles Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She practiced law for a number of years in New York City and New Jersey, and served as law clerk to Honorable Myron H. Thompson (U.S. District Ct., M.D. Ala).
In addition to work at the Aspen Institute and Georgetown Law, Ms. Chertoff is a member of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative Advisory Committee at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver; a member of the Washington Area Advisory Committee of Common Sense Media; and a Trustee of the Meridian International Center in Washington, DC, where she chairs the Arts Advisory Committee. She is a former Board Member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. She has written and lectured to lawyers and the public about judicial selection issues; federalism; and intergovernmental affairs.