Kevin Keenan joined Vera as Executive Vice President and Special Counsel in July 2016. Keenan helps lead Vera's efforts to tackle the most pressing injustices in our criminal justice system today, including work on emerging issues at the intersection of technology and justice. In addition, he supervises Vera’s demonstration projects Common Justice, The Guardianship Project, and New Orleans Pretrial Services, as well as the New Orleans Office. Keenan served as a legal fellow in Vera’s general counsel’s office from 2002 to 2003.
Keenan previously served as the COO and General Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, he served as an attorney for children in Virginia’s juvenile prisons and succeeded in pressing new laws to improve reentry services for children with mental health and educational difficulties. As a volunteer, he assisted the Committee on the Administration of Justice with police reform efforts in Belfast, Northern Ireland following the Good Friday Agreement and, with the OSCE, monitored elections in the former Yugoslavia.
He wrote the reference handbook Invasion of Privacy (2005) and, with Sam Walker, co-authored a law review article An Analysis of Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights (2005). He graduated from Yale Law School and Swarthmore College. He was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 2010 to 2015 and currently serves as a Vice President of the Yale Law School Alumni Association Executive Committee.