June 13, 2017

American Constitution Society Announces New Board Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) today announced the election of two new Board Members and two new members of its Board of Advisors.

The new Board Members are:

  • Nicole G. Berner, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union
  • Ambassador (ret.) Keith M. Harper, Partner, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP

“The ACS Board and Board of Advisors provide the thought leadership and engagement in local, state and national issues that make the law a force for positive change,” said ACS President Caroline Fredrickson. “Nicole Berner and Ambassador Keith Harper bring serious firepower to the ACS board.”

Nicole G. Berner is General Counsel of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU). After joining the SEIU legal department in 2006, she represented SEIU in a number of cases before federal court of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court involving labor law and marriage equality. Her current cases include one of the challenges to President Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

Before her tenure at SEIU, Nicole was a staff attorney at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Washington. She also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit and to Chief Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the Northern District of California.

“I am delighted, humbled and honored to join ACS’s board,” Berner said. “I look forward to facilitating the great partnership between ACS and SEIU.”

Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and concurrently received her Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Policy from Berkeley as well.

Ambassador (ret.) Keith M. Harper is a partner of Kilpatrick, Stockton & Townsend LLP and has focused his legal career on litigation, Native American affairs and the representation of tribes and individual Indians. Ambassador Harper, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, has had a more than 20-year distinguished career, and served as class counsel for the landmark Indian trust funds lawsuit, Cobell v. Salazar, which in 2009 was settled for $3.4 billion, representing the largest class action settlement against the United States in history. 

Prior to retuning to the private sector, from 2014 to 2017 Harper served as the U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Ambassador Harper served as Chair for Native American policy in the 2008 Obama for America presidential campaign and was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition team in the Energy and Environment Cluster.

Ambassador Harper has taught as an adjunct professional lecturer at American University Washington College of Law and as an adjunct professor at Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America.  He has also served as law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce of the Second Circuit.

Ambassador Harper is enthusiastic about ACS’s work. “ACS’s work plays a critical role in protecting the independence of the courts and the accountability of the executive branch,” said Harper. “I look forward to expanding ACS’s presence in the Native American legal community by promoting scholarship on critical legal issues.”

Keith earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals dedicated to making the law a force to improve lives of all people. For more information about the organization or to locate one of nearly 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit www.acslaw.org.