President and CEO
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund.
The Leadership Conference is the nation’s leading civil and human rights coalition charged with a diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations working to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund builds public will for civil and human rights through campaigns that empower and mobilize civil and human rights advocates around the country to push for progressive change.
Mr. Henderson is also the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Professor of Public Interest Law at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia.
Mr. Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues, and is the author of numerous articles on civil rights and public policy issues. Since taking the helm of The Leadership Conference in June 1996, Mr. Henderson has worked diligently to address emerging policy issues of concern to the civil and human rights community and to strengthen the effectiveness of the coalition. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation’s most effective advocates for civil and human rights.
Mr. Henderson currently serves on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, which was created in 2006 to provide the FDIC with advice and recommendations on important initiatives focused on expanding access to banking services by underserved populations; the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices; and the Board of Trustees of the Education Testing Service, a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research.
Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau director of the NAACP. In that capacity, he directed the government affairs and national legislative program of the NAACP.
Wade Henderson was previously the associate director of the Washington national office of the ACLU, where he began his career as a legislative counsel and advocate on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues. Mr. Henderson also served as executive director of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO).
Mr. Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law. He is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.
As a tireless civil rights leader and advocate, Mr. Henderson has received countless awards and honors, including the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights from the U.S. Department of State and the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association. He holds an honorary Doctorate in Law from Queens College School of Law, City University of New York.
Mr. Henderson is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.