Mónica Ramírez Almadani is Public Counsel’s President and CEO and holder of the Helen & Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. She began her career as a staff attorney with the national legal department of the American Civil Liberties Union, advocating for the rights of underserved communities locally and nationally. In 2009, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where she served as Counsel to then Assistant Attorney General and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. She has served in several other leadership roles in federal and state government, including as Special Assistant Attorney General in the California Department of Justice, advising then Attorney General and now Vice President of the United States Kamala D. Harris on civil rights, criminal justice, and immigrant rights issues. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in Washington, D.C., and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Before joining Public Counsel, Ramírez Almadani was a clinical law professor and co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. She also served as Special Counsel in the Los Angeles office of Covington & Burling, LLP, where she litigated significant matters and maintained a robust pro bono practice, including serving as part of the senior litigation team representing the University of California, in partnership with other plaintiffs and organizations like Public Counsel, in successfully challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Ramírez Almadani grew up in Huntington Park, a working-class immigrant community in southeast Los Angeles. She is a proud graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Harvard University, where she received her B.A. magna cum laude, and Stanford Law School. Ramírez Almadani clerked for the late Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after law school.