By Frank Knaack, Director of Public Policy and Communications
The ACLU of Virginia welcomes another new member to our team. Frank Knaack joins us as our new Director of Public Policy and Communications. Frank has an extensive history working with the ACLU in other parts of the country, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge regarding effective social media marketing, legislative policy work and state-wide organizing. Frank has enthusiastically started working with our office on a part-time basis, but will officially join us full-time in late August. Welcome to the Commonwealth!
In His Own Words
The ACLU of Virginia has a long history of defending the rights of all Virginians, and I am excited to join this outstanding organization as its Director of Public Policy and Communications. Though I am new to Virginia, I am not new to the ACLU. Back in 2001, while an undergraduate, I interned with the ACLU of the National Capital Area. After attending college at the University of Vermont, I spent two years living in Cairo, Egypt, where I studied Arabic and pursued an MA in International Human Rights Law from The American University in Cairo. After graduate school, I returned to Washington, DC with one goal: to get a job with the ACLU. After numerous applications and interviews, I landed my first ACLU job with its Washington Legislative Office. From there, I would spend the next six years with the ACLU and ACLU of Texas.
Prior to arriving in Virginia, I was the Associate Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the ACLU of Texas where I developed and managed the organization’s four state-wide campaigns: Criminal Law Reform, Immigrants’ Rights, Youth Rights, and Religious Freedom. I also led the ACLU of Texas’ efforts at the Texas Capitol to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, where we built a broad legislative coalition and passed legislation that reduced the number of students introduced to the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Prior to joining the ACLU of Texas, I was a part of the ACLU National Legal Department where I researched domestic human rights violations and coordinated national advocacy campaigns designed to hold the United States accountable to its international human rights treaty obligations.
My wife, daughter, and I are very excited to call Richmond home! Though my wife and I have lived in large cities for the majority of the past ten years, we are both from rural Vermont and are very excited to live in a city with lots of outdoor activities close by. You may also find me at the local skate park.