AFJ to Honor Mary E. McClymont with “Champion of Justice” Award 

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10 – Alliance for Justice is pleased to announce that it will honor Mary E. McClymont, President and CEO of the Public Welfare Foundation, with a Champion of Justice Award at its Justice First! Luncheon May 17 in Washington, D.C.  The event will be keynoted by Sen. Al Franken and will be held at the National Press Club.

“Mary McClymont is a lifelong fighter for social justice and a shining star in the world of philanthropy,” said Nan Aron, President of Alliance for Justice. “Our affection for Mary and our respect for her work deepen with every passing year.  We are thrilled to present her with our Champion of Justice Award, which recognizes individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause of equal justice and who have made a real difference in people’s lives.”

“It’s a great honor to receive this award from my friends at Alliance for Justice,” said Ms. McClymont. “All of us come to this work with passion and purpose—a desire to help others and to make a difference. To be recognized for the work, especially by friends and colleagues of many years, is both heartwarming and humbling.”

Ms. McClymont’s dedication to justice and human rights spans many decades.  Under her guidance, the Public Welfare Foundation has acted boldly to focus its support in more challenging parts of the social justice field, including criminal justice, juvenile justice, civil legal aid for the poor and workers’ rights.  The Foundation’s work reflects her commitment to fighting injustice in often-overlooked, yet critical, areas.

Before joining the Public Welfare Foundation, Ms. McClymont’s career advocating for a just and equitable society took her from government service as an attorney at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, to roles as the national director for legalization of the Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Catholic Conference; senior staff counsel for the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union; president of InterAction; and vice president of the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Justice program; and more.

She has worked on the front lines, helping refugees in Thailand to reach the U.S.; fighting poor conditions in U.S. prisons; assisting undocumented immigrants secure legal status; working to promote women’s rights and access to justice in Asia, Africa and Latin America; and advocating for humanitarian relief and development. As a nonprofit executive, she has lifted organizations to new heights of programmatic and financial success.

Because of Ms. McClymont’s selfless and fearless dedication to the cause of justice, countless lives have been improved.  She embodies what a leader in the world of philanthropy should be, and it is AFJ’s great privilege to know her and to honor her for her life’s work.

Past recipients of the Champion of Justice Award include attorney Dean Strang, Judge Shira Scheindlin, Judge Abner Mikva, Judge Pat Wald, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. John Lewis, Kate Michelman, and more. This year’s Justice First! Luncheon will be the 38th annual event.