The Board of Directors of the Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is proud to announce today that it has selected Caprice R. Jenerson to be OAD’s next President and Attorney-In-Charge, effective December 1, 2020.

Ms. Jenerson comes to OAD after serving as the Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer and Director of the Pro Bono and Volunteer Unit for the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). Ms. Jenerson will bring a wealth of leadership expertise to OAD, particularly in addressing systemic issues of racism in the criminal legal system.

As both a trial and appellate criminal defense attorney for over two decades, Ms. Jenerson has a deep understanding of the necessity of OAD’s mission to advocate for people who are indigent and convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx. Moreover, her management and strategic planning expertise at organizations of all sizes ensures that OAD will continue to be a model public defender office for years to come.

Ms. Jenerson succeeds Christina A. Swarns, who is the new executive director of the Innocence Project.

“We are thrilled to have Caprice assume the leadership of OAD,” said Nicolas Bourtin, Chair of OAD’s Board of Directors and a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. “She is a consummate leader with a demonstrated passion for serving individuals who are disadvantaged in the criminal justice system. Her deep experience as a criminal justice advocate and the breadth of the positions that she has held both as a lawyer and a manager give her unparalleled insight into the needs of OAD and make her the perfect fit to lead our exceptional organization into the future.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to lead OAD and to serve its clients,” said Ms. Jenerson. “The work of OAD is even more critical today as our nation grapples with its stained history of unjust laws, policies, and practices, and the racial bias that has unduly burdened Black and brown communities. Justice has been elusive for so many for too long and that must change. The approach of OAD and its extraordinary staff centers the clients’ lived experiences, voices, and stories in the foreground, not only to tackle the specific legal issues presented in each case, but also to advocate for the eradication of systemic barriers to equality that are deeply embedded in the criminal justice system. I am proud to join the OAD team as we continue to fight for humane and just outcomes in the appellate process and through other post-conviction remedies. I look forward to working collaboratively with OAD’s staff and external stakeholders to create meaningful and sustainable transformation in the administration of justice for all.”

Before her roles at NYLAG, Ms. Jenerson also served as a Senior Resource Counsel for the Clemency Project 2014, and as a Managing Partner and Managing Attorney at law offices in Georgia for over a decade. Ms. Jenerson earned a J.D. from the Georgia State University College of Law and a B.A. from Rutgers University.