Christina Swarns is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project. She previously served as the President and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender, Inc. (OAD), one of New York City’s oldest institutional providers of indigent appellate defense representation; as the Litigation Director for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice; as a Supervising Assistant Federal Defender in the Capital Habeas Corpus Unit of the Philadelphia Community Defender Office; and as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division in New York.
Christina argued, and won, Buck v. Davis, a challenge to the introduction of explicitly racially biased evidence in a Texas death penalty case, in the United States Supreme Court. Christina was the only Black woman to argue in the 2016 Supreme Court Term, and is one of the few Black women to have argued before the nation’s highest court.
Christina earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Howard University.