Lisa Borden is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s senior policy counsel for international advocacy. She oversees the SPLC’s work to advance U.S. implementation of its obligations under international human rights law in the SPLC’s impact areas of decarceration, protecting voting rights and civic engagement, eradicating poverty, and dismantling white nationalism and supremacy.
Borden is a civil and human rights lawyer with more than 30 years of experience. Before joining the SPLC, she developed and led an award-winning pro bono practice at a large U.S. law firm, where her practice included representation of death row prisoners in post-conviction litigation, prison conditions litigation and representation of people experiencing homelessness or poverty.
Borden’s extensive body of pro bono work was recognized by the American Bar Association with the 2016 John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award. She also served as the law firm’s assistant general counsel, providing professional responsibility and ethics advice and representation to the firm’s attorneys and management.
Borden has served on the boards of several civil rights and legal aid organizations, including the board of trustees of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham. She chaired the board of directors of the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Alabama Access to Justice Commission of the state’s supreme court.
She also worked extensively in international human rights, advocating for human rights treaty implementation, in areas including the death penalty, violence against women, racism, and the rights of people with disabilities, before U.N. human rights bodies in Geneva. Earlier, she practiced business and employment law litigation.
Borden is a graduate of the Emory University School of Law and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.