Since 1997, Joan E. Bertin has been Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a coalition of more than 50 national non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting freedom of speech and expression. She graduated from N.Y.U. Law School, where she was a fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. Ms. Bertin spent more than a dozen years on the national legal staff of the ACLU where her areas of expertise include constitutional law, employment law, women’s civil rights, and science and law. Currently a faculty member at Columbia University, she also held the Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy at Sarah Lawrence College. She frequently speaks and writes on legal and policy issues and is the author of more than 30 chapters and articles in professional books and journals.
The history of the First Amendment and key Supreme Court decisions defining its scope; book and art censorship; restrictions on sexually explicit speech, including child pornography; academic freedom and student speech rights, including campus speech codes and the "Academic Bill of Rights"; political speech: government secrecy, access to information, and the right of dissent; FCC regulation of broadcast decency; legal issues on labeling of music, film and video games; hate speech; censorship of science and sex education.