Michael W. Macleod-Ball is the chief legislative and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. He manages a team of policy counsels and lobbyists who work with congressional offices on a non-partisan basis to ensure that Americans’ civil liberties are preserved and protected. MacLeod-Ball and his office also advocate for federal action on behalf of segments of the population who traditionally have been denied their rights.
Prior to joining the WLO in September 2007, Macleod-Ball provided legal advice and advocacy leadership for 25 years in New England and Alaska. As executive director of the ACLU of Alaska for three years, Macleod-Ball built relationships with local communities such as non-English speaking natives, and gay and lesbian leaders. He helped form Alaskans Together, Alaska’s first statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and led legislative and court-related efforts to require health plan coverage of same-sex partners. In addition, under Macleod-Ball’s leadership the ACLU of Alaska creatively challenged unfair voting laws and conducted the first known statewide survey of sex education, attempting to identify the precise impact of medically inaccurate and religiously-inspired ‘abstinence-only’ curricula in local Alaska schools.
In Maine for over 15 years, Macleod-Ball practiced law and held leading roles in the political community, including serving on the presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley and Howard Dean, and as a delegate to the 2004 Democratic national convention. He was a partner at Verrill Dana, one of Maine's largest law firms, before founding Bergen & Parkinson in 1998. During this period Macleod-Ball argued important court cases on privacy and federal regulatory authority. He also negotiated multi-million dollar business deals and provided pro bono assistance to candidates.
Before moving to Maine, Macleod-Ball served in congressional and state government positions, including overseeing a $100 million public works economic development program for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts. He has a degree in psychology from the University of Vermont and is a cum laude graduate of Boston’s Suffolk University Law School, where he served as a law review editor and wrote on religious liberty issues.
Macleod-Ball lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, two dogs and one chinchilla. They have a daughter attending Yale Law School and enjoy Scottish country dancing in their spare time.