Hon. Judy Harris Kluger
Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families


Judy Harris Kluger was appointed Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families in January 2014 after serving 25 years as a judge in New York State. Sanctuary is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.

Judge Kluger oversees a staff of 200, including more than 60 counselors and case managers and over 45 attorneys. She manages five residential shelters and a growing workforce development training program. Since her appointment, Judge Kluger has identified and secured new sources of private and public funding, and the agency now has a projected budget of over $20 million for fiscal year 2015/2016.

Prior to her work at Sanctuary, Judge Kluger served as Chief of Policy and Planning for the New York State court system. In that role, she oversaw 300 problem-solving courts and helped develop innovative policies and strategies to improve the delivery of justice, particularly in the area of gender violence. Most recently, she led the effort to open the state’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts.

During her tenure with the Court, Judge Kluger was also responsible for the statewide implementation of the Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, a one family/one judge model for the adjudication of domestic violence cases. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she headed the Domestic Violence Bureau in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Kluger, who received her law degree from St. John’s University, brings to Sanctuary a deep knowledge of and commitment to the issues facing survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.

Judge Kluger is an active member of numerous professional associations, committees and advisory boards and is a frequent speaker and panelist. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the New York State Bar Association Excellence in Public Service Award, presented by the New York State Bar Association in 2013. Other awards include the Outstanding Leadership in Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence, presented by New York City Mayor Giuliani in 1999; the In the Trenches Award, presented by the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence in 2004; and the Abely Award for Leading Women and Children to Safety, presented by Sanctuary for Families in 2004.