Diann Rust-Tierney is a national legal and legislative policy expert with more than 35 years of experience developing, coordinating, and implementing policy advocacy campaigns to advance civil and human rights. She has been the long-time Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and has been a leader, working with national allies and state partners, to develop a nationwide strategy to change public opinion on the death penalty and end the practice in the United States. She led efforts to develop a coordinated state and federal campaign to end the death penalty state by state. Her work against capital punishment often highlights the intersectionality between race, gender and economic justice.

Prior to joining the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Ms Rust-Tierney served as Chief Legislative Counsel and Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Office.

In addition to serving as the Robert F. Drinan S. J. Visiting Professor for Human Rights for 2021-2022, she is the Senior Director for Advocacy for Caring Across Generations.

She holds a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and a BA from the College of Wooster. Rust-Tierney is a member of the District of Columbia and Supreme Court Bars.