ACLU of Florida announced Friday it has tapped Amy Turkel to serve as interim executive director.
Turkel had been working as the organization’s director of philanthropy and will serve in her new role during the organization’s search process for a permanent executive director.
A native Floridian and long-time ACLU member, Turkel comes from a family of lifelong ACLU members and civil rights activists. Her parents were members of the Greater Miami Chapter before there was a staff-led ACLU affiliate.
She has worked at the ACLU of Florida for almost 10 years. She was the organization’s director of communications before becoming its director of philanthropy. She also has had an extensive career in marketing and communications, first as vice president of an advertising agency and then as president of a branding firm.
“I am excited to welcome Amy in her new role. We are fortunate to have so many talented staff at the Florida affiliate. Amy hails from a family dedicated to protecting civil liberties. Her depth of experience will be invaluable to the organization as we search for a new organizational leader,” ACLU of Florida President Michael Barfield said.
Turkel’s elevation comes as current executive director Dr. Micah W. Kubic is set to leave his position after three years to return to his home state of Kansas and lead its ACLU affiliate.
During his tenure in Florida, Kubic worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to bring forward legislation to roll back Florida’s “tough-on-crime” approach to criminal justice by expanding the state’s gain time system, which allows incarcerated people to get time off their sentence by participating in rehabilitation and vocational training programs.
Kubic also spurred the enactment of multiple local ordinances aimed at making communities safer and more welcoming for immigrants, helped lead successful litigation against a law that criminalized peaceful protest by racial justice and police accountability protesters, and set the groundwork for a package of voting rights ballot initiatives.
He also doubled the size of the affiliate in three years and built the staff and organizational capacity to achieve all these initiatives.
“It has been a great honor to work with Micah. His engaging leadership and accomplishments have advanced Floridians’ rights in every part of the state,” Barfield said. “The Florida affiliate is well poised to continue the vital work of securing equity and justice for communities adversely impacted by attacks on freedom. We wish Micah much success and will miss him.”