“There are heroes and there are legends. Heroes are remembered, but legends never die.” – The Sandlot
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Education: Dual B.S. in Criminal Justice and Psychology, University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Known Around the office as: ‘JD’ or Dold
Recognizable by: Either his sneakers or his catchphrase: “Well, that’s interesting because…”
James Dold serves as advocacy director for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY). In this role, James leads the CFSY advocacy team in national legislative efforts to eliminate juvenile life without parole and other extreme sentences for youth by working in partnership with both with coalition members, elected officials and other policymakers.
Prior to joining the CFSY, James served as senior policy counsel for the Polaris Project, where he led successful state legislative campaigns that resulted in the passage of 40 new anti-human trafficking laws across the country. He received the inaugural 2013 Professor Louis Henkin Award by Rightslink at Columbia Law School, as well as the Josephine Butler Abolitionist Award for Law Policy Development for his efforts in advancing human rights protections.
A life-long advocate for disenfranchised and marginalized members of our society, James’ passion for social justice developed while growing up in inner-city Las Vegas with his parents and siblings, as well as extended family.
“Looking back I felt like we were all helpless in some ways and at the mercy of a system that either did not know we existed or did know, but did not care. I felt helpless because of the odds we all faced in having to overcome growing up in a low-socio-economic environment, a broken school system, and a never-ending struggle against drugs and crime. … It was these experiences that showed me the hopeless situations that so many people in our country face, but they also solidified my determination to make them otherwise.”
While in law school James, represented low-income individuals whose public benefits had been unjustly terminated or denied and also served as a law clerk at the ACLU of Maryland where he defended the First Amendment rights of street performers and religious groups. During this time he also interned in the offices of Maryland Delegate Dana Stein and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin.
In his spare time, James enjoys gardening, reading, collecting comic books, fishing, working out, and taking on adventurers. He has jumped out of planes, hiked volcanoes, and run with the bulls during his travels abroad. A peek into his office reveals souvenirs from far-away places, including a working blowgun from the Amazon.