Media Contact

Janna Farley,

September 18, 2023

Libby Skarin has been promoted to deputy executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming.

In this new role, Skarin will oversee chapter operations and lead efforts to ensure the work of the ACLU is well-supported, coordinated and aligned with its strategic plan to further advance civil liberties in the three-state region.

“Libby is a dynamic, inspiring and experienced leader with a history of building successful programs and leading nonpartisan political efforts for policy reform,” said Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. “Libby is a fierce advocate for constitutional rights and social justice. Her passion for the equity of all people and commitment to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties will serve her well in this role.”

Skarin joined the ACLU in 2014 as the policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. In this role, Skarin served as the primary lobbyist for the ACLU and oversaw some of the ACLU’s greatest legislative victories for civil rights, including the passage of a bill ending life sentencing for juveniles and stopping the repeal of presumptive probation. In 2020, Skarin was promoted to the chapter’s campaigns director where she was responsible for developing and implementing effective, non-partisan issue campaign strategies and initiatives throughout South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming.

“Now more than ever, the ACLU’s unrelenting commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of all people is vital to the future of our democracy and the well-being of our most vulnerable communities,” Skarin said. “The ACLU has a unique and essential role in pushing the United States to fulfill its promise and potential. It’s a privilege to play a role in this incredibly important work.”

Prior to joining the ACLU, Skarin served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Iowa and worked with the Sioux City Human Rights Commission as well as Iowa Legal Aid to provide assistance to underserved communities.

Originally from Iowa, Skarin is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa College of Law.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.