Leah Pinney is currently serving as Interim Executive Director of the Texas Center for Justice and Equity. She joined TCJE in 2007 as a youth justice researcher to push for stronger oversight at the Texas Youth Commission. With her help, TCJE advocated for the implementation of agency programs and procedures that would reduce staff use of force, including the indiscriminate use of pepper spray against kids in facilities. Leah later worked to advance the rights of indigent defendants, especially the right to counsel, through increased state funding and the expansion of model programs, including the Harris County Public Defender's Office. From 2008 to 2015, Leah was in charge of TCJE’s operations, overseeing organizational development and resource management; from 2015-2023, she served as TCJE's Executive Director. Prior to TCJE, Leah worked with the ACLU of Texas, where she drafted a report about the problems related to the use of confidential informants, particularly by racially biased drug task forces across Texas. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Edward’s University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science. As Interim Executive Director, Leah continues to maintain responsibility for advancing the organizational vision and mission, and develops the parameters for achieving multi-year goals; she implements a process and structure to achieve success, and ensures that reforms are driven by those most impacted.
To contact Leah, please email LPinney@TexasCJE.org.