(LOS ANGELES) – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) announced today the appointment of Ernest Herrera as Western Regional Counsel.

In his new role, Herrera will lead MALDEF’s litigation and policy work covering the western geographic region, including the western states of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Herrera joined MALDEF in 2013 as a staff attorney working in the organization’s San Antonio office. In 2020, he transferred to the Western Regional office based in Los Angeles.

“Longtime MALDEF attorney Ernest Herrera has conducted litigation in several of our program areas, and he has proven himself to be an adept and committed champion of civil rights advocacy,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.  “MALDEF is pleased to have him join our management team and to lead our efforts in the western region, the most heavily Latino area of the country.”

Since joining MALDEF, Herrera has worked on litigation ranging from a successful challenge to New Mexico’s inadequate funding of the state’s public education system, to lawsuits challenging voter suppression laws and maps in Texas, to litigation challenging local law enforcement’s prolonged detention of immigrants in Nevada.  He recently led MALDEF’s efforts to challenge redistricting in Illinois.

“Latinos have asserted their political power and shown their importance to the economy like never before, yet they face new forms of discrimination,” said Ernest Herrera.  “I am honored to lead the Western Regional Office as it provides innovative legal and policy advocacy to the Latino community at this crucial time.”

Before joining MALDEF, Herrera worked as an assistant district attorney in New Mexico. He earned his law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University’s Columbia College, where he was a Kluge Foundation Scholar.