He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
— Victor Hugo


Ethan Charles Ashley serves as the National State and Local Advocacy Director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Ethan helps coordinate engagement with state and local governments throughout the United States.  He strengthens and supports the work of ADL’s Regional Office staff to enhance their political advocacy and policy work on the broad range of ADL issues. His priority area of focus is running high-priority and high-visibility initiatives for ADL that are part of the state and local advocacy agenda, including the US Conference of Mayors-ADL Mayors Compact (an effort to enlist cities in a coordinated campaign to fight extremism) and 50 States Against Hate (an effort to compel states to pass comprehensive hate crimes laws to protect minorities).

Beyond his work at ADL, Ethan is an elected Orleans Parish School Board member; and, most recently served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Center for Development and Learning, where he led the community, organizing and partnership based work as well as the policy initiatives statewide and nationally. Ethan has worked on the Hill, at the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, at the Urban League of Louisiana, and for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

Ethan is an advisory board member for Bard Early College New Orleans, a rigorous, credit-bearing, tuition-free college course of student in the liberal arts and sciences available to junior and senior level students. Ethan is also a board member of the Boy Scouts of America Southeast Louisiana Council, the National Juvenile Justice Network and the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute.  He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc., where he has inspired colleagues to support youth through scholarships and mentoring.  Ethan was a 2014 fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. Above all, Ethan is a member of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and is a strong advocate for equity, business development, youth justice, civil rights, and servant leadership.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Ethan graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, a law magnet high school in Los Angeles, at the age of 16.  Afterwards, he continued his education at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Juris Doctor degree by the age of 22.



Howard University

Bachelor of Science, Political Science 

(Completed four-year degree in three years Magna Cum Laude)



Howard University School of Law

Juris Doctor



  • Leadership Management and Development 
  • Strategic Planning and Logistical Coordination 
  • Program and Fund Development 
  • Organizing and Community and Partnership Engagement 
  • Public Motivational Speaking and Guest Lectures 


Organization and Charity Affliation 

  • Democratic National Party            

  • Louisiana Democratic Party 

  • Louisiana New Leaders Council 

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. New Orleans Alumni Chapter 

  • Louis A. Martinet Law Society 

  • Urban League of Greater New Orleans Young Professional 

  • Youth Run NOLA 

  • Girls on the Run of New Orleans 

  • Son of a Saint 

  • Bard Early College New Orleans 

  • Pleasant Zion Enrichment Camp 

  • Live Oak Camp

  • Susan G. Komen New Orleans

  • National MS Society 

  • Nexus City Fellow 

  • W.K. Kellogg Community Leadership Fellow 

  • Greater New Orleans Foundation Emerging Leaders Fellow 

  • Institute of Politics at Loyola University 

  • Howard University New Orleans Alumni

  • Boy Scouts of America, Southeast Louisiana Council

  • Louis A. Martinet Legal Society

  • New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) 



Recent Awards  

  • 2016 James Comey Community Leadership Award 

  • 40 under 40 Youth Empowerment Project 

  • 2017 Millennials Changemaker Award

  • 2017 Youth Champion Award, Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies

  • 2018 Yo! of the Yea, NOLAKOOLKIDS