The Youth, Rights & Justice Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Heather Busby as Executive Director effective May 11, 2022. Founded in 1975, Youth, Rights & Justice is an innovative nonprofit law firm based in Portland, Oregon. Busby is an experienced executive director and attorney licensed in Oregon and Texas with a dedication to serving the public interest, making a difference in the lives of youth and families, and advocating for systems change.
“Heather impressed us with her passion for social justice, her track record of nonprofit organization leadership and public policy advocacy, and her work as a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism,” said Dana Walton-Macaulay, YRJ Search Committee Chair.
As Family Court Coordinator for Clackamas County Circuit Court for the past year, Busby worked to increase access to justice by assisting self-represented people in family law cases. She previously served in executive leadership roles as Deputy Executive Director and Interim Executive Director for Asian Family Support Services of Austin (2018-2019), and Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas (2012-2018).
In earlier roles, as Assistant County Attorney/Protective Order Division with Travis County (2010-2012), and Staff Attorney with the Texas Advocacy Project (2007-2010), Busby served as a litigating attorney and offered direct survivor-centered, culturally competent, and trauma-informed services to survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
Busby’s community involvement as a volunteer has included pro bono immigration law services and national board leadership with the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and the National Network of Abortion Funds. Her commitment to justice and public service began prior to law school as a Prevention Specialist with LifeWorks, a youth-serving nonprofit in Austin, TX, where she worked with youth in low-income neighborhoods.
“I am thrilled to join a team of such passionate advocates for youth and families,” Busby said, adding, “I look forward to building on YRJ’s impressive track record as we implement the new strategic plan goals of enhancing our advocacy capacity, internal culture, and legislative and public policy work.”
In her new role, Busby succeeds BethAnne Darby, who has been serving as YRJ’s Interim Executive Director since January of 2022.
YRJ provides court-appointed representation of children, youth, and parents involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems—in both the trial and appellate courts. On a larger scale, YRJ works to improve the systems impacting their clients through education, legislative and administrative advocacy, class action litigation, publications, and training other lawyers and community partners. For more info: www.youthrightsjustice.org