ATLANTA, May 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Board of Directors of the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) today announced the appointment of Susan Coppedge as the new Executive Director, succeeding Rick Rufolo, who announced his retirement last November gave. Rufolo will remain with GLSP for a short transition period. Ms. Coppedge will take up her new role on 16 May.
Throughout her nearly 30-year legal career, Coppedge has advocated for some of society’s most vulnerable, as well as the general public interest. In 2015, she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate to head the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the US State Department. As Ambassador-at-Large, her global portfolio focused on improving services for human trafficking survivors and encouraging foreign governments to prosecute human traffickers.
“I’m excited to join Georgia Legal Services,” said Coppedge. “The organization is known throughout the state of Georgia for its service in providing access to justice and I am honored to have the opportunity to return to public service.”
“We are pleased that Ms. Coppedge will be joining GLSP,” said Tennell Lockett, Chairman of the GLSP Board of Directors. “She has served the underserved throughout her career, including more than 20 years as a Georgia attorney. We are confident that she will continue the organization’s mission of providing quality legal services to those who cannot afford them.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to thank Rick Rufolo for his leadership and dedication to GLSP and wish him well in his retirement. During his tenure, his efforts to raise awareness of the organization statewide has resulted in many more people benefiting from the free legal services we provide.”
Coppedge served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia from 1995 to 2015, where she prosecuted a wide range of cases, from white-collar crime and public corruption to government program fraud, identity theft and human trafficking. She was one of the first federal prosecutors to bring sex trafficking cases in Georgia, and over the course of her career has secured indictments against 49 traffickers in domestic and international sex trafficking and labor trafficking cases. Her commitment to justice for victims of human trafficking continues to this day as she represents a trafficking survivor who is wrongly imprisoned for acts her trafficker forced her to do.
Coppedge comes to GLSP from Krevolin & Horst, where she currently serves as Of Counsel in the litigation practice. Before joining Krevolin & Horst, Coppedge ran the Atlanta office of Nardello & Co., a global investigative firm.
She remains active in the anti-trafficking community by serving on the boards of Polaris and Street Grace and on the Advisory Board of the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network.
A native of Dalton, Georgia, Coppedge is a graduate of Duke University and received her law degree from Stanford University. She is admitted to the State Bar of Georgia.
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About Georgia Legal Utility
The Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals, creating equal access to justice and opportunity out of poverty. Founded in 1971, GLSP serves 154 of Georgia’s 159 counties, excluding the five counties of Metro Atlanta. GLSP has offices in Atlanta, Albany, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville/Athens, Macon and Savannah. To reach us, call 1-833-GLSP-LAW (833-457-7529) or visit our website at glsp.org. Follow GLSP on Twitter at @GeorgiaLegal and on Facebook at facebook.com/georgialegalservices.