May 12, 2022 – The Board of Directors of the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) announced the appointment of Susan Coppedge as the new Executive Director, succeeding Rick Rufolo, who announced his retirement last November. Rufolo will stay with GLSP for a short transition period. Coppedge will begin her new role on May 16th.
During her almost 30-year legal career Coppedge has advocated for some of the most vulnerable members of the community, as well as the broader public interest. In 2015, she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate Director of the Office for Monitoring and Combating Trafficking in Persons at the United States Department of State. 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 far 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 joins GLSP from Krevolin & Horst, where she currently works 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.
Coppedge, a native of Dalton, Georgia, is a graduate of Duke University and received her law degree from Stanford University. She is licensed to the State Bar of Georgia.