Legal Director



Kristi Graunke is the Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC), where she leads litigation and other legal advocacy to advance and defend the rights of North Carolinians under the federal and state constitutions. Before joining ACLU-NC in 2020, Kristi worked as an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), where she focused primarily on enforcing the civil rights of low-income immigrant workers in the southeastern United States. In 2015, she received Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award as part of a team that tried a human trafficking case to a $14 million verdict for the plaintiffs. Prior to working with SPLC, Kristi was an Equal Justice Works law fellow with the Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services.

Kristi holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Following graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.