Executive Director - ACLU Texas
Oni K. Blair joined the ACLU of Texas in June 2021 as executive director, leading the organization forward through a particularly challenging environment with attacks on voting, reproductive, and LGBTQ rights, among other issues.
Oni comes to the ACLU of Texas after serving as executive director of LINK Houston, a non-profit organization advocating for robust and equitable transportation for all Houstonians. She helped shape a $7 billion transit plan to increase equitable bus access; compelled the mayor to fix Houston’s dangerous intersections and launch a zero-fatality safety campaign; aligned advocates of affordable housing and transportation; and won $51.5 million for communities of color adversely impacted by highway expansion.
Before Oni’s work at LINK, she was a foreign service officer for over a decade. Later, with the U.S. Department of State, she served as director of the Human Rights Bureau’s Near Eastern Affairs Office and as special assistant for near eastern affairs to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. She served at the U.S. embassies in Jordan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
Oni has an extensive network of influence with policymakers at every level of government. She served on the 2020-2021 Biden-Harris transition as a member of the agency review team for the U.S. Department of State. She also served as co-chair of the transition team for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, following Hidalgo’s historic 2018 election to the executive position of Harris County.
Oni earned her bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.