National Family Civil Rights Center
Benjamin J. Ashmore, Sr.

As an undergraduate student and new father, Ben's focus on family and civil rights first began when he quickly became active in the American Civil Liberties Union (MI), and serving as a local board and state executive committee member while still a full-time student.  Following a stint in business running a real estate company he founded, Ben moved on to a career in public policy and service.  In Washington, he was an advocate for municipal finance with the National Association of Bond Lawyers, working with Congress and regulatory agencies, before accepting an appointment to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in New York City.

After serving at HUD for five years, Ben returned to the private sector where his efforts to protect taxpayers and families during this private sector tenure have been lauded by several organizations -- from a Newsweek Magazine cover article to the Washington Post -- when he objected internally to his employer's plans to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development ("HUD"), and was wrongfully-terminated for those objections in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX").  Ben's SOX litigation set important precedent for other whistleblowers, and the United States Solicitor General argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that litigation over these HUD contracts "[is] a matter of great significance. In the project-based Section 8 program directly at issue, HUD distributes over $9 billion annually to the states... [and that the legal issues impact] the over $500 billion that Federal agencies annually distribute in grants and assistance programs."

Ben currently works on prosecutorial matters arising out of the Rwanda civil war for the United Nations Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, he is a Teaching Fellow for the Rutgers University Law School Minority Student Program, and he works on a number of civil rights issues, including but not limited to: a successful jury verdict in a complex SOX whistleblower case against UBS bank; Section 1983 lawsuits against NYC/NYPD for victims of police brutality; appellate advocacy and class action administration in In re Nassau County Strip Search Cases for over 17,000 victims illegally strip-searched in New York; and, litigating to vindicate the rights of victims of age discrimination, sexual harassment, international torture, and wrongful death because of the deliberate indifference of private prison contractors.  

In addition to his professional career, Ben was elected to two terms on the New York City school board, representing the families and students of District 20, and serving as Treasurer, and was an appointed member of Brooklyn Community Board 12.  Ben is married and father to three children, and three step-children in a modern-day brady Bunch (with one grandson and one on the way).  His oldest daughter, Faith, is a Global Scholar at the American University's School of International Service, his son, Ben Jr., is a 3rd Class Cadet and the 2nd Battalion S1 Corporal at the Virginia Military Institute, and his youngest daughter, Lucienne, is an energetic middle-schooler.  With Ben's stepchildren, all working post-college graduation and living nearby in northern New Jersey, family is the most enriching and important element of Ben's life.

Rutgers Law School
The American University (School of Public Affairs); Master of Public Policy (MPP)
University of Michigan; Master of Business Administration (MBA), BBA (Finance), & BA (Economics)
Virginia Military Institute; Institute Scholar (2 yrs, c/o '99)

Contact NFCRC:

(800) 385-0601  (phone)
(202) 640-4433  (fax)