Ann Rowlett - Headshot


deputy director



“By the book” could be the guiding principle of Ann Rowlett’s life. In her youth, Ann developed a strong sense of fairness – rules and rights should apply to everyone, no exceptions.

Working at the ACLU of Ohio has provided Ann the opportunity to advance the Bill of Rights in her day-to-day work. As Deputy Director, Ann manages internal operations by the book, ensuring sound financial practices and reporting, supporting the board of directors in their oversight duties, providing a safe, supportive environment for employees, and maintaining compliance with state and federal laws. She also oversees the organization’s records management and archives program.

Ann’s educational path may at first seem an unlikely grounding for this career. She has a Master’s degree in English from The Ohio State University. In focusing her coursework on women’s issues and literature, however, her passion for equality was ignited, and the communications, critical thinking and analytical skills she developed in pursuit of the degree have served her well in supporting civil liberties. She admires Gloria Steinem as a captivating storyteller and a courageous pivotal leader in the fight for women’s equality.

After some years on the ACLU staff, Ann earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. She applied her new skills when she spent a month at Yale University organizing the ACLU of Ohio Kent State Project Records. These litigation files were amassed in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings in 1970.

Before joining the ACLU, Ann worked for organizations focused on individuals’ rights in human services, labor, and law. She also spent two years managing communications for a political campaign. She has volunteered her time to enhance opportunities for women, for disabled people, and for artists. She served on the board of directors of Greater Cleveland Community Shares and Cleveland Public Theatre.

Ann is a member of two book groups, and appreciates the stimulating, challenging conversations that grow out of a shared reading experience. She also tends her neighborhood Little Free Library.