Keisha Hudson, Esq., Global Tastes 2024 Margaret Harris Award Honoree


Keisha Hudson is this year’s Margaret Harris Service Award honoree. The award is named for one of NSC’s longest-serving volunteers and supporters. In honor of her service to our organization, we present the award to a person or organization who has gone above and beyond to help NSC serve our clients through significant technical expertise, resources, and other supports

Ms. Hudson is currently the Chief Defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She was hired to lead the Defender Association after almost two decades as a public defender. An attorney and activist, Keisha works to ensure quality representation for defendants without sufficient resources, but she also advocates for bold, systemic reforms to create a more just system for all. 

When asked, during a 2022 interview with Cherri Gregg, about her motivation in doing this justice-seeking work, Hudson shared, “I was born and raised in Jamaica, a very humble upbringing, but by incredibly strong women role models in my life who were advocates, who were going to fight and push to make life better, not just for their families, but for their community. That sense of injustice was further cemented when I immigrated to America at the age of 15 and looking around and seeing the injustice and the issues around racism...a very strong conviction developed that I sensed I had to do something about that.”

“Keisha fights every day to make sure all people have equal access to justice,” said Steven Larín, NSC’s Deputy Director. He continued, “I admire her commitment to making sure immigrants are treated fairly at court. She champions a Defenders/NSC joint project which provides representation and advice about the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal legal system. Also, Keisha stands alongside the immigrant community demanding an end to ICE arrests at the courthouse. I’m thrilled that we can recognize Keisha for her zealous work protecting the rights of immigrants.”  

Having received undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell, Keisha started her career at the very organization she now leads. Additionally, she has worked as an assistant federal defender at Federal Defender - Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Capital Habeas Unit) and as Deputy Chief Public Defender in Montgomery County. Having taught at the law schools at Drexel, Temple, and the University of Pennsylvania, Keisha is deeply committed to finding and supporting the next generation of public defenders.  

We are proud to honor Keisha Hudson with the Margaret Harris Award for her exceptional legal work and zealous advocacy in ensuring that all have access to high-quality legal representation, regardless of ability to pay.