It is with deep sadness that the Global Justice Center announces the passing of its founder and fearless leader, Janet Benshoof. A generational force and tireless advocate for the rule of law and women’s equality, Ms. Benshoof’s family announced her passing on December 18th. She was 70 years old.
“Janet dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality,” said her family. “It gives us great comfort to know that her fighting spirit will be carried on by the Global Justice Center and all those whose lives she touched.”
After announcing her intention to step down to GJC’s board in October 2016 and staff in October 2017, Ms. Benshoof was diagnosed with uterine serous carcinoma in November 2017. The Global Justice Center honored her wishes for privacy through her illness.
“We would like to thank all those who contributed to her medical care in recent days. We are also so very grateful for the many expressions of love and support we have received. At this stage we are taking some time to come to terms with what has happened,” said her son, David Benshoof Klein, on behalf of the family.
The GJC Board of Directors has been engaged in a planning a transition process since 2016 and has engaged an executive search firm to identify a dynamic, new leader for the GJC. GJC’s Vice-President and Legal Director, Akila Radhakrishnan has assumed the role of acting President until a successor is named in 2018.
“Janet will go down in history as a legal and women’s rights pioneer,” said GJC Board Chair Tracy Higgins. “The Board and Staff at the Global Justice Center feel honored to have worked with such an incredible visionary and are determined to fulfill her life’s work to achieve gender equality not only on paper, but in practice. ’Power, not pity,’ was her motto and we find those words both a comfort and a challenge as we carry on her legacy.”
In a 1998 interview with The New York Times, Janet was asked how she would like to be remembered:
'I don't think I'd want it to focus on one case,'' she says. ''I don't know how to say this, it sounds so hokey. I'd like people to say, 'She wanted to make the world a better place.' ''Ms. Benshoof gestures outside, to the canyons of Wall Street. ''There are towers all around us, filled with lawyers, brokers. I don't think most of them have a vision of changing the world. I'd like people to think, just 'She had a bigger view.’”
Memorial arrangements are still being finalized and an event will be planned in Janet’s honor in New York City.
Well wishes for the family can be sent via email to email@example.com and a mailing address can be provided upon request.
The Global Justice Center