To honor the leadership Ernie Lewis has provided as the Executive Director of NAPD from NAPD’s beginning in October 2013 until his retirement December 31, 2020, the NAPD Steering Committee requested that The NAPD Fund for Justice create scholarship assistance in Ernie’s name for persons attending public defense leadership courses.
Persons wishing to honor Ernie and help deserving leaders with the costs of attending leadership education can donate to this designated scholarship fund. In consultation with Ernie, the NAPD Fund for Justice will award promising public defense leaders scholarships to attend online or in-person public defense leadership education. Donate at: donate – NAPD Fund for Justice In the Comment section of your donation note that your donation is for the Ernie Lewis Fund.
Significance of public defense Leadership
One of the significant advantages an organization has over its competitors is the quality of its leadership. High quality leaders facilitate superior results for their customers. It is no different in public defense programs. Clients benefit when public defense programs have high quality leaders.
NAPD is leading the way on public defense leadership education
The inspired mastermind of the NAPD leadership programs has been NAPD Executive Director Ernie Lewis. He led the development of the NAPD executive leadership institutes that have been conducted and have now trained over 700 public defender leaders nationwide. It is a signature gift of Ernie to defenders nationwide.

Ernie has clarity on the high value of leadership, “High quality leadership is vital to the health of an organization.  A good leader works with her team to create a vision of possibility for an organization that will inspire the organization to change how it views its future. She empowers her followers to implement the vision.  She creates an environment where people can thrive.  She recognizes the importance of growth and constant learning.  She understands complexity and the need to adapt to changing circumstances. She is doggedly persistent and committed to the higher value represented by the vision.  She is self-aware and uses critical thinking to avoid cognitive bias and other mind traps.  She is emotionally intelligent in how she deals with her friends and those with whom she is in conflict.  She has high ethical principles and models them with integrity and courage.  Without high quality leadership, an organization will stagnate or worse in a rapidly changing world.”
Donate to help public defense leaders and honor Ernie
Help carry on Ernie’s gift to the national defender community by making a donation at: donate – NAPD Fund for Justice When you donate, note in the Comment section that your gift is for the Ernie Lewis Fund.