Padilla-Goodman has led the South Central Region, based in her native New Orleans, since April 2014. She plans to move to the Southeast Region’s Buckhead office in mid-August.
“It’s an exciting move but certainly bittersweet to leave New Orleans,” she told Southern Jewish Life magazine, which broke the news in its June issue.
Padilla-Goodman’s predecessor in Atlanta, Mark Moskowitz, resigned in mid-June 2016 to take a job with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Shelley Rose has been the interim regional director the past year but will return to her place as the senior associate regional director when Padilla-Goodman arrives.
Described as a veteran community organizer, educator, and voice against racism and anti-Semitism, Padilla-Goodman is shifting from a region composed of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas to the more heavily populated, more Jewish Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama.
In her three years with ADL, she has led the Greater New Orleans Civil Rights Working Group, a citywide coalition that brings community leaders and law enforcement into dialogue. She has trained local law enforcement on responding to hate crimes and extremism. And she has spearheaded efforts to advocate for legislation supporting LGBT rights, immigrant rights and religious freedom.
“We are thrilled that Allison has agreed to lead ADL’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry of all forms in the Atlanta region,” said Steve Pepper, the ADL Southeast Region board chair. “She’s clearly made an impact in her native New Orleans, and we are looking forward to her leadership here in Atlanta.”
Padilla-Goodman was born and raised as a fourth-generation New Orleanian and attended Newman School, but she lived in Italy, Colombia, Hong Kong and elsewhere before relocating to New Orleans in 2011.
She received a bachelor’s from Middlebury College, a master’s in Latin American studies from Tulane University, and a master’s and a doctorate in sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center.
She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on race and ethnicity, immigration, criminal justice, and urban development.
Padilla-Goodman has worked in a New Orleans public school, with an education nonprofit organization in New Orleans and in Hong Kong, and in grassroots community organizing around public safety and violence among youth in New Orleans.
“Allison has been described by her peers and local board members as a superstar who has developed great relationships and engaged broadly while also doubling down on our mission to fight anti-Semitism,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “We are so excited to see her bring her passion and her intellect to Atlanta and continue to build on our good work and accomplishments there.”