Dale L. Wilcox
Executive Director and General Counsel
Mr. Wilcox joined IRLI in 2014 as its chief executive officer. He is responsible for the overall management of the organization and directs IRLI’s public interest advocacy litigation in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals. He is a distinguished litigator who has dedicated his career to protecting civil rights and promoting accountability, transparency, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. Prior to joining IRLI, he served as State and Local Director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) where he developed and executed a successful legislative program to advance FAIR’s mission to stem unlawful immigration and promote legal immigration levels consistent with the national interest.
Prior to FAIR, Mr. Wilcox worked with Judicial Watch (JW) for more than ten years where he held the positions of senior counsel and Of Counsel with JW’s national headquarters in Washington, DC and Executive Director of JW’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. In this regard, he was involved in several seminal JW investigations that uncovered government corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse, including the Filegate, Chinagate, Commercegate, and Pardongate scandals, litigated numerous FOIA lawsuits that forced release of important government records, including the CCTV camera footage of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 and documents establishing government abuse and incompetence relating to the handling of the anthrax letters sent to members of Congress, and successfully litigated a variety of high-profile, complex, often difficult to win cases, including a whistleblower and discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a Hispanic Immigration and Naturalization Service special agent involved in the Elian Gonzalez matter and a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of a senior government official whose waste, fraud, and abuse disclosures caused Congress to suspend paying its United Nations dues in the latter 1990s.
Prior to joining JW, Mr. Wilcox’s law practice mainly concentrated on civil rights where he successfully challenged as unconstitutional the newly enacted campaign finance schemes in the States of Arkansas, Colorado, and North Carolina. In addition, he successfully represented members of the United States House of Representatives and Indiana House of Representatives in actions before the Federal Election Commission on campaign finance issues and in recount and contest proceedings. He is a cum laude graduate of the Regent University School of Law and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in philosophy from the University of Louisville. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits, District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and Supreme Court of the State of Indiana (Mr. Wilcox’s admission to the District of Columbia Bar is pending, during which time he is under the direct supervision of a District of Columbia Bar member).
Michael M. Hethmon
Mr. Hethmon is IRLI Senior Counsel, where he has worked on public interest advocacy litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative tribunals since 2006. He has designed, drafted and defended immigration-related legislation and regulations in federal, state and local jurisdictions throughout the United States.
Mr. Hethmon earned a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from UCLA, an M.I.M. from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, and received his J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School in 1999. He is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia state and federal bars, and admitted to practice before the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh federal appellate courts as well as the United States Supreme Court, and has appeared pro hac vice in other jurisdictions. Mr. Hethmon worked his way through law school while a qui tam relator in a federal foreign corruption case, and has litigated pro bono land use and sustainable development cases in Maryland. Prior to practicing law he worked and travelled widely overseas. He has written on a range of immigration law and policy topics, from amnesty to xenophobia.
Kris W. Kobach
Mr. Kobach is the 31st Secretary of State for Kansas, sworn in on January 10, 2011. Kansas voters elected him by a wide margin on a platform focused on stopping voter fraud. With that goal in mind, Secretary Kobach began his term by introducing a bill designed to make it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Both houses of the legislature adopted the Secure and Fair Elections Act with large bipartisan majorities. Governor Brownback signed the bill into law on April 18, 2011.
Prior to his election as Secretary of State, Mr. Kobach was a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City for 15 years. He is nationally-recognized as an author of legislation to stop illegal immigration, and known as a litigator who represents US citizens, cities, and states in cases involving illegal immigration across the country. Secretary Kobach graduated co-valedictorian from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, KS. He went on to earn his bachelor of arts degree with highest distinction from Harvard University; earn a doctorate in political science from Oxford University in England; and earn a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School. He has since published two books and numerous articles on elections, political science, constitutional law, and immigration law.
As a White House Fellow, Secretary Kobach worked in the personal office of United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, serving as his chief advisor on immigration law and border security. After the 9/11 attacks, Secretary Kobach was put in charge of Department of Justice efforts to prevent terrorists from exploiting gaps in U.S. immigration controls. Secretary Kobach has testified before Congress multiple times on numerous topics. He also has been a frequent legal commentator on several news programs including The O’Reilly Factor and Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel, Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network, and Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio. In addition, he has been a frequent columnist for the New York Post and the Washington Times. Each week he hosts The Kris Kobach Show heard every Sunday on KCMO 710 AM talk radio from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Legal Assistant and Office Manager
Sharon joined IRLI in 2012. She has 15+ years experience in accounting and finance and 10 years of in-home care service experience. Sharon is seeking paralegal certification and is currently responsible for litigation and general office support.