NEW YORK—The sharpest thorn in the U.S. administration’s side, when it comes to civil rights in a post-9/11 world, is a mild-mannered 41-year-old Canadian who gave up Wall Street a decade ago to slip down a legal rabbit hole.
Jameel Jaffer, a Kingston, Ont., native and Upper Canada College graduate, is the head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Democracy, and in the past 10 years, he has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of secretive national security policies in the United States.
[snip] Jaffer, who hails from a line of Ismaili Muslims, was raised in Kingston by his pharmacist father and librarian mother. His parents had left Tanzania — where his mom had a brief stint as a disc jockey — for the U.K., and in 1969 settled in Canada, where Jaffer and his younger brother were born.
At 16, Jaffer attended boarding school at Upper Canada College, where math teacher Roger Allen said he quickly adapted.