Miriam Krinsky (Executive Director)
Miriam Krinsky has a unique combination of skills and expertise that enable her to lead FJP and serve as a resource for newly elected prosecutors. She previously served for 15 years as a federal prosecutor, both in Los Angeles and on an organized crime and narcotics task force in the Mid-Atlantic region. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, Ms. Krinsky served as Chief of the General Crimes Section (supervising the work of over 50 new prosecutors) and Chief of the Criminal Appellate Section (overseeing the Office’s docket of over 1,000 criminal appeals); chaired the national Solicitor General’s Advisory Group on Appellate Issues; served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Sentencing; and received the Attorney General’s highest national award for appellate work.
Ms. Krinsky has extensive experience in system change and reform of criminal justice institutions, policies and practice. In 2012, she served as the Executive Director of Los Angeles County’s Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, charged with investigating allegations of excessive force by Sheriff’s deputies in L.A. County jails and developing recommendations for reform. Thereafter, Ms. Krinsky directed the newly elected Sheriff’s Transition Team and spent a year working inside the Sheriff’s Department as the Special Advisor to the Sheriff, assisting in implementing reforms within one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation. She also previously served as a Co-Director of the Transition Team for the newly elected Los Angeles City Attorney.
Ms. Krinsky has been involved over the years in the legal community, including serving as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (the first lawyer from the public sector to hold that position), five years (including two years as President) on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, three years on the California Judicial Council, as a member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care and the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Commission, and was appointed by the California Supreme Court to serve a three-year term on the California State Bar Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the American Law Institute’s Sentencing Project Advisory group and the ALI Principles of Policing Advisory Group.
Ms. Krinsky has worked on a variety of system change endeavors, including spending a year as an advisor to the California Supreme Court during its creation of the Statewide Child Welfare Council and as an advisor to the Los Angeles County Bar’s Task Force that investigated and recommended prosecutive, court and justice system reforms in the wake of the LAPD Rampart scandal. She also spent five years as the Executive Director of the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles – a 200-plus person legal services organization representing over 20,000 abused and neglected foster children. She has testified before national and state legislative, governmental and judicial bodies, authored over 50 articles, and lectured nationwide on criminal law, law enforcement oversight and reform, foster care, juvenile justice, and sentencing issues.
Rosemary Nidiry (Deputy Director)
Rosemary Nidiry has had extensive experience in law enforcement and criminal justice as a prosecutor, and also in policymaking, research, and philanthropy. She served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of federal criminal matters, and conducted trainings for law enforcement agents. She was also a Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation where she worked on a number of criminal justice policy reform issues, including overseeing the Foundation’s policing and forensics portfolios. From 2009 to 2011, she served on the staff of the President’s Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition and later as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was involved in a number of national security and counter-terrorism policy initiatives. She was a senior investigator for and helped to set up an international investigation commission, mandated by the United Nations Security Council, to conduct the initial phases of an inquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office in 2001, she was an Attorney-Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. Ms. Nidiry clerked for Judge Robert P. Patterson of the US District Court in Manhattan and Judge Carlos F. Lucero of the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University Law School. She has served as a Consultant for New York University Law School’s Policing Project and is on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Prison Association
Rebecca Blair (Research and Policy Fellow)
Rebecca Blair comes to FJP with experience spanning research, advocacy, strategic planning, and communications, as well as a deep commitment to criminal justice reform. Prior to her role at FJP, Ms. Blair was a senior associate at Whiteboard Advisors, where she partnered with organizations working to promote equity and inclusion in education and labor. At Whiteboard Advisors, Ms. Blair spearheaded the firm’s work to expand access to quality prison-based education and authored opinion pieces, on behalf of clients, that were published in outlets including The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC, Bloomberg, and TechCrunch. She also provided strategic planning and change management support to national nonprofits, leading due diligence, data modeling, policy research, and organizational design projects. Ms. Blair has volunteered to support incarcerated students since 2015 and currently serves as a Maryland co-chair of the Rikers Debate Project, an all-volunteer organization that offers debate classes in prisons and jails across the country. She received her B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Kacey Bonner (Communications Advisor)
Kacey Bonner brings to FJP a long history of communications strategy and criminal justice expertise with a focus on social impact, equity and inclusive representation. Over the past 18 years, Ms. Bonner has built up a wide array of experiences, moving from teaching in a high school to working with academic and policy experts to leading communications campaigns aimed at developing solutions to intractable social and political problems. She joins FJP after serving as a consultant at RALLY where she worked with clients such as The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Community Coalition, and Public Counsel to build new narratives that redefine public safety, promote hard conversations around race and tell compelling stories that bring complex legal issues to life by showing their human impact. Prior to RALLY, Kacey worked with the British Consulate General, Los Angeles to facilitate research partnerships between the United States and the United Kingdom. Previously she served as a high school educator working with underserved student populations in South Los Angeles. She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University. Kacey brings to all her work an invaluable lens that prioritizes justice and amplifies the voices of those who too often go unheard.
Gretchen Burnton (Executive Assistant)
Gretchen comes to FJP from the UCLA School of Law, where she was the assistant in the Office of Career Services. She was responsible for managing the mandatory ABA employment survey for 3Ls and recent graduates, and assisted career counselors with scheduling, research and database operations. Previously, Gretchen held administrative positions at 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios, and interned with the Sedona Film Festival, Noerr Programs and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. Gretchen is a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she earned a dual degree in Journalism and Film Studies.
Natasha Camhi (Research and Policy Fellow)
Natasha Camhi joins FJP following a year working with Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS), where she conducted research and policy analysis on health care access for people involved with the criminal legal system. While at COCHS, Natasha authored several issue briefs and factsheets, and also helped develop policy recommendations for local, state, and federal officials detailing Medicaid’s role in expanding access to community-based health care services for the justice-involved. Previously, Natasha spent two years at the Brennan Center for Justice, where she contributed to federal criminal justice advocacy efforts, coordinated the nation’s first policy forum to focus exclusively on female incarceration, and spearheaded the Justice Program’s communications and media strategy. She received her B.A. in Art History from Wesleyan University, and her M.P.P. from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Natasha is passionate about using her experience in criminal justice, health care, housing, and the arts to promote creative, holistic policies that directly serve communities impacted by the criminal justice system.
Craig Cichy (Chief Operating Officer)
Craig Cichy comes to FJP with over 20 years of experience in philanthropy, non-profit administration and program management. In 2013, he founded Philanthropy Matters, through which he manages the Social Impact Fund — a fiscal sponsor for charitable programs, many of which are rooted in the entertainment and creative communities. For the past eight years, he has also managed Right Action for Women, an initiative founded by Christina Applegate. Previously, Mr. Cichy served as the Program Officer for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, overseeing a vast portfolio of high-profile philanthropic initiatives totaling $15 million in annual grant making. From 2002-2008, he was the Director of the MAC AIDS Fund, the charitable foundation for MAC Cosmetics. Before entering into the philanthropy world, Mr. Cichy’s career focused on large-scale professional and recreational figure skating events, under the direction of legendary sports announcer and Olympic Champion Dick Button. While obtaining his B.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University, he had the opportunity to intern at CNN’s Washington, D.C. Bureau during the 1988 presidential election. Mr. Cichy currently volunteers on advisory councils for both the Foundation for the AIDS Monument and the Liberty Hill Foundation.
Cameron DeChalus (Operations and Program Associate)
Cameron DeChalus joins the FJP team after working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Biden-Harris Presidential Campaign in 2020, where his primary role was to conduct vetting analysis and research relating to prospective donors, vendors, venues, and employees. His interest in the creation and implementation of policy agendas has led him to work at various organizations, including as a government relations intern at Kasirer LLC, where he conducted research to assist the firm’s real estate, non-profit, corporate, and legislation teams in managing client relationships. Previously, he served as a policy intern at New American Economy, where he contributed to research exploring the cultural and fiscal value of immigration. Specifically, he worked on the Cities Index project, which analyzes policies across the 100 largest cities in the United States and ranks efforts to integrate immigrants, as well as socioeconomic differences between immigrants and native-born residents. He also served as a constituent services intern for New York’s former 15th District Councilmember (now U.S. Representative) Ritchie Torres. Mr. DeChalus is an alumnus of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship Program at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He graduated cum laude from Fordham University with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish Language and Literature, and served as President of the Black Student Alliance during his time at Fordham.
Estela Dimas (Research and Policy Associate)
Estela Dimas is an attorney who joins FJP after primarily litigating capital cases for the past decade. Most recently, she served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit in Arizona, where she represented death-sentenced clients in federal court in Arizona and California. Previously, she represented clients sentenced to death in California in their post-conviction cases with the Habeas Corpus Resource Center. She began her legal career at the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, where she investigated conditions of confinement and worked on death penalty appeals and juvenile life without parole cases in several states. Ms. Dimas received her B.A. in Political Science and English from Arizona State University and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephanie Dolan (Senior Advisor for Special Projects)
Stephanie Dolan is a management consultant who is passionate about applying her experience in strategic planning, change management, operations and implementation to help public sector and non-profit clients operate at their highest level. Before joining the FJP team, Ms. Dolan was a Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance, a social impact consulting firm in Chicago. In this role, she worked closely with government agencies, including the Chicago Police Department, as well as local foundations and business leaders to craft responses to some of the city’s most pressing public safety challenges. Prior to joining CCA, Ms. Dolan worked in private sector consulting at Monitor Deloitte and EY, where she focused on corporate and growth strategy and customer experience. She also has experience in impact investing and small business funding solutions through work at an international microfinance non-profit. Ms. Dolan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Dartmouth College.
Sofia Espinoza (Research and Policy Associate)
Sofia Espinoza joins FJP with a strong commitment to improving criminal justice policy. She previously served as the Managing Director of Special Projects at the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (LPPI) where she managed external partnerships and supported the organization’s policy and development portfolios. Previously, Sofia was a Monica Salinas Policy Fellow at LPPI where she managed the organization’s criminal justice research projects, including an inquiry into California’s arrests rates, and led a partnership with LatinoJustice on criminal justice reform and Latinos. Sofia also worked as a Research and Policy Analyst for UCLA’s Million Dollar Hoods project where she conducted research on women brought into the justice system. Before graduate school, Sofia worked at A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, a non-profit that helps formerly incarcerated women access support services in South Los Angeles. In addition, Sofia has federal, state, and local government experience, having interned at the White House in the Office of Vice President Joe Biden, in the Executive Office of California Attorney General under now-Senator Kamala D. Harris, and in the Legislative and External Affairs office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She also served as an Organizing for America Fellow during President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. Sofia received her Masters of Public Policy from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Loyola Marymount University.
Monica Fuhrmann (Research and Policy Associate)
Monica Fuhrmann joins FJP after spending close to three years with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, where she worked on producing criminal justice research publications and supporting the team’s new policy work in the areas of community corrections and jail/pretrial. As part of her work with Pew, she was the lead author and data analyst for a foundational report on probation and parole in the U.S., and she co-founded an internal workgroup to help improve the team’s capacity to understand and communicate about racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. Prior to joining Pew, she worked as researcher and technical assistance provider with American University’s Justice Programs Office, where she published a first-of-its-kind survey on Veteran’s Treatment Courts. She has also volunteered with Campaign Zero to produce reports on police violence and police use of force policies. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University and her M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.
Reeve Jacobus (Research and Policy Fellow)
Reeve Jacobus comes to FJP from the National Governors Association (NGA), where he conducted policy analysis and technical assistance on state-level criminal justice policy for NGA’s public safety team. Prior to joining NGA, he worked at Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a nonprofit that seeks to solve social challenges through collaboration. His primary role was on the “Reentry Ready project,” which convened criminal justice leaders and experts to create a framework to improve the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals. Previously, Reeve spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern Uganda, where he worked for a nonprofit that provided physical and psychosocial rehabilitation to victims and survivors of war. Reeve is originally from Jackson, Mississippi and recently ended his service on the Board of Directors of Mississippi Votes. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Birmingham-Southern College and a Masters in Public Policy, with a concentration in evaluation, from George Washington University. While at GW, he served as Executive Editor of the school’s nationally recognized journal and blog, Policy Perspectives.
Liz Komar (Director of Strategic Initiatives)
Liz Komar served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County (Brooklyn, NY) District Attorney’s Office, where she was assigned to a trial unit as well as the unique and innovative Red Hook Community Justice Center. In her capacity as an ADA at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Ms. Komar became familiar with strategies that promote alternative dispositions and initiatives to build community trust. Prior to that, Ms. Komar was an Attorney Advisor in the Executive Office of Immigration Review through the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program, where her work included assessing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Ms. Komar also served on the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 2014 to 2017. Ms. Komar graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. During law school, she interned at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and in the chambers of the Hon. Joseph F. Bianco of the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Komar holds a B.A. in Peace, War, and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alyssa Kress (Communications Director)
Alyssa Kress comes to FJP with a strong history of developing and implementing digital communications strategy in the nonprofit and political sectors, as well as a passion for criminal justice reform. Alyssa received her Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. During graduate school, she spent a semester running health workshops inside a Philadelphia women’s jail and wrote her capstone project on mental health inside jails. Alyssa joins FJP after five years as the Assistant Director at URJ Camp Harlam, a nonprofit Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania. In this role, she created and implemented a year-round marketing and communications plan that enhanced the organizational brand and strengthened relationships with the community. She also organized and facilitated a comprehensive professional development program for 150 staff members, and oversaw day-to-day operations for 300 high school participants each summer. Prior to her work at Camp Harlam, Alyssa was an Online Marketing Manager at Rising Tide Interactive, where she ran digital advertising campaigns for leading nonprofits and national and local political campaigns. She also worked in the press office on President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. Alyssa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Communication and Political Science.
Jorge Ledesma (Pre-Law Fellow)
Jorge Ledesma joins FJP at the outset of what he hopes will be a life-long pursuit of criminal justice reform. As a Colombian immigrant with a disability from a low-income background, Mr. Ledesma approaches his work with a deep urgency stemming from his belief in the empowerment of the communities he represents. Mr. Ledesma recently graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where his sociological and ethnographic research exposed the particular vulnerability of people with disabilities in low-income communities of color to the punitive consequences of mass incarceration. Beyond his academic research, Mr. Ledesma also has an extensive public service background, most notably as the Advocacy Director of the Y2Y Youth Homeless Shelter in Harvard Square and as a Transportation Advocacy Intern with the Greater Boston Legal Services. Drawing together these personal, academic, and professional experiences, Mr. Ledesma will be leading an accessibility-based policy project in collaboration with the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, in addition to his work with FJP.
Laila Robbins (Research and Policy Associate)
Laila Robbins joins FJP after two years at the Brennan Center for Justice, where she conducted research and engaged in advocacy to promote judicial legitimacy and independence. At the Brennan Center, she co-authored an empirical report documenting the lack of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity on state supreme courts over a nearly 60-year period and finding racial disparities in virtually every element of state supreme court elections. Her research has been published in The New York Times, The Hill, and The Daily Beast, and cited in amicus briefs in state and federal courts. Previously, Ms. Robbins was a research assistant at Yale Law School, where she conducted quantitative and qualitative research on nationwide disparities in the application of sentencing enhancements for repeat nonviolent drug offenders. She also created Brooklyn’s first police accountability database as an intern at Brooklyn Defender Services, mentored students at Manson Youth Institution, and did volunteer work helping immigrants apply for asylum through the New Sanctuary Coalition. Ms. Robbins graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in History.
Nisa Sheikh (Program Manager)
Nisa Sheikh comes to FJP from The Legal Aid Society in New York City, where she was a paralegal supervisor in its civil housing practice, responsible for managing data for housing grants and leading the unit’s intake procedures. Previously, she was a paralegal case-handler with Legal Aid’s Homeless Rights Project, where she advocated for and represented families who were wrongfully denied placement in homeless shelters or were denied reasonable disability accommodations. Ms. Sheikh also served as a program coordinator at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, assisting with the coordination of various events throughout the year geared towards getting more women to become involved in public life and politics. Specifically, she worked to expand the Center’s “Diversity Initiative”, which aimed to get more women of color involved in politics. Her passion for criminal justice reform comes from working with low income New Yorkers whose housing, family and employment are all at risk due to contact with and injustices inherent in the system. Ms. Sheikh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Political Science from Seton Hall University and is current pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at Thomas Edison University.
Allahjah Smith (Operations and Program Associate)
Allahjah Smith joins FJP from James Madison University (JMU), where she most recently served as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Presidential Engagement Fellow. During her fellowship, she helped establish the role of the Office of DEI in its inaugural year and worked on new initiatives to create a more inclusive community at her alma mater. She also sits on the Leadership Council for JMU’s Task Force on Racial Equity, working to address racial inequities within the campus community. Prior to her fellowship, while completing her undergraduate studies at JMU, Ms. Smith worked within the Office of Disability Services for three years as an Accessible Media Assistant responsible for removing accessibility barriers within course materials and promoting universal design within academics. Within the Office of Disability Services, she was able to see the power of transforming systems that have negatively affected marginalized communities and further develop her passion for justice. Ms. Smith received her B.A. in Justice Studies with a minor in Philosophy from JMU, where she was on the Pre-Law track and an executive member of Phi Alpha Delta Law fraternity. She plans to dedicate her future to advocating for justice reform in every space she can.
Greg Srolestar (Director of Technical Assistance)
Greg Srolestar is a program evaluator and policy analyst who focuses on the interconnected challenges facing youth, including the justice system, educational barriers, the child welfare system, mental health, housing instability, and other impediments to success. Before coming to FJP, he consulted for Seedling Consulting Group, conducting both quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine how social programs are impacting the lives of children and families. His previous work in the child welfare space included tutoring high-achieving foster youth, organizing an effort to recruit specialized foster parents, evaluating transitional housing programs for older and former foster youth, and advocating for a policy to expand the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to current and former foster youth ages 18 to 25. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UCLA, a B.A. from Vassar College, and is a proud native Angelino committed to making change in his community.
David Weiss (Senior Research and Policy Associate)
David Weiss joins FJP after spending over a decade working on death penalty litigation, policy, and communications in North Carolina. As a senior attorney at the North Carolina Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Mr. Weiss represented clients in their post-conviction and appellate cases, and worked on an array of issues affecting capital punishment in that state. He also represented death row prisoners in civil rights litigation challenging lethal injection procedures, and was a member of the legal team challenging systemic racial bias in capital prosecutions under a unique state law known as the Racial Justice Act. In addition, he helped lead a litigation and public education campaign to address North Carolina’s status as the only state in the American South whose appellate courts have never found race discrimination in jury selection against a juror of color. Prior to beginning his death penalty work, Mr. Weiss clerked for Judge James A. Beaty, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. He received his B.A. in political science and philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and graduated with honors from the UNC School of Law.
Research and Technical Assistance Partners (Brennan Center for Justice)
Lauren-Brooke Eisen (FJP Training and Curriculum Advisor/Brennan Center Senior Fellow)
Lauren-Brooke Eisen is a Senior Fellow in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program where she focuses on improving the criminal justice process through legal reforms. Ms. Eisen specifically focuses on financial and behavioral incentives that affect the justice system and how prosecutors can play a greater role in creating a more fair and just legal system. Previously she was a Senior Program Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice in the Center on Sentencing and Corrections where she worked on policies that aimed to improve public safety while reducing prison populations. Ms. Eisen also served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City where she prosecuted a wide range of misdemeanor and felony cases, and served in the Appeals, Criminal Court, and Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureaus. Before entering law school, she worked as a beat reporter for a daily newspaper in Laredo, Texas covering criminal justice issues. Ms. Eisen has taught an undergraduate seminar on mass incarceration at Yale, currently serves as an adjunct instructor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and supervises NYU Law students who participate in the Brennan Center Public Policy Advocacy Clinic. Ms. Eisen is also the author of Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Columbia University Press, 2017). She holds an AB from Princeton University and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Research and Policy Consultants
Lindsay Gilchrist is a respected consultant who provides expertise in policy development and communications support to non-profit organizations, foundations and policy-makers. She works with international non-profits such as PATH, Management Sciences for Health and Save the Children; domestic organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Center for Policy Research on Aging at UCLA. Ms. Gilchrist previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. As a Congressional staff member, she advised Subcommittee Chairman Donald Payne on global health, security and humanitarian issues in Africa. In addition, she collaborated with the Foreign Affairs Committee staff on the successful passage of significant legislation and organized a Congressional hearing on the status of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ms. Gilchrist also worked as a Special Assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, providing recommendations for legislative and communications issues. While working for Senator Kennedy, she played a role in several critical pieces of legislation: the Iraqi Refugee Bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and healthcare reform. Lindsay was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and she holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego and a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.
Ron LeGrand spent two decades in federal service – four years as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, five years as a Special Narcotics Prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Section, and 10 years as a Congressional staffer, including as Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Chief Investigator and Counsel with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. While serving as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, he also served as lead Democratic Counsel on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and as lead Democratic Counsel on the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Over-criminalization Task Force which provided the basis for the introduction of the Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Reinvestment Act of 2015 and much of the criminal justice reform legislation that has been considered in House of Representatives in recent years. He has also served as Chief Diversity Officer for AARP and Nabisco Foods and Vice President for Public Policy for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Mr. LeGrand has authored articles, presented, and currently provides consulting, on issues including gender-based violence, legislative affairs, and criminal justice reform to groups including the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Ujima, the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community. He received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.A. from Boston College.
Tracy Schmaler is a managing director at Kivvit Public Strategies, where she specializes in public affairs, crisis and litigation communications, and media relations, and leads Kivvit’s crisis communications, litigation, risk and issue management practices. She advises clients on high-profile matters, as well as regulatory, congressional and civil/criminal investigations. Prior to joining Kivvit, Ms. Schmaler led the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice as senior advisor to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Ms. Schmaler is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice’s highest award, the Edmund J. Randolph Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the accomplishments of the Department’s mission. Ms. Schmaler also managed global public affairs for Yahoo! Inc., served as communications director for the Senate Judiciary Committee and was an award-winning journalist, working as a statehouse and political reporter in New England. Ms. Schmaler was named one of National Journal’s Top Staffers on Capitol Hill (2007). Ms. Schmaler is a graduate of Emerson College and resides in Northern Virginia. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Ivymount Corporation, a nationally recognized school serving people with autism and special needs, and of the Student Press Law Center, a national legal assistance agency that supports high school and college news media in covering important issues free from censorship.
Max Szabo is a strategic and crisis communications professional with a background in criminal justice policy. Mr. Szabo has extensive experience in government having served as Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. He has been a key advocate and strategist behind several major criminal justice reform legislative initiatives in California including AB 1076, a landmark proposal that will automate record clearance at scale and provide expanded employment and housing opportunities for millions of Californians. Mr. Szabo is frequently quoted in the news media and has deep relationships with elected officials across California, law enforcement leaders, criminal justice reform advocates, and members of the community. Mr. Szabo earned his law degree at night at the University of San Francisco while working for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. He graduated with honors and was admitted to the California State Bar in May, 2019.