You are here

Working with NLADA offers the opportunity to work with a staff with a diverse talents and backgrounds.  Learn about individual members of our team below.

Meet our Staff

Arielle Altman

Senior Program Associate, Civil Legal Services

Arielle Altman is senior program associate for NLADA’s Civil Legal Aid Initiative, which supports legal aid’s capacity to apply for and partner on federal grants. Prior to NLADA, Arielle earned her M.P.A. with honors from Baruch College School of Public Affairs as part of the National Urban Fellows class of 2015. Previously, she had key roles on development teams at Uncommon Schools, The Posse Foundation, Thirteen WNET, and United Healthcare Workers Training and Employment Funds. Arielle holds a B.S. in journalism from Boston University.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 213

Marea L. Beeman

Director, Research Initiatives, Defender Legal Services

Marea is an attorney who has worked for more than two decades to improve the administration of and access to justice through research, writing, and technical assistance projects. Engagements prior to joining NLADA in 2014 were as: senior project manager with the Justice Management Institute, senior research associate with the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and vice president of The Spangenberg Group. Marea received her bachelor’s degree from The Colorado College and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the New England School of Law. 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 219

Otisa Dozier

Program Associate, Office Administration

Otisa focuses on office administration and accounting, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, accounting reconciliation, allocations, and onsite registration. Prior to joining NLADA, she was at the American Society of Landscape Architects, where she was responsible for all aspects of membership correspondence and data fulfillment and provided assistance with the implementation of the recruitment and retention programs. Otisa also worked at The American Society of Association Executives as an administrative assistant and later as administration coordinator in its Education Department, working with human resources, membership, and marketing departments. 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 200

Emily Flanagan

Senior Program Associate, Defender Legal Services

April Frazier Camara

Director, Defender Legal Services Initiatives

April is the Director of Defender Legal Services Initiatives, which advances NLADA’s goals and priorities through strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing public defense. For the last eight years, April worked as a public defender with the Public Defender Service for D.C. as a Reentry Coordinator, and most recently as the Special Assistant in the Juvenile Defender Unit at the Law Office of the Shelby County Public Defender where she was responsible for implementing Department of Justice reforms and helping to build the first ever holistic and team-based juvenile defense practice in Shelby County that employed both social workers and attorneys.  She also has experience working on national reentry policy reform at the American Bar Association in D.C. and Legal Action Center in NY.  She received a B.A. from Tennessee State University and a J.D. from Howard University. 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 212

Chelsey Gibson

Major Gifts Officer

As Major Gifts Officer, Chelsey supports NLADA’s strategic development efforts. Prior to joining NLADA, Chelsey worked as a major gifts fundraiser and consultant with nonprofit organizations throughout the country. She earned her Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University and completed her undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University.

Stephanie Griffith-Richardson

Manager, Meetings and Events

Stephanie plans and manages logistics for a NLADA meetings, conferences, trainings, and events. Early in her career, Stephanie was the HIV prevention manager for the State of Missouri. Since 2001 she has worked in the Hospitality Industry as a meeting planner. Prior to NLADA she was the education manager for the American Hospital Association and regional meeting planner for the National Minority AIDS Council. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University and has a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Kansas.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 214

Yvette Hatcher

Manager, Accounting

Yvette supports the organization in directing budget and cost controls, and accounting analysis and procedures. She maintains the relationship with external auditors and prepares detailed account analyses. Yvette implements policies related to financial reporting, budgeting, accounting, and payroll activities. She also prepares and reviews monthly financial statements and reconciliation schedules that support the monthly and quarterly financial statements.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 209

Rosalie Joy

Vice President, Defender Legal Services

David Miller

Manager, Policy Initiatives

David joined NLADA in 2013. He advances the policy advocacy aims of NLADA’s civil and defender initiatives through research, analysis, and strategic outreach. David’s background includes nonprofit, association, and political experience on both sides of the Atlantic. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Democracy and Comparative Politics from University College London, and he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nottingham.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 244

Chandra Nicholson

Senior Program Associate, Membership & Training

Chandra provides administrative and programmatic support for the membership and training department, where she handles application and dues processing, events registration, and customer service for NLADA members. Chandra has been with NLADA for 16 years, and has also held the roles of program assistant (Member Services) and receptionist/administrative assistant. She is a graduate of Prince George’s Community College.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 215

Brian Peterkin-Vertanesian

Manager, Meetings & Events

Brian plans and manages logistics for a NLADA meetings, conferences, trainings, and events. He has more than 20 years' experience in planning events and managing programs for nonprofits. Before joining NLADA, Brian was an independent conference and event planner working with nonprofits in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was the Conference & Training Manager for BoardSource for seven years. Brian also spent 11 years fighting the war on poverty with the Community Action Partnership (the national association representing Community Action Agencies), where he was Vice President for Programs & Grants Management. In that role with Community Action, he led the development of conferences and training & technical assistance programs and was the national project leader for the 1996 and 2000 National Dialogue on Poverty initiatives. Brian holds a B.A. from St. Bonaventure University and a J.D. from The American University-Washington College of Law.

Email: [email protected] Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 229


Don Saunders

Vice President, Civil Legal Services

Don is a nationally-recognized leader of America’s civil justice community. He has spearheaded NLADA’s civil division for more than 20 years, building the organization’s expert training and technical assistance capacity and advocating with Congress, the Legal Services Corporation, federal agencies, and four Presidential administrations on a wide array of issues relating to the effective delivery of civil legal services. Prior to joining NLADA in 1990, Don was Executive Director at the North Carolina Legal Services Resource Center in Raleigh, NC. He received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 224

Radhika Singh

Director, Civil Legal Aid Initiatives

Radhika Singh is director of NLADA’s Civil Legal Aid Initiative, which supports civil legal aid’s capacity to apply for and partner on federal grants. Radhika also is an expert in Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven student loan repayment plans. She previously worked in law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works, and was a staff attorney at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. Radhika received her B.A. from American University and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 207

Sharon Singh

Director, Communications

Maria Soto

Senior Vice President, Operations

Maria is senior vice president for operations.  She is responsible for NLADA’s administrative, financial and operational activities, and oversees its strategic planning process. Prior to joining NLADA in 2012, Maria served as director of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Ohio, and she served on NLADA’s Board of Directors from 2007 to 2011. Maria is an active member of the Florida Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 216

Jo-Ann Wallace

President and CEO

Before becoming head of NLADA, Jo-Ann was the organization’s senior vice president for programs, responsible for oversight of both the civil legal aid and public defense program agendas. From 1994 to 2000, she served as director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, widely regarded as the nation’s model defender agency. She is a founder of the American Council of Chief Defenders, a leadership council of the top defender executives from across the United States, and the District of Columbia Appellate Practice Institute. Her extensive experience lecturing includes serving as a member of the visiting faculty for the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School. Jo-Ann received recognition from the White House as a “Champion of Change.” She is a graduate of New York University School of Law.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 206

Robin Walsh

Manager, Human Resources and Operations

As the Manager of Human Resources and Operations, Robin manages all hiring, training, benefits and other HR activities as it relates to NLADA’s organizational needs. Robin's professional career reflects more than 10 years of experience in human resources management, resource utilization and organizational development. She has worked for a variety of institutions and law firms in her career.  She received her B.S. in communications from the University Of Maryland University College.  

Jenna Welch

Director, Membership

Welch joins NLADA from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system.  She held a series of increasingly responsible positions during her nearly seven years at SfN, the last four as manager of memberships and chapters.  She had a key role in the supporting the organization’s 40,000 members and its board of directors, including identifying ways that SfN could better meet their professional development needs, often through improved technology.  She previously worked at the Entertainment Industries Council in Northern Virginia. Welch received her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University in Virginia.

Email: [email protected]                      Phone: 202-452-0620, ext.234