NLADA Staff

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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

Tracy Adams

Executive Assistant to President & CEO

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 211

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

Christopher Buerger

Counsel, Civil Legal Services

Chris has spent most of his career fighting on behalf of low-income parents in the family courts of New York City, first at The Center for Family Representation and then with The Bronx Defenders. Before that, he worked and interned in New York, Louisiana, Oregon, and Ghana. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a member of the Human Rights Clinic. Chris received an M.P.P from Oregon State University while focusing on quantitative methods, rural communities, and child welfare policy. He received a B.A., graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from American University with a major in literature and a minor in chemistry.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 232

Casey Chiappetta

Senior Program Associate, Civil Legal Services

Casey advocates for federal funding and policies to integrate civil legal aid into cross-sector collaborations that serve low-income and vulnerable populations and provides training and technical assistance for legal aid organizations through the Project to Advance Civil Legal Aid Collaborations. She also conducts research on legal technologies, such as artificial intelligence and online dispute resolution, and their impact on the client community. Casey previously worked at the Justice in Government Project, where she built a toolkit to educate grant administrators, policymakers, and advocates on how legal aid advances policy priorities and how to build partnerships with federal pass-through funding. Her research has been published in several refereed journals, including Family Court Review, MIE Journal, Disability & Society and others. She received her M.S. in Justice & Public Policy from American University, graduating summa cum laude and was an Executive Merit scholar. She received the School of Public Affairs top graduate research award and the university’s most prestigious academic award, the Outstanding Scholarship Award, conferred at commencement. She also received her B.A. in Sociology from American University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and also received the Outstanding Scholarship Award at the conclusion of her studies, being the first and only scholar to receive it twice.

Email: [email protected]nlada.org                               Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 226

Katherine Denman

Senior Program Associate, Development & Programs

Email: [email protected]

 Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 220

 

 

Otisa Dozier

Senior Program Associate, Finance and Operations

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

Manager, Programmatic Strategy and Innovation

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 217

April Frazier Camara

Chief, Lifelong Learning

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.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 259

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

Before joining NLADA, Rosalie was a public defender for 29 years. She spent the last eight years as the Interim Director of the Atlanta Public Defender's Office, in Atlanta, Georgia. Rosalie is nationally recognized for her achievements in transforming the business model in Atlanta's lower court systems from an assembly line justice culture to a client-centered, best practices approach grounded in principles of holistic defense. She is a forward-thinking criminal defense attorney and systemic reform advocate that leverages her experience to support the growth and development of public defense systems throughout the nation. She received her J.D. from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 227

David Miller

Manager, Policy Initiatives

David is Policy Manager at the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), where he works to promote state and federal policy that expands access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay for legal counsel. He represents civil legal aid and public defender organizations in national conversations and manages NLADA’s advocacy across a range of issues of importance to the equal justice community, including federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation, state and local pretrial reform, and the preservation and implementation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. David is the author of NLADA’s 2018 report PSLF and the Justice System: How Eliminating PSLF Would Harm American Communities.

Prior to joining NLADA in 2013, David worked at LandAid, a foundation in the UK focused on supporting young people who are homeless. David has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nottingham and an M.Sc. in Democracy and Comparative Politics from University College London.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 244

Aileen Moffatt

Vice President, External Relations

Aileen is NLADA's new Vice President for External Relations. She is a seasoned fundraiser and a problem solver with solid organizational skills. Prior to joining NLADA, Aileen opened her development consulting practice with a focus on helping organizations adjust or prepare for changing circumstances. She also served as Vice President of Development at Reading is Fundamental. Aileen holds a PhD in history from the University of Manitoba plus MA and undergraduate degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 223

Michael Mrozinski

Staff Attorney, Defender Legal Services

Michael is the Staff Attorney in the Defender Legal Services division. He supports the work of public defenders nationwide, as well as improvements to indigent defense systems, through research, policy, training and technical assistance, and development of resources and toolkits to assist defenders. Prior to joining NLADA, Michael was a Consulting Attorney at the National Juvenile Defender Center. His experience also spans a broad range of other topic areas, including human rights, women’s rights, international law, racial and ethnic discrimination, LGBT+ rights, labor rights, and workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Michael received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 236

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

Senior Vice President, Policy

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

Chief, Civil Legal Services

Radhika is the chief of the civil legal services division at NLADA. She works with civil legal aid providers across the country, and represents the civil legal aid community in advocacy and education efforts with federal representatives and in national conversations focused both on civil legal aid's substantive work and increasing resources to support this work. Radhika also leads NLADA's Project to Advance Civil Legal Aid Collaborations, advocating for federal funding and policies to integrate civil legal aid into cross-sector collaborations that serve low-income and vulnerable populations and advance federal objectives. She previously worked in engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works and as a staff attorney at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, focusing on constitutional and civil rights litigation and advocacy. 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

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 231

Walt Sisson

Director, Administration & Finance Officer

 

Email: [email protected]

  Phone: 202-452-0620, ext. 208

Maria Soto

Senior Vice President, Operations, & Board Secretary

Maria is senior vice president for operations and Board Secretary. She is responsible for NLADA’s administrative, financial and operational activities, and oversees its strategic planning process. Maria also serves as Secretary to NLADA’s Board of Directors. 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

Tiara Wood

Program Associate, Communications

Email: [email protected]                     Phone: 202-452-0620, ext.228