NLADA Welcomes Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Rabiah Burks and Keri Nash to the NLADA Leadership Team

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Release Date: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

NLADA Welcomes Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Rabiah Burks and Keri Nash to the NLADA Leadership Team


WASHINGTON – NLADA President & CEO April Frazier Camara today welcomed three of the organization's newest leaders, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Senior Fellow, Organizational Transformation; Rabiah Alicia Burks, Vice President of Communications and Team Building and Keri Nash, Director of Racial Equity Initiatives. 

"I am happy to have Cherise, Rabiah and Keri join our leadership team," said NLADA President & CEO April Frazier Camara. "They each bring unique talents and leadership skills that will help NLADA thrive as we embark on the journey to become an anti-racist organization and center racial equity at the core of the delivery of legal services for those who cannot afford counsel."

Burdeen has spent more than 25 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. Most recently, Burdeen spent 15 years at the Pretrial Justice Institute. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative and infrastructure management and change efforts across organizations and within the legal system.

“Joining NLADA to help bring to life President Camara’s vision for an NLADA of the future - serving our lawyer and client members - is an honor,” Burdeen said. “This is a powerful team of dedicated people I have admired for years.”

Burks is a strategic communications executive who has dedicated her career to educating the public about criminal legal reform issues through traditional and non-traditional methods. She has led communications at FAMM Foundation, the Black Public Defender Association and the ABA Criminal Justice Section.

 “I am super excited about joining NLADA and expanding its communications capacity,” said Burks. “I am deeply committed to elevating the voices of those who are heard the least. I am proud of the work NLADA does and am happy to be a small part of this great organization.”

Nash is an attorney who has spent her career focused on impacting policy on the federal, state and local levels to improve the lives of people of color and other marginalized populations. Before joining NLADA, Keri was a policy analyst at the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, a staff attorney at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Legislative Counsel for the Committee on Health for the D.C. Council and the Counsel for the Racial Justice Initiative of TimeBanks USA. 

“Joining NLADA at this transformational time is both energizing and exciting,” Nash said. “This is a pivotal moment in American history and NLADA is primed to lead on ensuring racial equity is centered in the delivery of legal services while amplifying the voice of the defender, legal aid and client communities.”

For more information or to learn more about NLADA’s newest leaders reach out to Rabiah Burks via email at [email protected].


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels, playing a leadership role in the creation of public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.