NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

Skip to Navigation
"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Our Staff

LDF Staff Attorneys

New York National Office

Sherrilyn Ifill

President and Director-Counsel

Sherrilyn Ifill is the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ms. Ifill is a long-time... More

Janai Nelson

Associate Director-Counsel

Janai Nelson is the Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.  She is also a former director of LDF’s... More

Samuel Spital

Director of Litigation

Samuel Spital is the Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.

Prior to joining LDF, Sam practiced for... More

V. Renée Cutting

Chief Development Officer

V. Renée Cutting, Chief Development Officer of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc., is responsible for developing and implementing fundraising... More

Christine Gregory

Chief Operating Officer

Christine Gregory is the Chief Operating Officer at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

Before joining LDF, Ms. Gregory was... More

Kevin C. Thomson

Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Thomson is LDF’s Chief Financial Officer. 

He came to LDF as the Assistant Chief Financial Officer in June of 1992.  Prior... More

Leah C. Aden

Deputy Director of Litigation

Leah C. Aden serves as Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). In that capacity, Leah uses... More

Raymond Audain

Senior Counsel

Raymond Audain joins LDF as Senior Counsel. Prior to LDF, Raymond spent four years at Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson LLP, where he litigated... More

Lorenzo Bradford

Research Associate

Lorenzo Bradford joins the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) as a Research Associate. He graduated from Columbia University... More

John Cusick

Equal Justice Works Fellow

John Cusick joins the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Venture Justice Fund. He... More

Alexis Hoag

Senior Counsel

Alexis Hoag joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) in October 2017. Prior to LDF, Alexis served eight years as an... More

Kristen Johnson

LDF/Fried Frank Fellow

Kristen Johnson joined LDF as a LDF/Fried Frank Fellow in September of 2017.  Kristen spent the first two years of her fellowship... More

Earl Kirkland

Education Fellow

Earl Kirkland joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) as an Education Fellow in September 2017.

 Earl earned... More

Rachel M. Kleinman

Senior Counsel & Director of Professional Development

As Senior Counsel & Director of Professional Development at LDF, Rachel uses litigation, policy, advocacy and public education to ensure... More

Jin Hee Lee

Senior Deputy Director of Litigation

As Senior Deputy Director of Litigation of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., Jin Hee Lee assists the Director of Litigation in... More

Marne Lenox

Assistant Counsel

Marne Lenox joined LDF in 2016 as Assistant Counsel.  At LDF, Marne’s practice is primarily focused on criminal justice litigation, though... More

Monique Lin-Luse

Assistant Counsel (On Leave)

Monique Lin-Luse is Assistant Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Monique has over ten years of advocacy, organizing, and educator... More

Cara McClellan

Skadden Fellow

Cara joins the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) as a Skadden Fellow. Prior to joining LDF, she was a law clerk to the... More

Natasha Merle

Senior Counsel

Natasha Merle joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) in January of 2016. She uses litigation, legislative, policy, and... More

Elizabeth Olsson

Senior Policy Associate

Elizabeth Olsson serves as Senior Policy Associate at LDF. In that capacity, she identifies, develops and advances legislative and policy reforms... More

Deuel Ross

Assistant Counsel

Deuel Ross serves as Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). In that capacity, Deuel uses litigation,... More

Aaron Sussman

Law and Policy Fellow

Aaron Sussman joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. as the Law and Policy Fellow. Prior to LDF, Aaron was the Associate... More

Katurah Topps

Policy Counsel

Katurah Topps serves as Policy Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). Prior to joining LDF, Katurah was a... More

Community Organizers

Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele

Senior Community Organizer

Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele is the Senior Community Organizer. He is a community organizer and educator from Central Brooklyn... More

Marquis Jenkins

Community Organizer

Marquis Jenkins is a Community Organizer in LDF’s Criminal Justice Practice.  In that capacity, Marquis works to support the organizing... More

Estherjoy Mungai

Community Organizer

Estherjoy (Est) Mungai is a Community Organizer. Prior to joining LDF, Est worked as an Associate Organizer with the Charleston Area Justice... More

Washington, DC Office

Todd A. Cox

Director of Policy

Todd A. Cox is the Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He is also a former leader of the LDF’s... More

Melanie R. Newman

Chief Communications Officer

Melanie Roussell Newman is Chief Communications Officer at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ms. Newman is... More

Sparky Abraham

Economic Justice Fellow

Sparky Abraham joins the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. as an Economic Policy Fellow. Before joining LDF,... More

Monique L. Dixon

Deputy Policy Director and Senior Counsel

Monique L. Dixon serves as Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Inc. In this role,... More

Nicole Dooley

Policy Counsel

Nicole joins LDF as a Policy Counsel. She was previously an Attorney at the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights and the Legal Aid... More

Sonia Gill Hernandez

Senior Policy Counsel, Policing Reform Campaign

Sonia Gill Hernandez serves as Senior Policy Counsel for the Policing Reform Campaign at LDF. In this role, she develops and implements... More

Daniel Harawa

Assistant Counsel

Daniel Harawa joined LDF in 2017 as Assistant Counsel.

Before joining LDF, Daniel was a Staff Attorney at the Public Defender Service for... More

Angel S. Harris

Assistant Counsel

Angel S. Harris joined LDF’s staff in 2015 as an Assistant Counsel.  At LDF, Angel represents death-sentenced prisoners and prisoners... More

Jennifer Holmes

Eric H. Holder, Jr. Fellow

Jennifer A. Holmes joins LDF from Covington & Burling, LLP, where she worked as an associate. During her time at Covington & Burling,... More

Chris Kemmitt

Senior Counsel & Director of Professional Development

Chris Kemmitt joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in 2015 as Senior Counsel.  Chris has represented clients in each of... More

Catherine Meza

Senior Counsel

Catherine Meza joins the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. as Senior Counsel.

Prior to joining LDF, Catherine served as a... More

Coty Montag

Senior Deputy Director of Litigation

As Senior Deputy Director of Litigation for LDF, Coty Montag assists the Director of Litigation in overseeing LDF’s legal staff in their... More

Kerrel Murray

Appellate Litigation and Policy Fellow

Kerrel Murray serves as Appellate Litigation and Policy Fellow for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.. He was previously an... More

Ajmel Quereshi

Senior Counsel

As Senior Counsel at LDF, Ajmel Quereshi specializes in cases concerning the discriminatory impact of policies and practices under Title VI and... More

Courtney Taylor

Senior Associate for Policy and Operations

Courtney B. Taylor is a Senior Associate for Policy & Operations. Prior to joining LDF, Courtney served as a special assistant to the Deputy... More

Michaele Turnage Young

Senior Counsel

Michaele N. Turnage Young serves as Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), where she litigates education... More

Thurgood Marshall Institute

Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff

Senior Fellow

Phillip Atiba Goff is the Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College in New York City. He is the co-founder and president... More

Richard Rothstein

Senior Fellow Emeritus

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute, where his recent work has documented the history of state-sponsored... More

Cristian A. Farias

Writer-In-Residence

Cristian A. Farias is Writer-in-Residence at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  An experienced... More

Dr. Megan Ming Francis

Fellow

Megan Ming Francis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington and is also the Field Director... More

Charli Cleland

Manager, Prosecutor Reform Project

Charli Kofi Cleland serves as the Manager of LDF’s Prosecutor Reform Project. Prior to joining LDF, Charli worked as a Public Defender in Brooklyn... More

LDF Staff

Executive Officers

  • Sherrilyn Ifill

    President and Director-Counsel
  • Janai Nelson

    Associate Director-Counsel
  • V. Renée Cutting

    Chief Development Officer
  • Samuel Spital

    Director of Litigation
  • Christine Gregory

    Chief Operating Officer
  • Kevin C. Thomson

    Chief Financial Officer
  • Melanie R. Newman

    Chief Communications Officer
  • Todd A. Cox

    Director of Policy

Executive Office

  • Debi Allen

    Senior Executive Assistant to the President & Director-Counsel
  • Eve Anderson

    Scholarships Coordinator & Executive Assistant to the Director of Litigation

Archives and Records

  • Donna S. Gloeckner

    Director of Archives and Records
  • Kayla Jenkins

    Archives Associate

Communications

  • Melanie R. Newman

    Chief Communications Officer
  • Natalia Garzon

    Director of Media Relations
  • Phoebe Plagens

    Senior Communications Associate
  • David Jacobs

    Senior Communications Associate
  • Marika Bailey

    Digital Media & Graphic Arts Manager
  • April Avant

    Digital Communications Strategist
  • Jim Santel

    Staff Writer

Development

  • V. Renée Cutting

    Chief Development Officer
  • Laura Fino

    Director of Foundation Relations
  • D’Andre A. Phillips

    Director of Individual Giving
  • Samantha Watson

    Director of Strategic Partnerships and Special Events
  • Christopher Francis

    Database Manager
  • Maya Meredith

    Direct Marketing Manager
  • Tawana Pyle

    Database Coordinator
  • Cynthia Diaz-Nieves

    Database Coordinator

Finance

  • Kevin C. Thomson

    Chief Financial Officer
  • Lito Pernia

    Controller
  • Greg Odiaka

    Manager, Budget and Reporting

Human Resources/Administration

  • Monica M. Garcia

    Director of Human Resources/Administration
  • Natalie Kim

    Senior Human Resources Generalist
  • Nathan Rothwell II

    Facilities and Office Services Manager

Information Technology

  • Fred Brodsky

    Information Technology Manager

Administrative and Support Staff

Administration

Development

Finance

Yvette Fields

Marcia Tuckett

Legal Secretary

Nicole De Los Santos

Zenzele Scott

Diane Simmons

Ria Thompson Washington

Paralegal

Matt Bailey

Scholarships

Washington, DC Office

Debra Finley