Jay Balacek |Eric D. Balber | Elizabeth Bartholet | Suzanne B. Cusack | Dawn Dover | Jason Flom |Alexis Gadsden | Doug Liman |Elaine H. Mandelbaum |Kamran Masood| Michael Meltsner | Marc L. Miller | Mark C. Morril| Mary E. Mulligan | Debra Pantin | Dr. Samuel K. Roberts, Jr.| Elizabeth M. Sacksteder | Sharon L. Schneier | J. Edward Shaw | John J. Suydam | Kimá Joy Taylor| Anthony C. Thompson | Hon. James Yates | Richard Zabel
Arthur L. Liman, Founding Chairman
Daniel K. Mayers, Chairman Emeritus
Brad S. Karp, Esq.
In 2017, the Legal Action Center Board of Directors unanimously elected Brad S. Karp as the third Chair of the Board in the organization’s 45-year history. Mr. Karp was elected to the Board of Directors in January 1999. Chair of the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Mr. Karp has achieved national prominence as both a litigator and corporate adviser. Mr. Karp has extensive experience defending financial institutions and other companies in “bet the company” litigations and regulatory matters. Prior to being named chair of Paul, Weiss, Mr. Karp co-chaired the firm’s Litigation Department.
Mr. Karp has been profiled as one of the leading lawyers in the United States by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Crain’s, The American Lawyer, The Lawyer (U.K.), The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, Chambers, Lawdragon, Best Lawyers in America, Legal 500, Euromoney Institutional Investors, Law360, and Benchmark/Institutional Investor. In 2003, Mr. Karp was profiled in The American Lawyer as one of the 45 leading lawyers in the United States under the age of 45. Mr. Karp’s successful representation of financial institution clients in complex litigations and regulatory matters was featured in a January 2010 American Lawyer story, “Wall Street Bailout” and in a January 2006 American Lawyer cover story, “The Lifesavers,” in which Paul, Weiss was selected as the best litigation firm in the United States. Mr. Karp recently was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Boardroom by the National Association of Corporate Directors, and Lawdragon named him its 2010 Lawyer of the Year.
Currently, Mr. Karp is lead counsel for Citigroup in numerous matters,including, among others, its subprime and credit crisis-related litigations and regulatory matters; its auction rate securities litigations and regulatory matters; its failed investment litigations and regulatory matters; its Enronrelated litigations and regulatory matters; its Parmalat-related litigations; its research analyst litigations; and a nationwide employment discrimination class action. Mr. Karp also is representing Citigroup in connection with the investigation by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission into the causes of the financial crisis, as well as in lawsuits recently brought by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority arising out of its investment in Citigroup, and by Terra Firma arising out of its acquisition of EMI.
In addition to the matters he is handling for Citigroup, Mr. Karp is representing Bank of America in connection with the litigations and regulatory matters arising out of Bank of America’s 2008 merger with Merrill Lynch. Mr. Karp is lead counsel for JPMorgan/Bear Stearns in the litigations and regulatory matters arising out of Bear Stearns’ March 2008 collapse, and is representing JPMorgan/Bear Stearns in connection with the investigation by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission into the causes of the financial crisis. Mr. Karp also is representing syndicates of Wall Street underwriters in several securities class action litigations, including, among others, class actions arising out of $25 billion of GM/GMAC bond offerings and $20+ billion of AIG bond offerings, as well as class actions arising out of the Ambac and American Home Mortgage bond offerings. Additionally, Mr. Karp is representing Citigroup, JPMorgan/Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo/Wachovia, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon, UBS, Apollo, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, MacAndrews & Forbes, ING, Ericsson, Newmont Mining, Sumitomo, Hexion, Vivendi, Scottish Power, BB&T, OneWest Bank, Eton Park, Fortress, Dresser-Rand and Repsol YPF, S.A., among others, in significant securities, commercial and regulatory matters. Mr. Karp also is handling a range of litigations and special projects for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Sotheby’s and Alcoa.
Mr. Karp is a frequent lecturer and writer, having spoken at more than 250 conferences and published more than 350 articles on business litigation and securities law issues. Mr. Karp has lectured on business litigation and securities litigation at Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School. For the past 25 years, Mr. Karp has written a monthly column for the New York Law Journal, “Second Circuit Review,” which analyzes developments in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Karp is active in the community, serving as a director/trustee of the Legal Action Center, the Riverdale Country School, The Partnership for New York City, Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc., American Friends of The Hebrew University, the New York Bar Foundation, the Program Advisory Board of the Brennan Center for Justice, the Economic Club of New York, the Federal Bar Council Second Circuit Inn of Court, and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society. Mr. Karp also is a founding member of the PriceWaterhouse Leaders Council examining financial services industry regulatory reform. Recently, Mr. Karp was awarded the Torch of Learning Award by American Friends of Hebrew University and The Arthur Liman Public Interest Award by the Legal Action Center.
Mary Beth Forshaw, Esq., Vice Chair
Mary Beth Forshaw was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in October 2007, and became Vice Chair in October 2013. Ms. Forshaw is a Partner in the Litigation Department at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. She represents clients in complex commercial litigation and arbitration, including matters relating to bankruptcy, insurance coverage, cross border disputes and the financial industry.
Ms. Forshaw received her B.A. magna cum laude in 1984 from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. in 1989 from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Yale Law & Policy Review and was Director of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Project. Ms. Forshaw serves on the Leadership Council of the Barnard College Athena Center for Leadership Studies and is a member of the board of directors of the City Bar Justice Center and the Yale Law School Fund. She worked at the Legal Action Center for three years following her graduation from college and before attending law school.
Jay Balacek, Esq.
Jay Balacek joined J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in 2007 and is currently Deputy Head of Litigation, Government Investigations and Regulatory Enforcement for the firm’s global operations. Prior to joining J.P.Morgan, Mr. Balacek worked at the Bank of New York heading a group charged with responsibility for managing government investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, Congressional inquiries and internal investigations. Earlier in his career, he held several public service positions. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Balacek was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia working on hundreds of cases involving distribution of illegal substances and violent crime, including homicide. From 1997 to 2001, he worked in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a Staff Attorney and Branch Chief. Prior to attending law school, he was a police officer with the New York City Police Department working as a patrol officer in North Manhattan.
Mr. Balacek received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from St John’s University. Mr Balacek also serves on the Executive Committee for the Securities and Financial Markets Association Legal and Compliance Society.
Eric D. Balber, Esq.
Eric Balber was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in June 1981. Mr. Balber is a former staff attorney at the Legal Action Center and is currently a partner at Balber & Marshall.
Professor Elizabeth Bartholet
Professor Bartholet was the Legal Action Center’s founding director, and served as director and president from 1972-1977. She joined the Harvard Law School Faculty in July 1977, and joined the Legal Action Center Board in October 1977. She has been the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard since 1996. She teaches employment discrimination and family law, and her research and policy work focuses on adoption, child welfare, and reproductive technology. She founded Harvard’s Child Advocacy Program (CAP) in the fall of 2004, and has served as Faculty Director of the program ever since.
Before founding the Legal Action Center, Professor Bartholet worked with the National Crime Commission, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Vera Institute of Justice. She graduated from Radcliffe College in1962 and from Harvard Law School in 1965.
Professor Bartholet has published two books: Nobody’s Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative, and Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Protection, both by Beacon Press in 1999. She has also published many articles, listed at: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/bartholet/pubs.php
Professor Bartholet has won several awards for her writing and related advocacy work in the area of adoption and child welfare. Other awards include the Radcliffe College Humane Recognition Award in1997 and a Media Achievement Award in 1994.
Bartholet’s work has triggered significant media attention. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Maury Povitch Show, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, ABC Sunday Night News, and Nightline, among other shows, and has done many dozens of interviews with National Public Radio, and other radio and TV programs. Her views have been regularly quoted in the national print media. She has been featured in several film documentaries, and has given many dozens of speeches throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Suzanne B. Cusack
Ms. Cusack was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in September 1996. She serves on the Board Development Committee. Suzanne Cusack, along with her husband Jim, is the owner and director of Villa Veritas Foundation, Inc., a free-standing inpatient rehabilitation center for alcohol and drug dependence, and is responsible for many of its administrative functions, as well as conducting educational lectures and acting as liaison between management and staff. Ms. Cusack is particularly interested in the issue of women’s substance abuse problems and the difficulties faced by women in recovery, and is the author of two books on the subject. Ms. Cusack has played a significant role in several organizations which focus on the issue of women and treatment, and was a founding member and past president of the New York Women’s Coalition on Chemical Dependency.
Dawn Dover was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in November 2017. She is a Managing Director of Kekst, the strategic public relations firm, and a member of its Executive Committee. Ms. Dover has more than 25 years’ experience providing communications counsel and support to C-suite executives and boards of directors as they position their organizations to realize opportunities and overcome challenges from economic, environmental and societal changes and enterprise-transforming events. Her clients include Fortune 500 corporations, alternative investment firms and not-for-profits.
Prior to joining Kekst, Ms. Dover was Vice President of Investor Access, a New York-based investor relations firm. She began her career in marketing and communications at Marsh & McLennan Companies’ insurance broking and risk management division.
She received her MBA in Finance, with Distinction, from New York University’s Stern School of Business, with an emphasis on Executive Communications, and is a magna cum laude graduate of Drew University, with a BA in English Literature. She is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Executive Committee of Vera Institute of Justice.
Jason Flom was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in October 1999. Mr. Flom is president of Lava Records. He has previously served as the Chairman and CEO of music labels including Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, and the Capitol Music Group. In addition to the Legal Action Center, Mr. Flom serves as a board member for various charitable organizations including The Innocence Project — of which he is a founding board member — Families Against Mandatory Minimums and the Drug Policy Alliance. In addition, Flom has supported various medical research organizations including The T.J. Martell Foundation and City of Hope. He was honored by the UJA Federation as their first “Music Visionary of the Year” in 2000, was awarded 1999’s “Torch of Liberty” by the American Civil Liberties Union and was the honoree at the 2009 Innocence Project Gala.
Alexis was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in September 2016. Alexis Gadsden has worked in the chemical dependency and behavioral health field for over 30 years. She began her career as an administrative assistant in a therapeutic community in 1976, and through hands-on experience, training, and education was gradually promoted to a variety of positions until she became a Site Director in 1979. She served in this capacity until 1984 when she was again promoted to the position of Associate Administrator and later became the Administrator and Assistant Executive Director responsible for oversight and management of multi-modality chemical dependency treatment services, mental health community residences, adolescent homeless services, group homes and transitional living programs.
She has worked in government relations and served as a liaison for the New York City (NYC) Mayor and the NYC Comptroller’s Immigration Task Force. Ms. Gadsden is a graduate of Fordham University, holds a Masters degree in Social Work, and is a Licensed Social Worker and Mental Health Counselor and completed the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Management Training Program. She has served as a peer reviewer for the Administration of Children and Family Services, and has extensive experience assisting programs stateside and in the Caribbean in program management and developing systems of accountability. Since 1998, Ms. Gadsden has held the position of Vice President, Special Projects, for a non-profit agency providing a comprehensive continuum of substance abuse, alcohol and behavioral health services in the greater New York Metropolitan area and Long Island. Ms. Gadsden is a vital member of the agency’s leadership, whose efforts have helped successfully grow the organization’s programs and public standing.
Ms. Gadsden has served on various professional committees, advisory boards and advocacy groups, including: the NYS Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcohol and Substance Abuse; the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP NYS) Youth/Adolescent Committee, Women & Families Committee, and, the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) Credentials Board (which she formerly co-chaired). She is a Member of Regional and National TCA and currently serves as President of the ASAP NYS C3 Board of Directors. Alexis is an active spokesperson for the field, has chaired and presented at numerous conferences and participated on several national and local conference committees focused on the needs of special populations.
Ms. Gadsden is very active in her church, Bethel A.M.E. in Copiague, New York where she serves as a missionary, is a member of the Board of Trustees, the LAY organization, and assists with community based program development, and faith based initiatives.
Currently, Ms. Gadsden works for Outreach Development Corporation as the Quality Assurance/Compliance Officer and serves as a consultant within the Behavioral Health Field.
Doug Liman, film director, producer, and social justice advocate, has served on the Legal Action Center Board of Directors since 1998, where he has played an invaluable role. For example, he was instrumental in reforming New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, which had mandated harsh and excessive penalties for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. Doug is a recipient of the Legal Action Center’s Arthur Liman Public Interest Award (2013).
Doug has had a leading role in many other public service endeavors, including the Liman Public Interest Program and Fellowships at Yale Law School. He has directed the ACLU and PEN American Center’s Reckoning with Torture Project, and provided his pro bono time and support for educational film programs at schools, for non-profit film and theatrical presenters, and films, commercials, and music videos (We Are the World 25 for Haiti) on social issues and human rights.
One of the most vibrant and original voices in American film, Doug’s critically acclaimed features include The Bourne Identity (director/producer), Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jumper, Swingers, Go, Fair Game (director/producer), and Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat. His hit TV credits include The O.C., Covert Affairs, Suits, and the MTV series I Just Want My Pants Back. Doug is a graduate of Brown University and attended the University of South California School of Cinema-Television.
Elaine H. Mandelbaum, Esq.
Elaine was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in October 2007. Elaine Mandelbaum is a Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel of Citigroup Markets & Banking. She is the Head of the Regulatory Enforcement Group, which handles regulatory inquiries and related investigations, sweeps and enforcement proceedings, and works on a broad range of matters initiated by the SEC, Department of Justice, SRO’s and other federal and state securities regulators. She was previously Deputy Head of Litigation, concentrating on litigation and regulatory investigations arising from Citigroup’s investment banking, corporate banking and institutional sales and trading businesses. Prior to starting at Citigroup in 1997, Ms. Mandelbaum was a litigation attorney at the New York office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, and previously at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. She is a member NYSE Task Force on Electronic Communications and the SIFMA e-records subcommittee. She is a frequent speaker on topics relating to internal and regulatory investigations, document retention and electronic discovery. Ms. Mandelbaum is a graduate of Yale College and of Harvard Law School.
Kamran Masood was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in March 2015. He currently is a principal in the Forensic Practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. Prior to joining Deloitte in 2000, Masood was a manager from 1996-2000 at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has more than nineteen years of experience in providing litigation consulting and corporate investigation services. His experience covers a variety of financial and business areas. Masood is a cum laude honors graduate of Northeastern University with a BSBA in Finance and Management and holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Professor Michael Meltsner
Professor Meltsner is the longest serving member of the Legal Action Center Board, having been elected in October of 1975. He is the Matthews Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University Law School where he was dean, 1979-84. He has been a visiting professor and the director of the Harvard Law School’s First Year Lawyering program and a professor at Columbia Law school where with Philip Schrag he founded the School’s first poverty law clinic. As first assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, he worked with Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg handling many important civil rights cases and representing Muhammad Ali in the case that established his right to box. In 2012, John Jay College (CUNY) awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws “… As the principal architect of the death penalty abolition movement in the United States.” Among his writings are five books including, The Making of a Civil Rights Lawyer; Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment and Short Takes, a novel. His play In Our Name: A Play of the Torture Years has been performed in Boston and New York. In 2000, Professor Meltsner was named a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and conducted research into German constitutional law.
Marc L. Miller
Marc was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in November 2010. Marc Miller is a Partner in KPMG’s Forensic practice in New York City. Marc, a Certified Public Accountant, provides a broad array of advisory services to clients by assisting them in preventing, detecting and investigating fraud and misconduct. Marc has extensive investigative experience and works with clients to respond to incidences of alleged fraud and misconduct, including particular focus on allegations of earnings management and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. His experience also includes auditing, forensic accounting, contract compliance services, financial analysis and litigation support across a variety of industries. Mr. Miller holds a B.S.B.A in Accounting from Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. He is a CPA, licensed in New York and Pennsylvania. He is also a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mark C. Morril, Esq.
Mark C. Morril was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in March 1981. He is a member of the Development Committee. Mr. Morril formerly worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Action Center. He is currently Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Viacom Inc., the global media company whose businesses included MTV Networks, BET and Paramount Pictures. He has been at Viacom since moving there in November of 1998 from the company’s former publishing subsidy, Simon & Schuster, where he had been General Counsel since July 1989. Mr. Morril has extensive experience in legal and policy matters including litigation, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate development, rights acquisition and management, electronic rights issues, Internet and on-line development, joint ventures and co-publishing ventures, labor and employment, copyright, trademark, antitrust, and regulatory and government affairs matters.
Mary E. Mulligan, Esq.
Mary E. Mulligan joined the Legal Action Center Board in February 2008. Her practice combines white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations with intellectual property litigation. She served from 1997 to 2002 as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, directing investigations and prosecutions of fraud, narcotics, public corruption, and organized crime. She also led the government’s largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation to date, which involved the alleged payment of tens of millions of dollars in bribes to the president of Kazakhstan in connection with major oil transactions in the 1990s. Ms. Mulligan then served as Senior Director, Business and Legal Affairs, of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, where she handled corporate compliance matters, internal investigations, and privacy issues, and supervised litigation involving copyright, breach of contract, real estate and construction, bankruptcy, employment, and transfer and licensing of technology. Ms. Mulligan has represented individuals and corporations in matters involving allegations of insider trading, stock-option backdating, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, criminal antitrust violations, tax fraud, internet fraud, healthcare fraud, and cyber stalking.
She has extensive experience representing individuals outside the United States in responding to United States inquiries and investigations. She also has conducted internal investigations concerning alleged securities law violations, accounting control issues, and corporate governance practices. Her intellectual property practice has included defending a manufacturer of biological therapeutic products against breach of contract and trade secrets claims, representing a major consumer electronics manufacturer in putative nationwide class actions, and defending a cosmetics company against allegations of false advertising.
Ms. Mulligan graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1983 and received her law degree cum laude in 1989 from New York University School of Law. At NYU, she was a member of the Order of the Coif, held a Libel Defense Resource Center Fellowship, and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Administrative Law and the Moot Court Advocacy Award. After law school, she served as a law clerk to The Honorable Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and was a litigator at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
In 2009, Ms. Mulligan was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve as a commissioner on the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Ms. Mulligan is a board member of the Legal Action Center and is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation. She also serves on the Criminal Justice Act panel for the Southern District of New York representing indigent defendants in federal criminal proceedings. Ms. Mulligan is a member of the New York City Bar and the American Bar Association.
Debbie Pantin, MSW, MS Healthcare Management
Debbie Pantin was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in September 2016. Debbie Pantin is the President and CEO of Outreach. Prior to joining Outreach, Debbie was the CEO of VIP Community Services. Debbie Pantin joined VIP Community Services in September of 2013, as the Associate Executive Director. In January 2017, Ms. Pantin was promoted to the CEO position. She has over 25 years of experience in the human services industry, specializing in the fields of mental health, substance use disorder treatment, homelessness, supportive housing, vocational and employment services, primary care, and HIV prevention and services. Leading agency-wide changes and managing organizational transitions are the hallmarks of Ms. Pantin’s experience and reputation. Since joining VIP, Ms. Pantin became the agency’s ambassador of Health Care Reform. She has successfully propelled VIP ahead in the integration of services. Her professional experience includes staff training and development, and conference presentations and planning. She participates in various national, state, and local boards. Ms Pantin is on the boards of The Legal Action Center, Treatment Communities of America, and the Coalition of Behavioral Health agencies. She also holds vice chair positions on the three following boards—-NYC Treatment Communities of America, Behavioral Health News, and the Association for Substance Abuse Providers. She also co-chairs and is on the committee of various DSRIP project workgroups.
Ms. Pantin has extensive knowledge on the development of program and health services, as well as budget management. In her CEO position, Ms. Pantin oversees an agency with $76 million in assets, with a budget of $37 million; servicing 12,000 clients per year, with a staff of 275 employees. Prior to joining VIP, Ms. Pantin was the COO of Palladia Inc., a not- for- profit agency in New York City. At Palladia she directed program and operational services, which collectively serviced approximately 17,500 clients per year; a staff of 470 employees, and an annual budget of $45 million. As a key member of the leadership team, Ms. Pantin was tasked with influencing systematic changes. She campaigned key agency initiatives; Integrated Care, Outpatient Substance Abuse Services and Mental Health Services, Quality Improvement processes— namely the NIATx (Network for the Improvement of Addiction Services) process, CQI and PDSA cycles, and the use of Data Driven Management. Ms. Pantin has been a driving force in educating her team, and staff in Health Care Reform. She brings to VIP her exceptional human services management experience and command of the critical policy issues of our times. Ms. Pantin has established herself as one of the top professionals in the not-for -profit industry.
Dr. Samuel K. Roberts, Jr.
Dr. Samuel K. Roberts Jr. was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in November 2017. Samuel Kelton Roberts, Jr., PhD, is Columbia University Associate Professor of History (School of Arts and Sciences) and Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Mailman School of Public Health). He is also a former Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS). He writes and lectures widely about Black politics and history, especially issues pertaining to public health, drug policy, and harm reduction.
Dr. Roberts is the author of the widely acclaimed Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), and is currently is researching and writing a book project on the history of drug addiction policy and politics from the 1950s to the 1990s, a period which encompasses the various heroin epidemics between the 1950s and the 1980s, the development of therapeutic communities, radical recovery movements, methadone maintenance treatment, and harm reduction approaches.
Dr. Roberts has served as a member of the Mailman School of Public Health’s Working Group on Mass Incarceration and Public Health, and as the Policy Coordinator of Columbia University’s Criminal Justice Initiative (now the Columbia University Center for Justice) in which capacity he was the editor of the Center’s first research publication, Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety (2015). His board and advisory council memberships have included the Alliance of Families for Justice, the Centre for Research in Race and Rights (University of Nottingham, UK), of note magazine, and the Legal Action Center. In 2013 he organized the conference “Challenging Punishment: Race, Public Health, and the War on Drugs” (4-5 October 2013, in New York City). He tweets from @SamuelKRoberts.
Dr. Roberts is also the host of the podcast PDIS: People Doing Interesting Stuff, a public health and social justice interview show available on iTunes and SoundCloud. He tweets from @SamuelKRoberts (https://twitter.com/SamuelKRoberts).
Elizabeth M. Sacksteder
Liz Sacksteder was elected to the Board of Directors of the Legal Action Center in June 1013. She is a partner in the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Ms. Sacksteder focuses her practice on complex litigation and regulatory matters.
Ms. Sacksteder is the former Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations at Citigroup Inc., where she managed a 250-person worldwide litigation and investigative team and advised Citigroup and its Board on every aspect of their litigation and regulatory exposures. During her tenure at Citigroup, Ms. Sacksteder supervised multibillion-dollar litigations and high-stakes regulatory and criminal investigations, many involving multiple jurisdictions. Prior to joining Citigroup, Ms. Sacksteder was the Deputy General Counsel and Director of Litigation at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., where she was second in command in a 400-person Law Department. She was responsible for a 60-lawyer litigation group, all litigation and pre-litigation counseling involving the holding company and the group’s property-casualty, life, and asset accumulation businesses, and supervision of the Reinsurance Law and Investment Law groups. Before joining The Hartford, Ms. Sacksteder was a litigation partner in private practice representing clients in financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, and other industries.
Ms. Sacksteder is a recipient of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Award from the Legal Action Center (2012) and the Human Relations Award from the New York Lawyers Division of the Anti-Defamation League (2013). Ms. Sacksteder serves as a Member of the Board of the Legal Action Center (2013 – present). She was the Coordinating Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Sharon L. Schneier
Sharon Schneier was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in December 2016. Sharon Schneier is a Partner in the Litigation Department at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where she is the chair of the Firm’s Executive Committee and former Partner-in-Charge of the New York office. She represents clients in complex commercial litigation as well as privacy-related litigation.
Ms. Schneier received her B.A. magna cum laude in 1980 from State University of New York at Albany. She received her J.D. cum laude in 1984 from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of International Law. From 1984 to 1986 she was a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Alan N. Bloch of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Schneier serves on the Executive Committee of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School where she is a member of the Board of Trustees.
Sharon Schneier is a Partner in the Litigation Department at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where she is the chair of the Firm’s Executive Committee and former Partner-in-Charge of the New York office. She represents clients in complex commercial litigation as well as privacy-related litigation.
Ms. Schneier received her B.A. magna cum laude in 1980 from State University of New York at Albany. She received her J.D. cum laude in 1984 from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of International Law. From 1984 to 1986 she was a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Alan N. Bloch of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Schneier serves on the Executive Committee of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School where she is a member of the Board of Trustees.
J. Edward Shaw
Ed Shaw was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in October 2003. Ed is a home grown Community Activist from Mount Vernon, NY. His role of helping others was a mainstay and is always a constant for him. Throughout his developing and formative years, his professional background included but was not limited to working in the field of social work counseling. Starting out as a Job Placement/Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor within the borough wide HRA Placement Centers. Ed rose to Director of Job Development as a hands on individual, totaling nearly twenty years before his retirement in 1988. He continues to engage the community through an intergenerational approach by providing information for individuals to obtain scholarships for higher learning or other career advantages where appropriate. Through it all, Ed has become a change agent by adopting the philosophy “We must be the change that we wish to see in the world” Gandhi. And to further underscore those feelings, he’s encouraged by the words of former Mayor Dinkins who said, “Service to humanity is the rent we pay on earth”.
As a community leader with over 20 years as an advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, he has dedicated his time to educating and organizing to raise awareness about the particular needs of seniors living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS. Importantly, however is the need to, ‘REACH FAMILIES THROUGH AN INTERGENERATONAL APPROACH’. He has participated in hundreds of HIV/AIDS symposia, conferences, and workshops at both community and government levels. He has served in multiple leadership capacities, including a former board member of the National Association on HIV over 50, and Community Co-Chair of the NYC HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council of New York, and also served as the Community Co-Chair of New York State Prevention Planning Group. He currently serves as Chair of both the New York Association on HIV Over 50 and Chairs the Community Advisory Board of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, where he has been an Activist Volunteer for over twenty five years, and Chair Elect of the NYC H + H/Council of Community Advisory Boards, and as well has served on the Board of the Legal Action Center for the past 13 years.
Additionally he too had also shared his expertise as a member of the New York City Commission on HIV/AIDS, the National HIV/AIDS & Aging Awareness Day Steering Committee, and Chair Emeritus of the Consumer Advisory Board at GMHC, and a former member of the Aging/HIV/AIDS and GRAY Panthers Committees at the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the President’s Call to Service Award, the United Hospital Fund’s Volunteer Achievement Award in New York City, National Minority AIDS Council And the Faith Based Community Unsung Heroes Awards, the Marjorie Matthews, Jose R. Sanchez, and the Petra Allende Leadership Awards.
John J. Suydam, Esq.
Mr. Suydam was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in December 2014, and is a recipient of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Award.. Mr. Suydam serves as the Chief Legal Officer of Apollo Global Management, having joined Apollo in 2006. From 2002 through 2006, Mr. Suydam was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, where he served as head of Mergers & Acquisitions and co-head of the Corporate Department. Prior to that, Mr. Suydam served as Chairman of the law firm O’Sullivan, LLP which specialized in representing private equity investors. Mr. Suydam also serves as a trustee of the New York University School of Law, is a member of the Department of Medicine Advisory Board of The Mount Sinai Medical Center and a trustee for the St. Agnes Cathedral Church in Rockville Centre, New York. Mr. Suydam is as a member of the board of directors of Environmental Solutions Worldwide Inc and a Director of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council. Mr. Suydam received his JD from New York University and graduated with a BA in History from the State University of New York at Albany.
Kimá Joy Taylor, MD, MPH, is an experienced leader, manager, and strategist with a proven track record of building and stewarding strong relationships and partnerships to advance policy and programs that cost-effectively improve individual and community health outcomes. She is a health policy, clinical care, and public health subject matter expert whose skill sets include clinical care, executive management, strategic planning, budget development, program implementation, and strategic coalition building and grant making.
In 2016, Dr. Taylor founded Anka Consulting LLC, a health care consulting company. She works with organizations to define and implement policies, practices, and programming to increase access to high quality health and social services for all. Her areas of expertise include identifying policy, programming, and financing levers to: improve health and racial equity, integrate behavioral health, primary care, and social services, and support the system change necessary to embrace cost-effective holistic health care solutions. She also provides organizational development services – helping organizations align their strategies, people, and finances to achieve their overall goals. She also currently serves as a non-resident fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC.
Prior to founding the firm, she served as the National Drug Addiction Treatment and Harm Reduction Program Director at the Open Society Foundations. She oversaw grant making that supported education, advocacy, systems reform, and innovation to expand access to a full continuum of integrated, evidence-informed, and culturally effective substance use disorder services and supported the development and expansion of programming that prioritized non-punitive public health approaches for people with substance use disorders through diversion.
Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations, Dr. Taylor served as the deputy commissioner for the Baltimore City Health Department. During her tenure at the health department she tried to create more cohesive and integrated public health services for citizens at risk. Before coming to Baltimore, she served as the health and social policy legislative assistant for Senator Sarbanes, with issue areas including Social Security, TANF, pharmaceuticals, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care policy and women’s issues.
A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Taylor is a graduate of Brown University, Brown University School of Medicine, and the Georgetown University residency program in pediatrics. From 1998 to 2002, she cared for uninsured and under-insured patients at a community health center in Washington, DC, and founded a city-wide coalition to advance literacy in pediatric primary care. She worked with other community organizations to empower youth such that they will realize their abilities, grasp opportunities, and improve the world at large.
In 2002, Dr. Taylor was awarded a Commonwealth Foundation fellowship in minority health policy at Harvard University. During the fellowship, her research focused on exploring state legislative remedies for racial and ethnic health disparities.
Anthony C. Thompson
Anthony Thompson was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in March 2018. Anthony C. Thompson has been on the NYU Law Faculty for over 20 years. He teaches courses related to criminal law and civil litigation, race, and leadership. He is the founding faculty director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at New York University. In addition to his clinical law work, Professor Thompson also teaches a seminar on leadership and the law as well as an undergraduate course on race and criminal law. Thompson is part of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Research Network and has provided executive education to a number of global companies focusing on leadership and strategy execution.
Prof. Thompson is the author of “Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming Communities” (2008), Thompson takes an in-depth look at the issues of reentry, race, and politics. In “A Perilous Path” Prof. Thompson has a candid conversation with some of the most imminent lawyers of our time, Sherilynn Ifill, Loretta Lynch and Bryan Stevenson, on Race, Inequality and the Law. His forthcoming book, “Dangerous Leaders” (Stanford University Press) explores the role of lawyers as leaders and the type of preparation that lawyers need to lead.
Thompson was recognized by El Diario in 2011 with “The EL” award, as one of the “outstanding Latinos in the Tri-State area,” for his community service. Prof. Thompson is on the board of several nonprofits and serves on the Governor Cuomo’s Reentry Council. He earned his JD at Harvard Law School and his BS Ed from Northwestern University.
Hon. James Yates
James Yates was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in December 2016. James A. Yates recently retired from his position as Counsel to the Speaker, NYS Assembly where he served from January, 2011 to August, 2015. In all, he served as counsel for five Speakers. From 1979 to 1987, he served as Chief Counsel to the New York State Assembly’s Codes Committee. In 1987, he became Counsel to the Majority in the New York State Assembly and then Legislative Counsel to the Speaker of the Assembly in 1989 until he left the Assembly in 1992. Mr. Yates was appointed to sit as a judge in the New York State Court of Claims in 1992 and was elected a Justice of the NY State Supreme Court in 1997. He served in that capacity in the First Judicial District (Manhattan) in Criminal Term and the Commercial Division from 1992 to 2011.
Throughout his legal career, he has taught criminal law, ethics and legislative process at New York University School of Law, New York Law School, CUNY School of Law, Cardozo School of Law and Pace University School of Law. He has published in the areas of grand jury practice and procedure, white-collar crime and criminal procedure. He chaired the Criminal Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Criminal Justice Section of the New York County Lawyers Association. He has served a Commissioner on the New York State Sentencing Guidelines Commission, the Commission on Uniform State Laws and as a Board Member of the IOLA Board for New York. Mr. Yates has served as a Member of the National Advisory Board of Bodega de la Familia, a Neighborhood Drug Crisis Center; A Member of the Board of Advisors to the Andrew Glover Youth Program; A Chair of several Selection Panels for the Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar Program at NYU School of Law and a Chair of the Selection Panel for the Kirkland & Ellis Public Interest Fellowship.
He obtained his A.B. cum laude from Princeton University and his law degree from Rutgers Law School.
Richard Zabel was elected to the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in September 2016. Richard B. Zabel is the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Elliott Management Corporation. He served as the deputy United States attorney from 2011 to 2015, and as the chief of the criminal division at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2011. Zabel was a partner at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he was co-head of the firm-wide litigation practice, focusing on white collar criminal defense, SEC investigations, corporate internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and appeals. Before joining Akin Gump, Zabel served for eight years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure, he prosecuted a variety of cases involving securities fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering, firearms, and narcotics charges, and argued numerous cases before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as chief of the narcotics unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has received numerous awards, including the Attorney General’s award for Distinguished Service and the Department of Justice Director’s award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. His publications include “In Pursuit of Justice, Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Courts: 2009 Update and Recent Developments,” in Human Rights First, July 2009, “In Pursuit of Justice, Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Courts,” in Human Rights First, May 2008, and “Congress’ Role in Investigating Fraud: Are Legislators’ Aggressive Approaches in Hearings Helping or Hindering the Process?” in the New York Law Journal, among others. He teaches as an adjunct professor of National Security Investigations and Prosecutions at the Columbia University School of Law, and is a member of the New York Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, and the New York Inn of Court. He received his J.D. in 1987 from Harvard Law School, where he was named Best Oralist in the Ames Moot Court Competition. Zabel received his A.B. 1983 from Princeton University, where he was summa cum laude, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and afterward a Fulbright Scholar.
Arthur L. Liman (1932-1997) chaired the Legal Action Center from its founding in 1973 until 1997. Inspired by Arthur’s legacy, the Legal Action Center continues to fight discrimination at every level of society, to pursue enlightened social policy, and to help people reclaim their lives and maintain their dignity. Arthur L. Liman received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1954, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and received his law degree at the top of his class from Yale Law School in 1957. Immediately upon graduation from law school, he joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, eventually becoming a partner of the New York-based firm.
In addition to his trial work, Mr. Liman developed a long record of public service. In 1972, he was chief counsel of the New York State Commission on the Attica Prison uprising. In 1987, he served as chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and Nicaraguan Opposition (the Iran-Contra Committee). From 1983 to 1985, he was a member of the New York State Executive Advisory Committee on Sentencing, appointed by then Governor Cuomo to recommend revisions of the state’s system for sentencing offenders. He was Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Mayor Dinkins and was the chairman of a panel appointed by Mayor Koch to investigate the conduct of the Medical Examiner’s office. Mr. Liman also served, at the appointment of the Chief Judge of New York, as chairman of the Capital Defender Office, which has the responsibility of organizing and providing the defense for indigents in capital cases. He began his government service as an Assistant United States Attorney to Robert M. Morgenthau from 1961-1963. Mr. Liman was a member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard from 1988-1994, as well as the eighteenth president of the Legal Aid Society from 1983 to 1985.
Daniel K. Mayers, Esq., Chairman
Daniel K. Mayers joined the Legal Action Center Board of Directors in 1978, and has served as Chairman since 1998. He is a retired senior partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering (now known as WilmerHale). As part of his commitment to giving back, Mr. Mayers has decades of dedicated volunteer service to a variety of nonprofit organizations of which he has served as the Chairman of the board of directors. In addition to the Legal Action Center, he has held this leadership role at the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Educational Television Association, the Visiting Committee of the Board of Overseers of Harvard Law School, and the Sidwell Friends School. Mr. Mayers has also served as Chairman of The Survivors Fund, an organization established to help victims and families directly affected by the September 11 Pentagon attack. In 2010, Mr. Mayers received the Arthur Liman Public Interest Award for his exceptional contributions to social justice in the Legal Action Center’s areas of focus.