Board and Staff Information
ACLU STAFF BIOGRAPHIES
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Executive Director, Norma Chavez-Peterson
Chavez-Peterson has been an integral part of San Diego’s progressive organizing community. Since the age of fifteen, she worked as an active community leader and change agent, beginning with creating a M.E.Ch.A. chapter at her junior high school. Chavez-Peterson organized for affordable housing, for Native American and Chicano youth coalitions, and most recently was the co-founder and executive director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a network of faith, community, education, business and labor partners working together to advance social justice in San Diego. After less than a year, Chavez-Peterson was promoted from organizing director to become the San Diego ACLU’s first associate director, and in September 2013 became the organization’s first Latina executive director. She has a Bachelor’s degree from SDSU in political science and Chicano/a studies.
Deputy Director, Jeff Wergeles
Wergeles joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in February 2011 as the development director, and in November 2013 was appointed deputy director. In this position he leads our development work, and oversees the organization’s finances and operations. Prior to joining the ACLU, Wergeles was the director of development at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and before at KPBS, public radio and television for San Diego. He has an extensive resume of community involvement, serving as president on the boards of Mama’s Kitchen and the Greater San Diego Business Association. Prior to working at KPBS he was a member of their community advisory board, and also served as vice president of the Diversionary Theater and on the boards of the June Burnett Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He holds a degree in economics from UCLA.
Communications Director, Rebecca Rauber
Rauber has devoted her professional and personal life to community organizing and community development. She is the former San Diego director of an international hunger relief organization, and program director for the Central American Refugee Organizing Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, helping to create the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s. While with the archdiocese, she led delegations of North Americans to see and live the reality of the region’s civil wars. She was a reporter and news anchor for KPFA and has written for numerous publications, including The Daily Cal, San Diego Lawyer, and Boston Phoenix. Rauber has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a certificate in Marketing and Media from San Diego State University.
Legal Director, David Loy
After graduating law school, Loy clerked for the Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter on the Third Circuit and then worked as a staff attorney with Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City and as a public defender and a civil rights attorney in Spokane. He has served on the Southern District Lawyer Representative Committee and previously served on the board of California Appellate Defense Counsel. Loy was named one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys 2009 and 2010 by San Diego Daily Transcript. Loy has a law degree from Northwestern and a B.A. from Brown, and is licensed to practice in California and New York (with inactive licenses in Illinois and Washington).
Organizing Director, Beatriz Garcia
Garcia has years of experience in youth leadership development, policy advocacy and organizing experience. A child of immigrant farmworkers on California’s Central Coast, Garcia learned community organizing basics with the Gamaliel Foundation, where she is still a trainer. She used those lessons to develop Justice Overcoming Boundaries through the MAAC Project, where she was one of the central organizers for the historic Immigrant March for Hope, Dignity, and Respect in 2006. Garcia later worked with the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy to build their organizing department, where she led a successful grassroots community campaign to stop the world’s richest mining company from building a polluting liquefied natural gas storage facility and pipeline through her hometown of Oxnard. Garcia is bilingual and bicultural, and a graduate of Stanford University, where she received a dual degree in Political Science and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Strategic Projects Director, Kevin Keenan
Keenan served as the executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties from 2005 until September 2013, when he stepped down to take a job with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City. Until he leaves in December, Keenan will continue to serve the organization with fund raising efforts and special projects. He previously served as interim director of the ACLU affiliates in Nevada and New Jersey. He helped human rights reform efforts in Belfast, Northern Ireland following the Good Friday Peace Agreement and monitored elections in the former Yugoslavia. He served as an attorney for children in Virginia’s juvenile prisons and succeeded in pressing new laws to improve reentry services for children with mental health and educational difficulties. He is author of Invasion of Privacy: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO 2005) and, with Samuel Walker, An Impediment to Accountability? An Analysis of Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights (Boston University Journal of Public Interest Law 2005). In 2010, Keenan was admitted as a five-year term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Keenan graduated from Yale Law School and Swarthmore College.
Border Litigation Attorney, Mitra Ebadolahi
Ebadolahi is the Border Litigation Staff Attorney at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. From 2011–13, she was the inaugural Nadine Strossen Fellow with the ACLU’s National Security Project in New York. Her areas of expertise include: constitutional and administrative law and litigation, particularly in the areas of immigrants’ rights and racial justice; international human rights law, especially economic and social rights; national security law and policy; and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation. After attending UCLA as an undergraduate and the London School of Economics as a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar, Ebadolahi completed her legal studies (JD ’08, LL.M. ’12) at New York University School of Law. Following graduation, Ebadolahi clerked for Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, and for Judge Margaret M. Morrow of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in downtown Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @MitraEbadolahi.
Business Manager, Laurie Levine
Levine has worked in the accounting field for 30 years. Her experience as the office manager for a training and consulting professional prepared her for the multi-faceted responsibilities of managing the business functions of the San Diego ACLU. For five years she was the sole proprietor of a bookkeeping consulting service. Levine’s belief in the dignity and equality of every human being fuels her passion and dedication to helping the ACLU fight for individual rights and fundamental freedoms.
Communications Manager, Jess Jollett
Since 2009 Jollett has worked in both the communications and development departments at the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. She formerly spent two years as an Americorps VISTA serving a local refugee resettlement organization, Survivors of Torture, International. Jollett has a degree in Media Communications from Point Loma Nazarene University. She was also a leader in the local arts organization, So Say We All, and her creative writings have been published in San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology.
Community Organizer, Consuelo Martinez
Martinez co-founded the Escondido Human Rights Committee in 2004, the organization has played a key role with grassroots organizing and advocacy of immigrant rights in the North San Diego Community. She has been involved in social justice issues since she was in high school. Martinez served in various leadership capacities for numerous nonprofit and political organizations in San Diego County, including as a Commissioner for the City of Escondido’s Community Services Commission. She currently resides in Escondido, CA and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science – Global Concentration and Women’s Studies from California State University San Marcos.
Development Associate, Jenny van der Heyde
Van der Heyde worked with the American Cancer Society and helped launch the organization’s inaugural and successful fundraising walk in Orange County. She spent the next year working as a project manager at a software company before moving to San Diego. She graduated cum laude from UC Irvine in 2009 with degrees in political science and international studies.
Executive Assistant, Adriana Sixtos
Sixtos was born and raised in San Diego. She recently graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Public Administration. Her volunteer work includes working with the San Diego Unified School District and Reality Changers. In the last year, Sixtos returned to her community, Barrio Logan, and worked in Barrio Logan College Institute as the programs assistant, helping students in the area to be the first in their families to graduate from college. She first became involved with the ACLU as a volunteer and officially joined the ACLU staff in August 2013.
Health Policy Fellow, Kellen Russoniello
Russoniello earned his JD and MPH from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. While in graduate school, he drafted Good Samaritan overdose prevention legislation for the District of Columbia, which became law in March of 2013. He also volunteered by drafting motions to seal criminal records, providing outreach to sex workers and homeless people, and teaching middle-school children about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He has interned with the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance, and the ACLU of Washington State. Kellen currently serves on the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Legal Fellow / Staff Attorney, Gabriela Rivera
Rivera joined the ACLU of San Diego in 2012 as a Yale Public Interest Fellow. Her work at the ACLU will focus on addressing racial profiling and other abuses of local police partnerships with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. Rivera’s project seeks to remedy not only the front-end immigration enforcement issues in San Diego County, but also addresses two specific consequences of local policing of civil immigration law: the proliferation of coerced and misinformed administrative voluntary departures and worsening conditions in short-term immigration detention. A member of the Yale Law School class of 2011, Rivera received her B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Legal Program Manager, Justine d’Auteuil
D’Auteuil graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in Mexican-American Studies and then earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a Spanish emphasis and began teaching a bilingual kindergarten and after-school ESL program in Woodland, CA. After eight years, she started at UC Davis School of Law as the legal administrator/office manager for the Immigration and Prison Law Clinical Programs. In 2006, she joined the ACLU’s national Drug Law Reform Project as a legal assistant, and a year later, joined San Diego ACLU as the legal program coordinator.
Policy Advocate, Homayra Yusufi
Yusufi is trained as a policy analyst dedicated to creating change through advocating for policy reforms. Yusufi served as a consultant for the City of Emeryville and Emery Unified School District analyzing the impacts of housing policies on educational outcomes and also spent three years working for CAIR San Diego where she addressed civil rights issues confronting the Muslim community. Yusufi holds a degree in Political Science from San Diego State University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Policy Advocate, Margaret Dooley-Sammuli
Before joining the ACLU, Dooley-Sammuli was the deputy state director in Southern California with the Drug Policy Alliance, where she led the organization’s statewide criminal justice advocacy. In 2008, Dooley-Sammuli was deputy campaign manager for Yes on Prop 5, a ballot initiative that would have significantly expanded access to drug treatment while safely reducing prison overcrowding. Before joining DPA, Dooley-Sammuli spent five years in China where she was an editor with the Economist Intelligence Unit. She holds a degree from Bryn Mawr College.
Special Projects Associate, Jake Martinez
Martinez joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in 2012 with several years of experience in office operations and LGBT community work. He currently focuses his attention on a variety of projects, some of which include being the affiliate’s liaison for the ACLU of CA’s LGBT Coordinating Team and running the office’s volunteer program. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Sociology and Psychology. His volunteer experience includes projects concerned with LGBT issues such as marriage equality, HIV/AIDS awareness and youth mentoring.
Staff Attorney, Sean Riordan
As a staff attorney, Riordan works on a range of issues primarily related to immigrants’ rights and national security. Prior to attending law school at UCLA, Riordan lived extensively in Arabic-speaking countries, studying Islamic history and advocating for the rights of refugees. After clerking in the District Court for the Central District of California, he began working at the ACLU as a Skadden Fellow in 2008.
Voting Rights Associate, Anna Castro
Castro graduated from Amherst College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies. She volunteered with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Austin’s Self-Help and Advocacy Center, learning first-hand about the intersections between the criminal justice system and immigration policy in a border state. At Amherst, she served as Senior Chair of La Causa of Amherst College, and worked towards fostering stronger relationships between the college and the local community.
Voting Rights Attorney, Jonathan Stein
Stein recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a master’s in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from Berkeley Law. While in graduate school, Stein served as the Student Regent on the University of California’s Board of Regents, representing the 230,000 students of the UC system. Prior to that, he served on the board of directors of the UC Students Association, led all student lobbying for UC Berkeley, organized and led a statewide student campaign on behalf of Proposition 25 (majority vote budget), and founded and led the UC Berkeley chapter of Common Cause. Prior to graduate school, Stein spent four years at Mother Jones magazine as a researcher, assistant editor, blogger, and campaign correspondent during the 2008 presidential elections. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Common Cause.
Voting Rights Director, Lori Shellenberger
Shellenberger, Director of the California Voting Rights Project, advocates for statewide and local election reform to reduce barriers to voter participation. Since joining the ACLU in 2011, she advocated for the mapping of the first majority-minority supervisor district in San Diego County; worked to increase compliance with the National Voter Registration Act and Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act; and provided technical assistance to San Diego nonprofits to build capacity for civic engagement work. Shellenberger brings a breadth of legal, nonprofit and community organizing experience to the ACLU. She began her legal career at the Alameda County Public Defender and was associate and capital appellate counsel at the Legal Aid Society of New York where she litigated cases before New York’s Court of Appeals, the 2nd Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She graduated from New York University School of Law.
Youth Organizer, Dulce Lopez
Lopez was born and raised in San Diego’s historic Barrio Logan and was a Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) scholar since the fifth grade. There she was motivated to become an activist with a passion for social justice and international human rights. Lopez is bilingual and bicultural and remains connected to her roots south of the border in the Sonora and Jalisco. She is a graduate of California State University Channel Islands where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Law and Human Rights in January of 2013. She was the first Latina student body president at CSU Channel Islands and also served on the California State Student Association (CSSA) as the Director of the Board. Lopez joined the San Diego ACLU in June 2013 as its first Youth Organizer for the Inspire San Diego Youth Civic Engagement Program. Dulce lives in Logan Heights with her parents, two younger sisters and her dog, Valentina.
ACLU OF SAN DIEGO & IMPERIAL COUNTIES BOARD OF DIRECTORS - 2013 Term
Board of Directors
Greg Rose, Board President*
* Board President, Greg Rose
Greg Rose is a Senior Vice President of Engineering for QUALCOMM Incorporated, where he works on cryptographic security and authentication for mobile phones and other technologies, and has management responsibility for the Office of the Chief Scientist. He holds a number of patents for cryptographic methods and has successfully cryptanalyzed widely deployed ciphers. Rose was program chair of the 1996 and 2000 USENIX Security Symposia, and General Chair of Crypto 2003. Rose has been an active participant in the ACLU’s Constitution Day program since its founding in 2007. He is also on the board of the International Association of Cryptologic Research.
You can contact the Board President or any board members by sending a letter to:
ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
P.O. Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131