Our Team

EJI Staff

Bryan Stevenson

Executive Director

Bryan Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. He led the creation of EJI’s highly acclaimed Legacy Sites, including the Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and Freedom Monument Sculpture Park. Mr. Stevenson’s work has won him numerous awards, including over 50 honorary doctorates, the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize, and the ABA Medal, the American Bar Association’s highest honor. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government; the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy, which was adapted as a major motion picture; and the subject of the Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary True Justice. In 2023, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden.

Eva Ansley

Operations Director

Eva Ansley has coordinated and developed legal services for poor people and death row prisoners in Alabama for over 30 years. She has been instrumental in developing institutional assistance to indigent defendants at the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center and the Equal Justice Initiative since the inception of both organizations.

Randy Susskind

Deputy Director

Randy Susskind has represented people sentenced to death, taught and advised law students, and assisted lawyers in capital litigation for over 25 years. He was on the adjunct faculty at New York University School of Law and frequently provides training, expertise, and consultation on habeas corpus issues and death penalty topics. He manages several of EJI’s public education projects and programs. He graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center before joining EJI in 1994.

Tera DuVernay

Deputy Director of the Legacy Sites

Tera DuVernay has an extensive background in management, research, recruiting, and customer service. Most recently, she served as Chief Researcher for the Academy Award and Emmy nominated documentary chronicling America’s mass criminalization epidemic, 13th. She contributed research to the ESPN documentary on gender equality in sports entitled Venus Vs. and the Henry Louis Gates PBS docuseries, Finding Your Roots. She previously held management positions in the airline and health insurance industries.

Jacqueline Jones-Peace

Senior Attorney, Director of Development (On Leave)

Jacqueline Jones-Peace has represented people sentenced to death and children prosecuted as adults for over 15 years. She took on management of development at EJI in 2019. Before joining EJI she was on the faculty at New York University School of Law as Co-Associate Director of the Lawyering Program, was a Litigation Associate at Cleary Gottlieb in New York, and clerked for U.S. District Judge John S. Martin in the Southern District of New York. She is a 1995 graduate of New York University School of Law.

Tatiana Bertsch

Senior Attorney

Tatiana Bertsch has been representing people charged with capital murder, death row prisoners, and children prosecuted as adults for over 15 years. Prior to joining EJI, she was a public defender in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she handled misdemeanor and felony trials for five years before specializing in the investigation and presentation of mitigating evidence in capital trials as a Mitigation Attorney in the Major Crimes division. She has a B.A. in geology from Smith College and is a 2005 graduate of New York University School of Law. Before law school, she was assistant director of the Gender Studies Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Alicia D’Addario

Senior Attorney

Alicia D’Addario has provided legal representation to people on death row and children prosecuted as adults for over 15 years. She coordinates EJI’s cases involving children sentenced to life without parole and assists lawyers throughout the country who are representing children in prison. She also does policy work to reform the legal system and conducts research and writing for educational reports. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2002 and New York University School of Law in 2005. Prior to joining EJI, she clerked for Judge Rosemary Pooler on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Charlotte Morrison

Senior Attorney

Charlotte Morrison has over 20 years of experience representing people sentenced to death, the wrongly convicted, and children prosecuted as adults. She leads EJI’s work challenging conditions of confinement and coordinates several of EJI’s projects around re-entry, anti-poverty, and client support. She is a former Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Oxford University, the University of Montana, and New York University School of Law. She clerked with Judge Rosemary Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit before joining EJI in 2001.

Sia Sanneh

Senior Attorney

Sia Sanneh has provided legal representation to condemned people on death row and children prosecuted as adults and served as a leading researcher and writer for EJI’s racial justice work, sites, and reports for over 15 years. She has a master’s in teaching of social studies from Columbia University Teachers College and earned a B.A. in history from Columbia University in 2001. She earned her J.D. in 2007 from Yale Law School, where she has also taught as a visiting faculty member. She joined EJI in 2008.

Benjamin Schaefer

Senior Attorney

Benjamin Schaefer graduated in 2011 from New York University School of Law, where he participated in the Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic and interned at the Orleans Public Defenders in Louisiana. He has a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He previously taught sixth grade social studies in Henderson, North Carolina.

Angie Setzer

Senior Attorney

Angie Setzer has been representing people on death row and children prosecuted as adults for over 20 years. She coordinates EJI’s capital cases, provides expertise and training to lawyers throughout the country handling death penalty cases, and is a leading researcher and writer for reports on criminal legal issues. She joined EJI after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1999.

Aaryn Urell

Senior Attorney

Aaryn Urell is a leading researcher and writer on EJI’s education projects and manages content on EJI’s publications and websites. She has represented children prosecuted as adults and people sentenced to death for over 20 years.  She has a master’s in international relations from American University and has been with EJI since she graduated from New York University School of Law in 2001. She is a member of the Alabama bar.

Sonia Kapadia

Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives

Sonia Kapadia received a B.A. in communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 2007. She has years of experience as a brand manager for PepsiCo in North America and the UK and was a senior leader at a number of successful startups including Gu Chocolate Desserts in London and Rent the Runway in New York City. She brought her extensive experience as Chief Marketing Officer and CEO to EJI in 2017.

Anthony Ray Hinton

Community Educator

Anthony Ray Hinton was falsely accused of committing two murders outside of Birmingham, Alabama, in 1985. He was wrongly convicted and spent nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row before he was exonerated and freed in April 2015. A deeply compelling speaker, he has become a powerful advocate against the death penalty and speaks nationally about the urgent need for criminal justice reform.

Catherine Cannon

Chief Financial Officer

Catherine Cannon joined EJI in 2023, bringing more than a decade of experience in grants accounting and compliance, financial consulting and oversight, and managing large-scale audits at Carr, Riggs & Ingram in Birmingham. A Certified Public Accountant since 2012, she has a bachelor’s degree in business from Rhodes College in Memphis and a master’s degree in accountancy from Samford University in Birmingham.

Ayisha Abdur-Rahman

Chief Operations Manager

Ayisha Abdur-Rahman has a B.A. in secondary education (English) from Indiana University and a M.A. in adult and community education from Ball State University. She brings a decade of experience in human resources and program management. Before joining EJI in 2019, she was the Program Manager for Revenue Cycle Services at Indiana University Health, where she led on-boarding and training teams to improve new hire on-boarding, training, and leadership development.

Josh Cannon

Deputy Director of Projects

Josh Cannon earned his bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the Department of History Honors Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where his honors thesis was published in the Journal of Planning History. Prior to joining EJI in 2015, he taught preschool children and coordinated projects for an industrial automation systems firm in Hoover, Alabama. He was also a contributor to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute blog, The Struggle Continues.

Emily Wilson

Deputy Director of Development

Emily Wilson joined EJI in 2021 after working with Data Geeks Lab, where she helped nonprofit organizations with development and project management. Before that, she worked in development for six years at Acumen, where she managed fundraising operations and donor outreach, and spent two years at Interaudi Bank developing and managing a customized Salesforce.com platform. She has a B.A. in French and francophone studies with a special concentration in sustainable development from Columbia University.

Eugene Harris

Senior Operations Manager

Eugene Harris is a Montgomery native who brings more than a decade of operations experience to EJI. After obtaining an associate degree in secondary education from Beville State Community College in 2001, he supervised shipping and receiving for West Elm, provided technical support for AT&T, and worked as an IT specialist for Volkswagen. Prior to joining EJI in 2018, he was an assistant site lead overseeing three external and all internal operations for Kimura, a logistics company in South Carolina.

Victoria Dunn

Senior Site Manager

Victoria Dunn attended Troy University and has over 10 years of experience in management. She worked with T-Mobile as an assistant store manager and was a travel agent for AAA Alabama in Montgomery. Before joining EJI in 2019, she directed marketing, sales, customer service, and human resources as a retail store manager for Spark Wireless in Montgomery.

Kate Hatheway

Staff Attorney

Kate Hatheway first worked at EJI after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2010. She served as a justice fellow for nearly four years before attending Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated in 2017. She worked as an assistant public defender in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana, at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office in Kentucky, and for the Defender Association of Philadelphia before returning to EJI as a staff attorney in 2024.

Sophia Henager

Staff Attorney

Sophia Henager has a B.A. in political science and international relations from Gonzaga University and is a 2020 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she participated in the Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic. As an intern, she worked on felony and misdemeanor cases at the public defender’s office in Seattle and drafted appellate briefs for the Legal Aid Society in New York. Prior to law school, she served as an AmeriCorps paralegal for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.

Mickey Hubbard

Staff Attorney

Mickey Hubbard graduated from Columbia Law School in 2014, where he interned at the Bronx Defenders and the Southern Center for Human Rights. He has done extensive anti-poverty work, improving school infrastructure in South Africa, increasing food bank access in rural Vermont, and organizing to combat homelessness and provide services to people in financial crisis in North Carolina. He has a B.A. in political science from Davidson College.

Lonnie Klein

Staff Attorney

Lonnie Klein has a B.A. from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and earned his J.D. from American University. He joined EJI in 2022 after 13 years in private practice at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and ReedSmith LLP. He provided pro bono representation in state postconviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings for several people sentenced to death in Alabama and, at the request of state legislators, conducted an independent investigation into the conviction of a man facing execution in Oklahoma.

Sofia McDonald

Staff Attorney

Sofia McDonald is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law, where she was in the Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic, worked for the Policing Project, and interned for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Before law school, she was a special education teacher in Chicago with Teach for America. She worked on the appeal of a client on death row in Alabama as a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray LLP prior to joining EJI in 2019.

Lauren Roberts

Staff Attorney

Lauren Roberts has a B.A. in psychology from Vassar College and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. After law school, she served as counsel for Fairway Group Holdings Corp. in New York, where she supported the company’s successful IPO on NASDAQ. Prior to joining EJI in 2020, she worked as Director of Operations and Impact for the Solutions Project, which supports grassroots organizations in communities most affected by the climate crisis.

Sanjay Kishore

Physician

Sanjay Kishore has a B.A. from Duke University and M.D. from Harvard Medical School.  He previously organized campaigns to enroll uninsured Americans in coverage; during medical training his advocacy and writing centered on universal health care, expanded access to addiction treatment, and racial justice in medicine.  He recently completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he focused on chronic disease care (including diabetes, hypertension, and opioid use disorder) at a federally-qualified health center.

Margaret Hayden

Physician

Margaret Hayden has a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University and a Master of Philosophy degree in medical anthropology from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She graduated in 2019 from Harvard Medical School, where she studied the stigma surrounding care of patients with addiction and organized around racial justice issues in medicine. She joined EJI in 2022 after completing an internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she focused on complex chronic disease management.

Andre’ Carlisle

Chief of Site Security

Andre’ Carlisle joined EJI in 2021 after a distinguished career in the military and the Montgomery Police Department. In the U.S. Army, he became an accomplished trainer, winning the Army Commendation Medal for his performance, professionalism, and dedication as Battalion Operations NCOIC in El Paso, Texas. He joined the Montgomery Police Department in 2003, rising to the rank of lieutenant and receiving the 2012 Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding performance.

 

Caitlin McCaskey

Senior Project Manager

Caitlin McCaskey has a B.A. in English from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She joined EJI in 2019 with more than a decade of experience in managing speakers, starting as a coordinator for Penguin Speakers Bureau in New York. She rose to Senior Manager at HarperCollins Speakers Bureau and headed a department responsible for booking over 200 events a year as Senior Agent Director for Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. Most recently, she managed Thought Leadership Programs for Consumer Reports.

Jennifer Harris

Senior Project Manager

Jennifer Harris has a B.A. in graphic design from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s in criminal justice from Troy State University. After earning her J.D. from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, she clerked for Alabama’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court in Montgomery. She has years of legal and private sector experience in consulting and project management, and worked as an underwriter and compliance specialist in the banking industry for many years before joining EJI in 2022.

Meghan Hunter

Health Justice Manager

Meghan Hunter has a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from New York University Stern School of Business and received her MBA from Stanford in 2022. She has years of consulting and strategy/operations experience. She developed partnership strategies and conducted financial modeling, market research, analysis, and strategic planning at Accenture Strategy and Verizon Media, and volunteered at tristate area correctional facilities, including Rikers Island. She interned at EJI in 2021 and returned the following year to join our staff.

Mary Ellen Luck

Health Justice Manager

Mary Ellen Luck joined EJI in 2022. She has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University and a master’s in business administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she studied value-based healthcare payment models and worked on health equity initiatives at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. She previously managed health plan operations for Collective Health, a technology company providing health administration software and services.

Mikaela Dedona

Health Manager

Mikaela Dedona earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Maryland in 2019. She previously worked as an assistant media manager for FreshDirect, an online grocery store serving the New York Metropolitan Area. She joined the staff of EJI in 2024.

Tad Roach

Learning and Engagement Specialist

Tad Roach joined the staff of EJI in 2022 after 24 years as Head of School at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, where he taught English, developed school culture, and worked with leaders to create the Delaware College Scholars Program to serve public school students statewide. He received his B.A. from Williams College and M.A. in English from Middlebury College. A national leader in school culture, teaching, and learning, he brings more than four decades of experience in education to EJI’s outreach efforts.

Stephen Seabolt

Learning and Engagement Specialist

Stephen Seabolt has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from Duke University. Prior to joining EJI in 2022, he led marketing for Handel’s Ice Cream, and served as vice president of creative strategy and content for the American Cancer Society. Previously, he directed marketing for Fathom, a start-up social impact cruise brand, and rose to global brand director for The Coca-Cola Company.

Laquarria Nevins

Social Worker

Laquarria Nevins has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Alabama State University and a master’s in social work from Troy University in Montgomery. She has provided assistance to incarcerated people and people living in poverty for over two decades. Before joining EJI in 2022, she assisted indigent people facing prosecution as a social worker with the Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery, helped women and children as house manager for the Family Sunshine Center, and ran re-entry programs in Alabama.

Ryan Pratt

Health Project Nurse

Ryan Pratt is a registered nurse with over 13 years of bedside experience. After six years working as an imagery analyst for the U.S. Air Force, he began training as a nurse and earned a B.S. in nursing from American Sentinel University in Aurora, Colorado. He provided award-winning care as unit coordinator at Sentara Healthcare’s Princess Anne Hospital before joining EJI in 2022.

Claire Gelbart

Digital Content Manager

Claire Gelbart graduated from Tufts University in 2017 with a B.A. in English. She taught journalism at San Quentin Prison as part of a feeder program for the San Quentin Newspaper, which is written and edited by men who are incarcerated there. Before joining EJI in 2020, she worked as an executive assistant at Solow Literary Enterprises and led brand marketing strategy as a senior associate at Care/of.

Brandon McRae

Senior Digital Analyst

Brandon McRae is a 2012 graduate of Elon University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. He has years of experience working previously at Coca-Cola Refreshments, then with Classy.org and Community Boost, where he rose to Senior Account Manager leading campaigns to develop support for nonprofit organizations across all digital platforms. He joined EJI in 2024, bringing a wealth of management experience and digital analytic skills.

Jacob Hoerger

Senior Researcher

Jacob Hoerger has a B.A. in political science and Russian from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where he taught undergraduate courses on social inequality and historical injustice and organized professional conferences. He served as a writing fellow in the government department, where his research focused on recovery from historic trauma and rights violations, prior to joining the staff of EJI in 2023.

Richard Burton

Project Manager

Richard Burton is an Alabama native who graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in political science and earned a master’s in education and counseling certification from Auburn University at Montgomery. He taught at Central Alabama Community College and supported students as a high school counselor in Alexander City for nearly 20 years before becoming a Mental Health Counselor at Tuskegee University. He joined EJI in 2023.

Nina Harstad

Project Manager

Nina Harstad earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a joint Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy from Harvard University. In graduate school, her work and study focused on promoting economic mobility and expanding economic inclusion. She wrote her thesis with Opportunity Insights and worked at a financial services startup in Mexico to expand credit and economic opportunity. Before graduate school, Nina she spent five years at FSG, working with foundations and nonprofits to better serve their community’s needs.

Mia Taylor

Project Manager

Mia Taylor graduated from Eastern University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She has a Master of Education in instructional design and a Master of Arts in English language learning. Prior to joining EJI in 2023, she worked with students with disabilities and taught high school special education in Philadelphia and taught elementary school and English language immersion in Delaware for more than five years.

Mary Kate Mitchell

Legal Staff

Mary Kate Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, where she participated in the Cumberland Innocence Clinic, interned for the Jefferson County Family Court, and volunteered with the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program. A native of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, she joined EJI in 2021.

Tania Cordes

Communications Manager

Tania Cordes has a B.A. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing arts from the University of Baltimore. Prior to joining EJI in 2018, she worked on Strategic Communications at the Open Society Foundations office in Baltimore, where she rose to Communications Coordinator, and was Special Projects Manager for Strategic Communications at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she led special projects and campaigns and helped organize a multi-year public speaker series on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dan Biddle

Senior Writer

Dan Biddle is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose nationally acclaimed work at The Philadelphia Inquirer won the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for outstanding coverage of legal issues. He co-authored Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America, a groundbreaking biography about the courageous Black teacher and voting rights activist, and has taught journalism at the University of Pennsylvania and other prestigious universities. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and joined EJI in 2023.

Sara Rimer

Senior Writer

Sara Rimer is a career journalist who worked at the Miami Herald, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, where her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to joining EJI in 2023, she spent more than a decade at Boston University, where she translated faculty research for a mainstream audience and wrote and edited articles for news and alumni publications. She has a bachelor’s in American Studies from the University of Michigan.

H. Mawande Mzongwana

Project Manager

H. Mawande Mzongwana has a Bachelor of Divinity from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and earned a master’s in religion in 2019 from Yale Divinity School, where she mentored high school students from African countries to support them in college preparation. She provided pastoral care to patients as chaplain resident at Yale New Haven Bridgeport Hospital and provided counseling, support, and spiritual care to patients and their families as hospital chaplain at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans before joining the staff of EJI.

Sihle Mzongwana

Project Manager

Sihle Mzongwana has a Bachelor of Divinity from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and a master’s from Yale University. Before joining EJI, he served as a chaplain at East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana, where he provided emotional and spiritual care to patients, families, and staff. He has a wealth of experience as a researcher and teacher, mentoring students applying for college in South Africa, working with international students at Yale, and developing global academic enrichment programs for Global Kids in New York.

Miriam Ashley-Smoke

Site Manager

Miriam Ashley-Smoke earned a B.A. in history from Auburn University in Montgomery in 1997. She has extensive experience in addressing client needs as a customer service agent for Bellsouth and a reservation agent for Delta Airlines. Prior to joining EJI in 2018, she managed a team of employees who provided assistance to medical providers and patients at Optum, a division of United Healthcare Group.

Christina Cottrell

Site Manager

Christina Cottrell graduated cum laude with an Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies from Amridge University in 2017. As a Loan Operations Specialist at Colonial Bank, she processed payments, analyzed loan payments, and provided customer service for customers across the country. She joined EJI in 2019 after more than 10 years with Optum Rx, where she was responsible for ensuring that local and nationwide pharmacies had correct billing and medical information needed to process pharmacy claims.

Kaletha McKee

Merchandise Manager

Kaletha McKee has a B.S. in business administration from Troy University in Montgomery. She has more than a decade of experience in customer service, marketing, communications, and human resources. Before joining EJI’s staff in 2018, she worked for the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Community Bank & Trust and Belk Department Store in Prattville, and Regions Financial Corporation in Birmingham.

Sumita Rajpurohit

Project Manager

Sumita Rajpurohit has a B.S. in mechanical engineering and French from Johns Hopkins University, where she helped formerly incarcerated adults prepare for undergraduate studies, taught after-school science lessons for Baltimore Public School students, and founded the Women of Mechanical Engineering Network. Before joining EJI in 2019, she managed a design project for the Space Telescope Science Institute, designed a new model for studying traumatic brain injury, and co-authored two published research articles.

Tawnia Redmond

Project Manager

Tawnia Redmond has a hotel management degree from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, and brings nearly 20 years of customer service and operational management experience to EJI. Most recently, she worked at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, where she started in 2015 as front desk clerk. Her exemplary work was recognized with multiple awards as she rose to Group Sales Manager for the Nonprofit, Religious, Fraternal, and Education markets at the Renaissance. She joined the staff of EJI in 2024.

Bryan G. Stevenson

Videographer

Bryan G. Stevenson studied at the University of Pennsylvania, joining church and community endeavors, including Exodus To Excellence, Inc., where he combined his social service and filmmaking skills before becoming a freelance filmmaker in New York City. He has nearly a decade of experience writing, editing, and directing documentaries, narrative films, and commercial projects for global brands that include Nike, the GAP, Puma, and Apple. After interning at EJI in 2005, he joined our staff in 2018.

Maria Morrison

Senior Social Worker

Maria Morrison joined EJI in 2008. She manages a range of clinical and therapeutic services at EJI for incarcerated clients and formerly incarcerated people and their families. Before joining EJI she provided services for several years to adults struggling with mental illness, substance use, and homelessness as well as in a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescents with trauma-related behavioral disorders. She has a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S.W. from the University of Alabama. She also earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College and a B.A. in English from the University of Montana.

Chris Macklin

Research Analyst

Chris Macklin graduated with a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from the University of York (UK). Before joining EJI in 2018 he was on the Music and Medieval Studies faculties of Mercer University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, publishing research on aspects of the use of music and community in times of social stress and teaching a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He also worked on an Alabama capital postconviction case as a legal assistant and researcher.

Saundra Brown

Development Manager

Saundra Brown has a B.S. in early education from Liberty University and has 10 years of administrative and project management experience. She taught and administered for a private school in San Antonio before rising to Director of Camps & Programs at Alabama State University. She spent two years with the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, developed extensive knowledge in human resources management for the Department of the Air Force, and served as Talent Engagement Manager for nextSource before joining EJI in 2023.

Reneé Cleveland

Development Manager

Reneé Cleveland earned a bachelor’s degree in justice and public safety from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2008. She planned curriculum and instructed students at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Montgomery. A certified paralegal, she worked as a legal secretary at Donohoe & Stapleton prior to joining EJI.

Lendria Glass

Development Manager

Lendria Glass earned a B.A. in communication from Auburn University and a M.S. in strategic communication from Troy University. A skilled communicator and relationship builder, she has nearly 15 years of experience in communication, sales, fundraising, and development. Having worked in the public and private sectors prior to joining EJI in 2019, she most recently served as Development Director for the Arthritis Foundation in Montgomery.

James Warren

Executive Assistant

James Warren joined EJI in 2014. He previously was executive assistant to Dr. Anthony Campolo at Eastern University and served as director of the event coordination department for the International Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia. He has a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in church music from Oklahoma Baptist University.

Donald Brown

Staff Assistant

Donald Brown joined EJI in 2018. He was sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just 16 years old and spent 42 years in prison, where he earned his GED, a college degree, and a master’s in theology from Christian Life School of Theology Global. A longstanding client of EJI, he was released on parole and joined our specialized re-entry program in 2018. An esteemed graduate of our PREP program, Mr. Brown continues to bring tremendous empathy, insight, and dedication to his work at EJI.

Mamie Gaines

Staff Assistant

Mamie Gaines is an Air Force veteran who retired after more than two decades of distinguished military service. She worked as a Certified Staffing Specialist for Elwood Staffing in Oxford, Alabama, before joining Smithsonian Institution as Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Smithsonian Enterprises in Washington, D.C. While there, she simultaneously worked as the Smithsonian Theaters Contract Administrator. She spent 10 years at the Smithsonian and then managed the Sleep Inn & Suites in Montgomery before joining EJI in 2020.

Fran Spearman

Staff Assistant

Fran Spearman joined EJI in 2022 after 11 years at Alabama State University as Dual Enrollment Coordinator. She attended Tuskegee University and worked as a flight attendant for Pan American World Airways and as a claims service specialist with State Auto Insurance Company. She brings more than two decades of experience in administrative management to EJI.

Ramona Thornton

Staff Assistant

Ramona Thornton graduated from Huntingdon College in 1991, with a B.A. in art. She brings a wealth of administrative and operations assistance experience to EJI.

James Truett

Staff Assistant

James Truett is a 2019 graduate of the University of South Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. He has worked in customer service and customer relations for nearly a decade, including several years assisting clients for Cigna Health Insurance. He joined the staff of EJI in 2023.

Mary Woods

Staff Assistant

Mary Woods joined EJI’s staff in 2016. A lifelong resident of Montgomery, she has years of experience in customer service, including five years for the City of Montgomery’s Department of Public Safety, where she managed requests for information and communications with clients and the public.

Ashanta Young

Staff Assistant

Ashanta Young is a native of Elmore County, Alabama, and earned an associate degree in business from Troy University. Prior to joining EJI in 2021, she gained more than a decade of experience managing office operations in the healthcare field. She served as Patient Relations Coordinator for American Family Care in Prattville, Office Manager for Southern Orthopaedic Surgeons in Montgomery, and most recently, Assistant Manager at Baptist Health.

Kristen Elijah

Bookkeeper

Kristen Elijah obtained a B.A. in history from Auburn University in 2006 and a J.D. from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in 2009. She organized and advocated for workers as an external organizer for the Service Employees International Union and worked as an attorney for Parnell & Crum, P.A. Prior to joining EJI in 2018, she handled payroll, accounts payable, invoicing, and other accounting and management responsibilities for Central Alabama Fluid Power and Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC.

Paige Lindsey

Bookkeeper

Paige Lindsey earned a B.S.B.A. in finance and economics from Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama, and has more than a decade of experience as a bookkeeper and computer software trainer. Prior to joining EJI in 2015, she served as chief operating officer for Admiral Movers, Inc., in Montgomery.

Greg Freeman

IT Administrator

Greg Freeman graduated from Auburn University Montgomery with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2013. Prior to joining EJI in 2021, he managed information technology needs and assets for three properties in Central Alabama as Area IT Tech for PCH Hotels & Resorts. He also worked as an Imaging Specialist for Regions Bank, Electronics/Connection Center Sales Associate for Walmart, and Help Desk Tier 1 for Austal USA in Mobile.

Deksyos Damtew

Project Assistant

Deksyos Damtew has a bachelor’s in international political economy from Colorado College, where he was elected student body president, captained the speech and debate team, and received a Davis Projects for Peace grant to facilitate civics education workshops across Colorado. He worked on reform issues as a campaign coordinator for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and interned for Judge Maria T. Fox of the Colorado Court of Appeals before joining EJI in 2023.

Sakwana Dickens

Project Assistant

Sakwana Dickens is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and has a master’s in business administration from Strayer University in Atlanta. Prior to joining EJI, he provided representation for professional athletes as CEO/President of Dickens Consulting & Management. As an agent and business manager, he managed finances, handled contract negotiations, and provided financial and business education and training to athlete clients. His experience includes years of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, Feed the Hungry, and the Big Brother mentoring program.

Derick McClendon

Project Assistant

Derick McClendon taught mathematics in junior high and high schools across the state of Alabama and served as an adjunct instructor at Alabama State University for nearly 25 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Science in mathematics education, both from Alabama State University in Montgomery. He joined the staff of EJI in 2024.

Roosevelt Williams

Project Assistant

Roosevelt Williams has worked in the Montgomery community for over a decade and has a wealth of experience with local businesses, including Coca-Cola, Coburn Contracting, API Heat Transfer, and Chester’s International. Since graduating from Southern Regional Christian Academy in Montgomery, he has worked with at-risk youth through the Street Life Community Development Corporation and holds a certification from the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire. Before joining EJI in 2023, he worked with the Helping Montgomery Families Initiative.

Symphony Wilson

Project Assistant

Symphony Wilson is a Fall 2022 graduate of Alabama State University, where she received a B.A. in political science, minoring in legal studies. While in undergrad, she served as Attorney General in the Student Government Association, President of the Red Cross Club, and Political Awareness and Involvement chair for the Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Symphony joined EJI in 2023 after doing concierge work and has work experience in human resources and administration.

Ariel Harris

Staff Assistant

Ariel Harris has years of experience working with agencies and companies in Montgomery. She worked as an executive assistant at Montgomery Media Group and a customer service representative for the Department of Public Safety, Duke Energy, and Hewlett-Packard. Prior to joining EJI in 2019, she built corporate account relationships, managed a car fleet, hired and trained staff, and developed a branch operational plan as a branch manager for Avis and Budget.

Kayla Whatley

Staff Assistant

Kayla Whatley has a B.S. in biology from Alabama State University, where she published statewide lesson plans in math science, counseled youth in the Summer Kids/Youth College Adventure Program, and supervised a sizeable budget as chapter president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Before joining EJI in 2020, she worked with youth as a residential specialist at the Lee County Youth Development Center in Opelika, Alabama, and taught physics and chemistry as an eighth grade physical science teacher in Tuscaloosa.

Tisha Williams

Facilities

Tisha Williams has more than a decade of experience in the manufacturing and sanitation industries. Prior to joining EJI, she worked at Baptist Medical Center East and ABM in Montgomery, Alabama. A native of Montgomery, she joined the staff of EJI in 2018.

Greg Dixon

Front Desk Officer

Greg Dixon is a war veteran with over 22 years experience in law enforcement. He attended Auburn University at Montgomery before becoming a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. Following his distinguished military career, he became a police officer for the City of Montgomery and was honored with multiple awards. He retired from the police department in 2019 prior to joining EJI.

Greg Parker

Facilities Manager

Greg Parker is a licensed home builder and master carpenter with over two decades of experience in residential and commercial construction. Prior to joining EJI in 2017, he was responsible for the maintenance and operation of 32 dorm buildings housing 4500 students as Maintenance Supervisor of Student Housing at Auburn University, where he also took master’s courses in building science and public administration. He has a B.S. in human resource management from Faulkner University.

Bruce Tolerson

Facilities Maintenance Technician

Bruce Tolerson has over 30 years of experience maintaining facilities that total over a million square feet. He attended Auburn University at Montgomery and Troy University, and starting in 1986, he was responsible for maintaining generators, dock levelers, electrical systems, overhead doors, refrigeration, fire systems, HVAC, conveyor systems, fuel bays, and computer components at the C&S Warehouse, Bi Low Warehouse, and Winn Dixie Warehouse in Montgomery. He joined EJI in 2018.

Carson Breland

Facilities Assistant

Carson Breland joined the staff of EJI in 2018. He grew up in Mobile, Alabama, where he graduated from Murphy High School. He did quality control, logistics, and maintenance for Alabama-based industrial fiberglass manufacturer Micro-Fab, Inc., for six years prior to joining EJI, where he focuses on maintenance of the program office and campus sites and structures. He is also a key team member for logistics support.

David Wilson

Facilities

David Wilson brings years of experience to EJI. Prior to joining our staff in 2024, he worked as a maintenance mechanic for Jackson Hospital in Montgomery and served as an industrial motor mechanic and mill machinist for Jay Industrial Repair. Most recently, he owned and operated a successful remodeling business in Deatsville, Alabama.

Matt Murray

Data Entry

Matt Murray obtained a master’s in information systems management from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2016 and a bachelor’s in communication studies and classical guitar performance from Huntingdon College in 2014. Prior to joining EJI in 2017, he worked on the installation and upkeep of IT components for WSFA News in Montgomery and helped build a television station from the ground up at a local school.

Brian Cross

Law Fellow

Brian Cross is a 2022 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was selected as one of four inaugural members of the Robert A. Katzmann Student Fellows Program and wrote a class action complaint for an eviction defense organization. He clerked for the Hon. Nina R. Morrison, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, before joining EJI in 2023. Prior to law school, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University and performed on Broadway.

Chelsea Hanlock

Law Fellow

Chelsea Hanlock has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Law, Letters & Society from the University of Chicago. She is a 2020 graduate of the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she interned for the state public defender in Oakland and wrote legal pleadings for death row clients as part of the Death Penalty Clinic. She clerked for the Hon. Arianna J. Freeman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, before joining EJI in 2024.

Kit Metoyer

Law Fellow

Kit Metoyer has an A.B. in government from Harvard University and graduated in 2022 from Harvard Law School, where she served as student body public interest chair. Before joining EJI, she worked on death penalty cases at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, researched qualified immunity and police reform as an intern at Bass, Berry, & Sims PLC in Nashville, and investigated the impact of officer education and diversity in the Massachusetts State Police as a legal extern for Butters Brazilian LLP in Boston.

Catherine Coleman-Flowers

Rural Development Manager

Catherine Coleman-Flowers is a native of Lowndes County, Alabama. She taught high school in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., before returning home to advocate for poor people in Alabama’s Black Belt. She is the founder and director of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and joined EJI in summer 2008 as part of EJI’s Race and Poverty initiative.

Museum and Memorial Staff

EJI is proud to employ dozens of talented people who staff our Legacy Museum, National Memorial, and our gift shops and ticket office. Operations of our new museum and memorial have been enhanced by dedicated, committed, and knowledgeable staff who joined EJI to make the experience of our sites meaningful and unforgettable. These sites could not operate without the contributions and efforts of our extraordinary team.

Kim Taylor-Thompson, Chair

Eva Ansley

Ophelia Dahl

Randy Hertz

Jackie Jones-Peace

George Kendall

Bryan Stevenson

Kathy Vincent

Carlos Williams

Join the Team

Our law fellowships, justice fellowships, racial justice internships, and social work fellowships are among the positions at EJI that typically attract hundreds of applicants. Learn more about opportunities to join EJI.