Board and Staff

National Office Staff

Pooja Gehi, Executive Director

Pooja graduated from American University's Washington College (WCL) of Law in 2004 with a JD/MA in international affairs. At WCL she was the board chair of her National Lawyers Guild Law School Chapter.For the past eight years, Pooja has worked as a staff attorney and then the Director of Immigrant Justice at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) where she provided direct legal services for hundreds of low-income transgender and gender nonconforming clients in administrative hearings, immigration proceedings, civil litigation, and prisoners’ rights cases. Throughout this experience, she collaborated closely with LGBT organizations to build an analysis of gender justice among poverty and queer advocates across the nation. Pooja recently litigated Cruz v. Zucker, securing access to transition related healthcare for New York State Medicaid recipients.

Daniel McGee, Managing Director, National Lawyers Guild Foundation

Before coming to the NLGF, Daniel was Director of Finance and Development at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), a legal project organized by-and-for low income transgender people and transgender people of color. Prior to SRLP, Daniel worked as a Legal Program Associate at the Center for Reproductive Rights. He is a Certified Not-for-Profit Accounting Professional, a Rockwood Leadership Institute Alumni and a 2011-12 21st Century Pipeline Project Fellow.

Traci Yoder, Director of Education and Research

Traci Yoder is the NLG Director of Education and Research. Before coming to the National Office, she was the Coordinator for the NLG Philadelphia Chapter and the Legal Worker Vice-President of the NLG National Executive Committee. She has written articles and reports on NLG history, mass surveillance, drug policy, legal education, and policing of protests for the Guild. She also coordinates the NLG Radical Law Student Project and the NLG Faculty Network. Traci holds advanced degrees in Anthropology and Library Studies. In addition to her NLG work, she volunteers with projects such as the Radical Archives of Philadelphia, the Wooden Shoe Book Collective, and Interference Archive of Brooklyn.

Tasha Moro, Director of Communications

Prior to joining the NLG National Office in 2013, Tasha developed a background in civic engagement, community organizing, and digital communications for civil rights organizations in NYC. She currently manages the NLG website, national press, social media, and produces the triannual newsletter Guild Notes, and launched its column Beyond Bars: Voices of NLG Jailhouse Lawyers in 2014. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College with a B.A. in Anthropology and authored a thesis on popular politics and collective memory in the graffiti of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is passionate about media justice, ceramics, and Flight of the Conchords.

Lisa Drapkin, Director of Membership

Prior to joining NLG full time, Lisa worked for several other nonprofits in member support roles, including the Foundation Center, the National Police Accountability Project of the NLG, and Vegan Outreach. In addition, she is involved with the efforts of the NLG's Mass Incarceration Committee and Prison Legal Project, NYC Books through Bars, and well as additional prison support groups. A lifelong New Yorker, she has a B.A. in English from CUNY Queens College.

King Downing, Director of Mass Defense
King Downing is a lawyer and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center. H2RJ advocates and organizes for criminal and economic justice, including the Drug War, mass incarceration, police abuse, Hip Hop profiling and racial profiling. He was an advised community and rights organizations, such as Nicole Bell’s Sean Bell Justice Project, named for her fiancé, killed by the NYPD.

King was also part of the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee, which supported the communities and protesters in the St. Louis area after the killing of Michael Brown. He earlier directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee, working on the prison pipeline, solitary confinement, prisoner advocacy, and conflict resolution. King was also national coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial Profiling, which challenged racial profiling including the school-to-prison pipeline and other police abuse. King was an early organizer in Jena, Louisiana supporting the Jena 6, black high school students charged with attempted murder for a fist fight with a white student. White students had hung nooses in a school tree. King received his B.A. from Harvard University and is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law.

Kimmie David, Office Manager

Kimmie David began her professional career as a collective member and co-owner at Bluestockings, a radical, feminist bookstore and event space in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has since made magic out of thin air (and a lot of coffee) at many bookstores and restaurants, and at such varied places as Maker Faire, RightRides for Women's Safety, and the League of Extraordinary Penpals.
 
Kimmie has a soft spot for cocker spaniels, letter writing, and orange creamsicles. A lifelong New Yorker, she is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College, and holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
National Officers

Elena Cohen- President

Alex Westenhaver-Loretz: Treasurer

Ria Thompson-Washington - Executive VP

Ken Montenegro - Executive VP

Joelle Lingat: National VP

Sasha Novis- Student National VP

Cait de Mott Grady- Student National VP

Sarah Coffey - Legal Worker VP

Mumia Abu-Jamal - Jailhouse VP

National Office Staff

Pooja Gehi, Executive Director

Pooja graduated from American University's Washington College (WCL) of Law in 2004 with a JD/MA in international affairs. At WCL she was the board chair of her National Lawyers Guild Law School Chapter.For the past eight years, Pooja has worked as a staff attorney and then the Director of Immigrant Justice at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) where she provided direct legal services for hundreds of low-income transgender and gender nonconforming clients in administrative hearings, immigration proceedings, civil litigation, and prisoners’ rights cases. Throughout this experience, she collaborated closely with LGBT organizations to build an analysis of gender justice among poverty and queer advocates across the nation. Pooja recently litigated Cruz v. Zucker, securing access to transition related healthcare for New York State Medicaid recipients.

Daniel McGee, Managing Director, National Lawyers Guild Foundation

Before coming to the NLGF, Daniel was Director of Finance and Development at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), a legal project organized by-and-for low income transgender people and transgender people of color. Prior to SRLP, Daniel worked as a Legal Program Associate at the Center for Reproductive Rights. He is a Certified Not-for-Profit Accounting Professional, a Rockwood Leadership Institute Alumni and a 2011-12 21st Century Pipeline Project Fellow.

Traci Yoder, Director of Education and Research

Traci Yoder is the NLG Director of Education and Research. Before coming to the National Office, she was the Coordinator for the NLG Philadelphia Chapter and the Legal Worker Vice-President of the NLG National Executive Committee. She has written articles and reports on NLG history, mass surveillance, drug policy, legal education, and policing of protests for the Guild. She also coordinates the NLG Radical Law Student Project and the NLG Faculty Network. Traci holds advanced degrees in Anthropology and Library Studies. In addition to her NLG work, she volunteers with projects such as the Radical Archives of Philadelphia, the Wooden Shoe Book Collective, and Interference Archive of Brooklyn.

Tasha Moro, Director of Communications

Prior to joining the NLG National Office in 2013, Tasha developed a background in civic engagement, community organizing, and digital communications for civil rights organizations in NYC. She currently manages the NLG website, national press, social media, and produces the triannual newsletter Guild Notes, and launched its column Beyond Bars: Voices of NLG Jailhouse Lawyers in 2014. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College with a B.A. in Anthropology and authored a thesis on popular politics and collective memory in the graffiti of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is passionate about media justice, ceramics, and Flight of the Conchords.

Lisa Drapkin, Director of Membership

Prior to joining NLG full time, Lisa worked for several other nonprofits in member support roles, including the Foundation Center, the National Police Accountability Project of the NLG, and Vegan Outreach. In addition, she is involved with the efforts of the NLG's Mass Incarceration Committee and Prison Legal Project, NYC Books through Bars, and well as additional prison support groups. A lifelong New Yorker, she has a B.A. in English from CUNY Queens College.

King Downing, Director of Mass Defense
King Downing is a lawyer and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center. H2RJ advocates and organizes for criminal and economic justice, including the Drug War, mass incarceration, police abuse, Hip Hop profiling and racial profiling. He was an advised community and rights organizations, such as Nicole Bell’s Sean Bell Justice Project, named for her fiancé, killed by the NYPD.

King was also part of the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee, which supported the communities and protesters in the St. Louis area after the killing of Michael Brown. He earlier directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee, working on the prison pipeline, solitary confinement, prisoner advocacy, and conflict resolution. King was also national coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial Profiling, which challenged racial profiling including the school-to-prison pipeline and other police abuse. King was an early organizer in Jena, Louisiana supporting the Jena 6, black high school students charged with attempted murder for a fist fight with a white student. White students had hung nooses in a school tree. King received his B.A. from Harvard University and is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law.

Kimmie David, Office Manager

Kimmie David began her professional career as a collective member and co-owner at Bluestockings, a radical, feminist bookstore and event space in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has since made magic out of thin air (and a lot of coffee) at many bookstores and restaurants, and at such varied places as Maker Faire, RightRides for Women's Safety, and the League of Extraordinary Penpals.
 
Kimmie has a soft spot for cocker spaniels, letter writing, and orange creamsicles. A lifelong New Yorker, she is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College, and holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

NLG National Office and National Executive Committee

The NLG National Office is the administrative hub of the organization, connecting our members, chapters, committees, and projects. National Office staff are responsible for administering membership, handling media and other communications, creating and distributing Guild publications, coordinating the annual convention, organizing national campaigns, producing educational resources, fundraising, and providing support to Guild members and entities.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is the governing body for the NLG. Generally, it meets four times a year and includes:

  • National President
  • 2 Executive Vice-Presidents
  • 3 National Vice-Presidents
  • National Treasurer
  • National Office Executive Director
  • 2 Student Vice-Presidents
  • 1 Legal Worker Vice-President
  • 1 Jailhouse Lawyer Vice-President
  • 9 Regional Vice-Presidents
  • 2 TUPOCC Chairs
  • 2 National Office Represenatives
  • 10 Committee, Project, and Task Force Representatives

Between the NEC meetings, important and emergency decisions are made by the Executive Council (EC) of the NLG. This is made up of the executive-level NEC members: President, Executive VPs, Treasurer, Executive Director, Senior Student VP, and Legal Worker VP.

All NEC meetings are open to any current Guild members and we welcome your input. We ask that any requests for an item to be added to the agenda be sent to the National Office or the President at least 30 days before the next meeting. NEC meetings are usually held in January, April, August, and October.

All current Guild member are eligible to run for a position on the NEC. Executive-level elections are held at the annual convention, and other seats are decided by the regions, committees, and caucuses. For more information on the NEC, please contact traci@nlg.org.