Board of Directors
David Kaiser, Chairperson,
is a writer living in New York who just completed work on a novel. A graduate of
Columbia University, he was on the editorial staff of the New York Review of Books
from 1998 to 2001. David sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations
and foundations, including Winrock International. He joined JDI's Board of Directors
in 2004 and previously served as Secretary.
Dawn Davison, JDI's Treasurer, is the first prison official to serve on JDI's Board. As former Warden of the California Institution for Women, she placed herself within the vanguard of reform-minded corrections managers by allowing JDI and the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center to bring counselors into the prison to speak confidentially with sexual abuse survivors. As Warden, she instituted many rehabilitative programs and worked with volunteer groups, emphasizing education, life and workplace skills, the maintenance of family and community relationships, successful reintegration into society, and breaking the intergenerational cycle of incarceration. Since her retirement in 2009, Dawn has remained an active consultant and activist for inmates’ rights, through her work with JDI, the California Catholic Conference, and the Center for Restorative Justice Works.
Lovisa Stannow, MA, is the Executive Director and Board Secretary of JDI. Ms. Stannow has spent the past two decades working
in the fields of communications and international human rights. She is the former
Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health and the West Coast
Director and Communications Director of Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières.
In the early 1990s, she served as a Press Officer for Amnesty International, following
several years as a journalist in Europe and Latin America. Lovisa is multilingual
and has spent significant parts of her career based in war zones and areas of humanitarian
disaster in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
specializes in communications and messaging involving energy and environmental issues,
serving currently as the Director of External Affairs at the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission, and previously as Media Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council,
a leading environmental advocacy organization. She began her career as a local television
reporter. Julia has a Master's degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism
and a Bachelor's in history, also from Columbia. She lives in Washington, DC.
a transgender woman living with HIV, is the Vice Chair of the San Francisco Human
Rights Commission and a board member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness
Center. Cecilia previously held the position of Deputy Director at the Transgender
Law Center. She has also served on the HIV Service Planning Council and the Transgender
Discrimination Task Force, both in San Francisco.
Mary Garton, MA,
is the Chief of Staff for the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana. Mary has spent her career working to improve educational opportunities for students in the Greater New Orleans area in a variety of roles. She is the former Executive Director of Teach For America in the Greater New Orleans area and has also managed that organization's alumni affairs work for the state. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of New Orleans, Mary taught for nearly 10 years in Louisiana public schools and later served as the vice principal of the New Orleans Free School. Mary has also served as the director of Teach For America's Houston Summer Training Institute, and she was a member of the Bring New Orleans Back Education Steering Committee following Hurricane Katrina.
Sean Hecker, JD,
is a partner in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he practices
in the areas of white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and complex
civil litigation. Before joining Debevoise in 2006, Sean was a trial lawyer
with the Federal Defenders of New York, where he represented indigent defendants
charged with a wide range of federal offenses. Sean was previously a litigation
associate with Covington & Burling in New York from 1999 to 2003, and began his
legal career as a law clerk for the for the Hon. John M. Walker, Jr., U.S. Court
of Appeals, Second Circuit (1998-99), and for the Hon. Sidney H. Stein, U.S. District
Court, Southern District of New York (1997-98).
Jan Lastocy was raped repeatedly for seven months by her prison work supervisor, while at a Michigan state prison. Years later, she and hundreds of other female prisoners settled a class action suit with the state of Michigan for over $100 million. A leading advocate for prisoners’ rights, Jan has met with high-level government officials, written op-eds for national media outlets, and served as a guest speaker at trainings and conferences nationwide. She lives in Michigan with her family.
Melinda Eades LeMoine, Esq., is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, where her practice focuses on complex business litigation for companies in the media and entertainment industries. Before joining the firm, Melinda served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan P. Graber on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A graduate of Columbia University’s Barnard College and Brooklyn Law School, Melinda has devoted many hours of her practice to pro bono work. For several years, she was counsel with primary responsibility for the state post-conviction efforts on behalf of a prisoner on death row in Nevada, and more recently has contributed to the firm’s work on behalf of a capital prisoner in Louisiana. She also served for several years on the board of directors for the Action Committee for Women in Prison, a nonprofit organization.
Peter Reilly, CPA, is a partner with a large regional accounting firm in Massachusetts.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts
Society of Certified Public Accountants, and has served on the AICPA Tax Division's
partnership committee. Peter has provided accounting expertise to numerous
non-profit organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Interlock
Media, Jeremiah's Inn, and Children Supervised Visitations.
Russell Robinson, JD, is a Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and received his B.A. from Hampton University. Russell clerked for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1998-99) and for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-01). Before joining the faculty of UC Berkeley in 2011, Russell was a professor at UCLA School of Law. Russell’s scholarly interests include antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, law and psychology, constitutional law, and media and entertainment law. His publications include an article examining a segregated unit for gay male and male-to-female transgender inmates at Los Angeles County Men’s Jail.
Hector Villagra, JD,
joined the ACLU of Southern California in 2005. Before then, he worked for the Mexican
American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), first as a staff attorney
and then as Regional Counsel. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Hector began
his professional career as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert N. Wilentz, Chief
Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, a
judge on the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Amy Elaine Wakeland
is a political strategist and community activist. She has helped to found two non-profit groups: one that that connects young donors with social justice organizations and another that builds parks in low-income neighborhoods. She is a member of the board of directors of People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), the honorary board of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, and the advisory board of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. Amy chairs the Women for a New Los Angeles Luncheon and the Los Angeles City of Justice Awards Dinner annually. Amy has served as the director of an urban policy project at Occidental College and a strategic planner for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. She is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship and a Truman Scholarship, and has traveled widely with a variety of education, government, and human rights groups.