Scott Harshbarger

Chairman & Co-Founder

Former National President of Common Cause and two-term Attorney General of Massachusetts

Scott has had a long and successful career as a public defender, civil rights attorney, Middlesex District Attorney and Massachusetts Attorney General. While Attorney General, Scott was elected President of the National Association of Attorneys General. He was recognized for being one of the first Attorney Generals to sue the tobacco manufacturers on behalf of children and public health, and for his pioneering use of Chapter 93A to promulgate handgun safety regulations. From 1999-2002, Scott served as President of Common Cause, the national government and corporate watchdog group.

Today, Scott serves as Senior Counsel at Casner & Edwards and continues to be involved in public policy reform. He has previously served as the head of Governor Romney’s Commission on Corrections Reform (2003-2005) and as a member of the SJC Court Management Advisory Board (CMAB). He was also chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Pension Reform, vice-chair of the Ethics Resource Center, and chair of the Advisory Board of the Rappaport Center for Lawand Public Policy at Boston College Law School, among other distinguished positions. Scott has authored numerous articles on corporate and nonprofit governance and routinely appears on television as a commentator and news analyst.


Gershon M. (Gary) Ratner


Founder & Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools (active 1998 – 2020); Co-Founder, D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice; Former Associate General Counsel for Litigation, U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and Deputy Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare

Gary’s career has been as a cutting-edge social justice law reform lawyer, advocate, author, and founder of advocacy organizations, and as a federal senior executive.

Before founding Citizens for Effective Schools, a national advocacy organization for school improvement, he was the Associate General Counsel for Litigation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Deputy Executive Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Gary served as General Counsel and Director of Litigation at the National Veterans Legal Services Program and as Associate Director for Litigation of Greater Boston Legal Services. He was the lead founder of the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and co-founded the Boston Bar Association’s Environment Committee.

Gary has published extensively. His article, "Why the No Child Left Behind Act Needs To be Restructured To Accomplish Its Goals and How To Do It" was featured in the University of the District of Columbia Law Review. His law review article, "A New Legal Duty for Urban Public Schools: Effective Education in Basic Skills," was featured in the New York Times, published in the Texas Law Review and has been widely recognized for its call to hold urban public schools legally accountable for effectively educating all students. His article “Inter-Neighborhood Denials of Equal Protection in the Provision of Municipal Services,” published by the Harvard Civil Rights–Civil Liberties Law Review, is considered the seminal law review article on environmental justice. He has previously been a contributor to Huff Post.

Among the honors he has received is the Presidential Rank Award recognizing development of “one of [the] finest law offices in the [federal] Government.” His work in Boston earned him recognition in a Boston Globe editorial, which described Gary as “one of Boston’s prized lawyers [who] had more impact on city and state government … over the past decade [than all but a] few people in or out of the legal community.”

Gary was a Graduate Research Student” at the London School of Economics, and is a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School.


Lauren Stiller Rikleen

Executive Director

President, Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership

As President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, Lauren consults, speaks, trains, and provides expert witness services on such workplace culture topics as developing a diverse, respectful, and inclusive workplace culture, minimizing the impacts of unconscious bias, and strengthening multi-generational relationships.

Lauren is the author of 4 books, including The Shield of Silence: How Power Perpetuates a Culture of Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace.

As a former law firm equity partner, Lauren managed a diverse environmental law practice and was recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and in Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Her numerous leadership roles within the American Bar Association, include membership of the Board of Governors and the ABA’s Journal Board of Editors. She currently is Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus and member of the Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight. She is a former president of the Boston Bar Association and a former trustee of Clark University.

The recipient of many awards, Lauren received the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, and was named by Public Media’s Next Avenue as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Aging. More information can be found at www.RikleenInstitute.com.


Martha W. Barnett

Former Partner, Holland & Knight, LLP

Ms. Barnett was a partner in the law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP for over four decades, serving as the chair of the Public Law Section and of the firm’s Directors Committee. She has extensive associations in the Bar, including serving as the chair of the American Bar Association House of Delegates – the first woman to hold this position, as president of the American Bar Association in 2000-2001, as the president of the American Bar Endowment, and the American Law Institute.

Ms. Barnett has served on several constitutional commissions in Florida. She was the chair of the Florida Commission on Ethics, a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, and Florida Taxation & Budget Reform Commissions. She received the Medal of Honor from the Florida Bar Foundation.

Ms. Barnett is a graduate of Tulane University (B.A. American Studies cum laude) and the University of Florida College of Law (J.D. cum laude). She is an Emeritus Member of the Tulane University Board of Administrators, and in 2001 was honored with its Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2006 Ms. Barnett received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Florida.

Now retired from the active practice of law, Ms. Barnett lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband Rick, an architect. She continues to be involved in her community and in the legal profession, and delights in spending time with her children and grandchildren.


Evan Falchuk

Healthcare and political entrepreneur

Evan Falchuk is an accomplished healthcare and political entrepreneur and attorney, whose passion is causing trouble - for good causes. In 2013, Evan founded the United Independent Party and in 2014 was its candidate for Massachusetts Governor. In 2015, he led the effort for a statewide ballot initiative to prevent the use of taxpayer money on the proposed Boston 2024 Olympic Games. In 2020, he was the Chair of the Board of “Yes on 2,” the statewide ballot campaign to improve our democracy by implementing ranked choice voting in Massachusetts.

From 1999-2013, Evan was the Vice-Chairman and President of Best Doctors, Inc., the pioneers of the expert medical opinion industry. Under his leadership, the company grew from a startup to more than $100 million in revenue. From 1994-1999, Falchuk was an attorney in Washington D.C. at Fried, Frank. Since 2016, Evan has been the CEO of VillagePlan, a fast-growing company that delivers expert help for families facing the challenges of caregiving. Evan also serves an advisor to startups and academic institutions.


Nicholas Fels

Retired partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Raised in New York City, Nick graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa), the University of California, Berkeley as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and finally from Harvard Law School in 1968. After serving as clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Nick worked as a legal-aid lawyer in Alhambra, California. He joined Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. as an associate in 1970 and became a partner in 1976.

Nick’s practice at Covington focused primarily on federal and state regulation of public utilities. He also worked pro bono on immigration cases, and served on the boards of several non-profits, including the DC Appleseed Center, the Bishop John T. Walker School, the DC Education Compact, and Citizens for Effective Schools.

Since retiring in 2007, Nick has worked on climate change issues with various environmental groups and as a senior fellow at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.


Douglas Hauer

Law firm partner

Douglas Hauer is a partner with a large law firm in Boston, where he focuses his practice on complex immigration law matters, as well as corporate law. For several years, Doug has taught professional responsibility as adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Law. With a strong commitment for human rights advocacy, Doug has traveled to countries such as Armenia, Pakistan, and recently Ukraine, to assist the most vulnerable people in conflict zones who are impacted by war and border closures. Doug graduated from Boston University School of Law (2001) and Ohio State University (1993).


Myles Lynk

Emeritus Professor, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State Universtiy

Myles V. Lynk, is a former President of the District of Columbia Bar, was a partner in the law firm of Dewey Ballantine LLP, and served from 2019 through 2022 as the Senior Assistant Disciplinary Counsel in charge of appellate litigation in the District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Myles is an emeritus professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University (“ASU”), having previously served as the Peter Kiewit Foundation Professor of Law and the Legal Profession at ASU, specializing in legal ethics and civil procedure. Myles served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff in the Carter Administration and was subsequently appointed by then Chief Justice of the United States Willaim Rehnquist to two terms on the Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In the American Bar Association, Myles chaired the Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the Standing Committee on Professional Regulation, and the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law. Myles has lectured widely on legal ethics, including to the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States Naval Justice School, the National Organization of Bar Counsel, the International Conference of Legal Regulators, and the National Association of Attorneys General. Myles is a member of the American Law Institute (“ALI”) and served on the ALI’s governing Council.


Thomas Mela

Retired Managing Attorney, Massachusetts Advocates for Children

Tom has lived in Massachusetts since 1961 when he arrived from New York City to attend college and then law school. Today, he and his wife reside on the North Shore. His children and grandchildren live elsewhere in Massachusetts.

For nine years, Tom served as Managing Attorney of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children. He retired in 2015, but continues to volunteer on issues of school discipline and special education. Previously, he worked at the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, enforcing Section 504, Title VI, and Title IX.

Earlier, Tom worked at the state agency, Massachusetts Office for Children, the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, and the Boston University Legal Aid Program. He commenced his legal career at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, where he specialized in employment discrimination litigation.

A graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Law School, Tom has taught education law at Boston College Law School and at Tufts University.


John T. Montgomery

Former Managing Partner, Ropes & Gray

John Montgomery is a retired partner and former managing partner of Ropes & Gray. Prior to joining the firm in 1982, John served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He left the firm in 1990 to serve as First Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts and returned to Ropes & Gray in 1992.

John’s litigation practice has included a variety of complex matters, and he has tried cases and argued appeals in Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. His experience includes two successful arguments in the United States Supreme Court. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and an Emeritus Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

He retired as a partner in 2013, but he continues to be active in pro bono and other public interest matters, including with Lawyers Defending American Democracy. John twice has been named a Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, most recently in 2016 for his work in litigation against Backpage.com involving online sex trafficking of children. In the last several years, he has appeared in two films: I Am Jane Doe, a documentary concerning the early stages of the litigation against Backpage.com (available on Netflix) and Day Job: the Movie, a “mockumentary” spoof on the musical sideline of a friend and Ropes & Gray partner (available on Amazon.


Cheryl Niro

Past President, Illinois State Bar Association; Former Partner, Quinlan & Carroll, Ltd.

Cheryl Niro is a skilled strategic advisor with expertise in negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution, and organizational planning. For many years, she served as the Senior Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director of the American Bar Association. In this role, Cheryl worked with the Executive Director and the ABA’s senior staff to facilitate long and short-term strategic planning and decision-making for the future of the association. She is also a past member of its Board of Governors.

Cheryl was the second woman President of the Illinois State Bar Association, started the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and has been a practicing attorney across many fields of law. She has been a sole practitioner, practiced in a large firm, served as council for the government, worked for not-for-profit organizations and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northern Illinois University's College of Law, and Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers (PIL).


Peggy A. Quince

Retired Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court

Peggy A. Quince was the 79th Justice of the Florida Supreme Court; she served on that court from 1999 to 2019. From 2008 to 2010 she served as the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, the first African American female to lead a branch of Florida government.As chief justice, she concentrated her time and energy on steering the Florida Court System through the Great Recession, on matters concerning the funding of the Florida Court System, on the mortgage foreclosure crisis, on diversity, on children aging out of foster care, and on issues involving human trafficking.

Since her retirement in January 2019, Justice Quince has tried to travel the world and serve her community. She presently serves on several boards and commissions that have a direct impact on the administration of justice, organizations such as the Florida Bar Foundation, which awards grants to legal services organizations representing the underserved in our communities. Her numerous awards and honors include the National Bar Association Judicial Council’s William H. Hastie Award, the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Government Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar.


Estelle H. Rogers

Retired Voting Rights Attorney

Until her retirement in 2015, Estelle H. Rogers was the Legislative Director of Project Vote, a national nonpartisan organization promoting civic engagement, improved election administration, and voting rights. Her work on voting issues began in the summer of 2004, when she was counsel to a nationwide voter registration drive encouraging poor and minority communities to participate in the 2004 election.

From August 2003, through July 2004, Estelle was the Advocacy Legal Specialist in Moscow, Russia, on behalf of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative, directing a program to train Russian lawyers in public interest law. Before her time in Moscow, she held executive positions at several progressive advocacy organizations in Washington, DC.

Rogers served in the policy-making House of Delegates of the ABA for 27 years. She recently chaired the ABA’s Standing Committee on Election Law and has chaired the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs and the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law. She also co-chairs the Women’s Caucus.

Estelle has written and spoken extensively, particularly on voting rights, bioethics, and reproductive freedom, including numerous media interviews and presentations to conferences, law schools, universities, and legislative bodies.

In retirement, Rogers has relocated to Sonoma County, CA. She serves on the Boards of Directors of her local food bank, her county museum, and the political arm of Planned Parenthood in Northern California. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland Law School, she is the mother of two grown daughters.


R. Kelly Sheridan

Past President, Rhode Island Bar Association

Kelly is a retired Partner at Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein & Peirce where he focused on representing national, regional and local entities in a wide range of state and federal licensing, permitting and regulatory proceedings including insurers, health maintenance organizations and financial institutions. He also has substantial litigation experience with over three dozen jury trials in state and federal courts, including commercial disputes and the defense of professional liability claims.

Public sector work includes representation of the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy, the Rhode Island Judiciary, the State of Rhode Island in commercial litigation and the Rhode Island Board of Bar Examiners in appellate litigation and related proceedings. He also represented numerous municipalities, Mayors and City Councils in various legal proceedings, including separation of powers disputes, labor and pension matters and constitutional challenges.

Kelly also served as a registered Rhode Island lobbyist for national and local businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations on multiple legislative issues, including personal and corporate income tax legislation, health care regulation, tort reform, insurance regulation and general business issues.

In addition to serving as President of the Rhode Island Bar Association, Kelly also served the state and federal judiciary on numerous panels including the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, the Rhode Island Supreme Court Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, the Disciplinary Board of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the First Circuit Race, Gender and Ethnic Bias Task Force.


Gary J. Simson

Law Professor

After clerking for a federal appellate judge in the year after law school, Gary joined the University of Texas law faculty, and he has remained in legal academia ever since. He taught for many years at Cornell Law School, spent several years apiece at Texas and Case Western Reserve, and has been on the Mercer law faculty since 2010. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

Gary has taught various courses and seminars in Constitutional Law, as well as the basic courses in Statutory Interpretation and Conflict of Laws. While at Cornell, he co-founded and co-taught the first law school clinic anywhere specializing in freedom of religion cases. His constitutional law scholarship over the years has addressed such controversial subjects as school vouchers, same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appointment process, social media, abortion, and single-sex schools.

In addition to teaching and writing, Gary has served for a number of years in law school leadership positions – Associate Dean at Cornell, and Dean at Mercer and Case Western Reserve. At Mercer he also served for several years as Senior University Vice Provost for Faculty Scholarship. In recent years, he has been a member of the Boards of two national nonprofits – Strategies for Youth, which seeks to improve police-youth relations, and the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice, which focuses on the economic challenges faced by survivors of domestic violence.


Walter H. White, Jr.

Vice President, Legal Compliance & Sustainability Belfika Holdings (PTY) Limited South Africa

Walter H. White, Jr is the vice president of legal compliance and sustainability of Belfika Holdings (PTY) Limited - a mining and commodities trading company in South Africa. Belfika develops sustainable natural resources and seeks to beneficiate them locally before exporting them into the global markets. In the late 1980’s Walter served as Commissioner of Securities for the State of Wisconsin. In that capacity he acted as an advisor to central banks, and financial regulatory agencies in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia on market, economic development and regulatory issues.

In the 1990’s he served on the Dean's Advisory Board on Finance and International Business at the University of Wisconsin, Graduate School of Business. Walter was appointed to the board of the Central Asian American Enterprise Fund by President Clinton and served as its chair. He has served as a non-executive director on the board of the Church Mutual Insurance Company from 1992 until 2018.

In 2018, Walter retired as a partner in the London office of McGuireWoods where he was the head of the firm’s emerging markets transactions practice.

In the North American Securities Administrators Association, Walter served as chair of the International Corporation Finance Committee; vice-chair of the Corporate Finance Section and on the SEC Task Force on the Canadian Multijurisdictional Disclosure System.

In the American Bar Association he has served on the Board of Governors, chaired the Center on Human Rights, the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and the Young Lawyers Division. He has published books and articles on multinational business activity and lectured in North America, Europe, Central Asia and Africa.

In the UK he has served on the Financial Markets Law Committee, Steering Committee advising the G20 on “Implementing G20 Commitments Consistently."

While earning his law degree from Berkeley Law, Walter was a judicial extern for the Honorable Robert F. Peckham of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Upon graduation from Amherst College, he was named a John Woodruff Simpson Fellow. He also studied at the Leningrad Pedagogical Institute, in (then) Leningrad USSR.

Walter has been admitted to practice in Wisconsin, Washington D.C. and the Qatar International Court; and has previously been registered as a foreign lawyer both in England and Wales and in the Russian Federation.


Lucien Wulsin

Founder and retired Executive Director, Insure the Uninsured Project

Lucien Wulsin is the founder and retired Executive Director of Insure the Uninsured Project, a non-profit advocating for affordable coverage for all Californians (www.itup.org). He is the author of California at the Crossroads: Choices for Health Care Reform, a study on California’s options to redesign its health care system. He blogs at www.luciensbolg.com.

Lucien previously served as chief consultant to the Committee on MediCal Oversight of the California Assembly, where he worked closely with Assemblyman Burt Margolin on reforms in health coverage. Lucien worked as the lead Medicaid attorney and interim Director at the National Health Law Program, as a senior attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services, as a staff attorney with Boston Legal Assistance Project, and as a clinical associate at Harvard Law School.

Mr. Wulsin is a retired member of the bar in California and Massachusetts, attended the University of Virginia Law School, Trinity College, Ecole des Sciences Politiques and St George’s School. He has served on the boards of the LA Voice Pico, Los Angeles Health and Hospitals Commission, Center for Health Care Rights, Saint Joseph’s Center in Venice CA and Vision y Compromiso.

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