Our Board

ACLU-DE Board Leadership

Kathryn M. Jakabcin, President ACLU-DE

Kathryn works with Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP in administration. She was a social worker with the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging, spent fifteen years in private law practice in Pennsylvania and Florida, and was General Counsel to Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia, PA. Kathryn regularly engages in adult legal and civic education and is an avid arts advocate.

Amy Simmerman, Vice President ACLU-DE

Amy is Of Counsel in the Wilmington office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Her practice focuses on providing advice on Delaware corporate law. Amy was previously corporate counsel at a global software company, where she focused on corporate law issues and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to that, she practiced for several years in the Delaware corporate law counseling group at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.

 

Desmond Baker, Equity and Inclusion Officer

DesmondBakerA native of Kingston, Jamaica, Desmond is the founder and principal of Desmond A Baker & Associates, LLC, a Wilmington-based engineering consulting firm. Desmond serves on the Delaware State Higher Education Commission and the state Workforce Investment Council. He is Vice Chair of the City of Wilmington Planning Commission and the Riverfront Development Corporation, a member of the board of Christina Cultural Arts Center, and is a past president of the Minority Business Association of Delaware.

Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, President ACLU-DE Foundation

Tizzy serves as a graduate assistant at UD’s Center for Community Research and Service. She volunteers extensively in urban revitalization efforts, the arts, and in particular as a community engagement leader in the public schools. Over the past fifteen years, she has worked in development and production for media companies including Nickelodeon, Lionsgate and HBO. Tizzy currently produces for Delaware production company Teleduction and consults with its nonprofit sister company, Serviam Media, managing outreach programs through its Hearts & Minds Film Initiative.

 Patricia S. Downing, Treasurer

Patty currently serves as rector of Trinity Parish in Wilmington. She previously spent 14 years with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Patty has advocated for many social justice issues, and performed Delaware’s first same-sex civil union ceremony in January of 2012.

 

Peggy E. Strine, National Board Representative

Peggy was previously Senior VP of Public Affairs & Community Relations for Citizens Bank. Since retiring, she has continued to be strongly involved within the community. Peggy is an executive board member for Downtown Visions and a board member for The Partnership, Inc., an affiliate of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. She was named Chair of the Riverfront Development Corporation’s board of directors by former Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2006, and President of the First State Community Action Agency’s board in 2010.

 

ACLU-DE Board Members

Charito Calvachi-Mateyko

Calvachi-MateykoCharito has spent her professional career studying, mastering and implementing established methods to promote peace and justice within society. She is a restorative justice practitioner and a passionate promoter of racial justice and the Latino culture. She has had rich and diverse experiences such as being a radio show host, an author, a storyteller and a teacher. Using her passion for her work and her ability to forge strong inter-personal connections, Charito has helped heal the wounds of crime, build communities and broaden cultural awareness.

Katherine “Kate” Sroog Cowperthwait

A Delaware native, Kate served as president of the Delaware Chapter of the National MS Society from 1990 until her retirement in 2014. The first half of her working career was in Journalism, Marketing and Advertising in North Carolina, Colorado and Philadelphia. Kate is an engaged and devoted community leader, with memberships in both the Wilmington Rotary Club and the Junior League of Wilmington, where she served as president from 2003-2004.

Helen K. Foss

Helen has had a career ranging from classroom teaching, to leading a non-profit human relations organization, to providing leadership in education reform from the Delaware Governor’s office. After serving as Governor Mike Castle’s Education Advisor for six years, Helen helped forge the state’s standards based reform and continued her reform-related work as Senior Associate for Program Development at the Delaware Education Research and Development Center at the University of Delaware until her retirement in 2000.  Helen remains active in a number of organizations, including WHYY’s Community Advisory Board, Christiana Care’s Board of Trustees, and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League’s Education Advisory Committee.

Alan E. Garfield

Alan has been a professor on Widener University’s Delaware campus since 1986, where he was awarded the 2004 Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2006 Douglas E. Ray Excellence in Faculty Scholarship Award. He is licensed to practice in California and New York. Alan writes and teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Copyright and Contracts. His column on the Supreme Court, Bench Press, appears monthly the Opinion section of The News Journal. Alan has served on the Board of Directors of the Delaware ACLU since 2006.

Laina Herbert

Herbert_websiteLaina is an associate attorney at Grant & Eisenhofer, focusing her practice on corporate litigation. She has devoted her life to improving the lives of others, and will work to defend the freedoms that all expect and cherish as citizens of the United States.

 

Karen Jacobs

KarenJacobsKaren is Practice Group Coordinator of the Intellectual Property Litigation Group at Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell. She is an avid advocate of legal representation for the poor and a board member and past president of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services. She recently served as chair of the Combined Campaign for Justice, which benefits the three legal aid agencies in Delaware that serve low-income populations. Karen served for eight years as a member of the Delaware State Bar Association’s Committee for the Provision of Legal Services to Low Income People.

Charles Madden

Charles is executive director of the Wilmington HOPE Commission, a nonprofit focused on community development and reducing violence in the city. Among his accomplishments in that role are the successful advocacy for state adoption of a reentry plan and oversight of the construction of “Center of Hope,” a one-stop reentry center leveraging resources for employment, mental/physical health, etc. Charles is a Leadership Delaware graduate and an Advisory Committee member for United Way’s Strong Neighborhoods program.

George Meldrum

George is the Senior Advisor for Governmental and Community Affairs and a registered lobbyist for the Nemours Foundation. He serves on Equality Delaware’s Advisory Council, and received formal tributes from both state legislative chambers in 2010 for his work on children’s issues and human services.

 

Judy Mellen

MellenJudy is the former executive director of the Delaware American Civil Liberties Union, where she served for 15 years.  She received the Delaware Bar Association Liberty Bell Award for her work improving state policy towards juvenile offenders and educating homeless children, and is also on the Board of Governors at Common Cause Delaware.

 

Norman M. Monhait

Norm is a member of Rosenthal Monhait & Goddess, P.A.  His professional work includes membership on, and currently serving as Chair of, the Council of the Corporation Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association.  He has also served as appointed defense counsel in criminal cases in United States District Court, and as guardian ad litem for children in dependency and neglect proceedings in Delaware Family Court, and as counsel in a number of civil rights litigations. Before locating to Wilmington, Norm was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Tom O’Brien

OBrien_websiteTom is the Managing Director of Strategic Merchant Relationships for JPMorgan Chase in Wilmington. He comes with extensive nonprofit volunteer experience. In his more than 15 years with the MS Society, he held many positions, including head of the national volunteer leadership council.

 

Yasser A. Payne

PayneDr. Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware. Dr. Payne completed his doctoral work at the Graduate Center-City University of New York where he was trained as a social-personality psychologist. Also, Dr. Payne completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH-NIDA) whereby he worked on a reentry and intervention based research project in New York City’s largest jail, Rikers Island—a project designed to reduce recidivism, drug use and other risky behavior leading to HIV/AIDS.

Mark Purpura

Purpura_websiteMark Purpura is a Director with the Richards Layton & Finger law firm focusing on banking, corporate and personal trust matters. Mark was recently honored by the Delaware State Bar Association’s LGBT Section for his exceptional commitment to improving legal services for the LGBT community.

 

Rabbi Yair Robinson

Robinson_websiteRabbi Robinson is the spiritual leader and senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Emeth, where he has served since 2009. He has also served on the board of the Philadelphia Anti-Defamation League, advocated for marriage equality and death penalty repeal, and worked on projects that alleviate hunger and homelessness.

 

Lawrence Stomberg

Larry is Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Delaware and cellist of the acclaimed Serafin String Quartet, for which he performs throughout the United States and abroad. His debut recording, The American Cello, was released in 2000, and he was a featured performer in two critically acclaimed CDs released in 2013. He has also recorded for the VAI and Centaur labels. Larry has served as Assistant Principal Cellist in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and as a member of the Tulsa Philharmonic and Eastern Philharmonic Orchestras. Larry plays a School of Testore cello, circa 1727, obtained with the generous assistance of Dr. William Stegeman.

Dr. S. Todd Townsend, Sr.

Townsend_websiteDr. Townsend is the senior pastor at The Resurrection Center in Wilmington and Middletown. He has over three decades of experience as a preacher, teacher, lecturer, conference speaker, and a cross-denominational ministry consultant.

 

 

Dan Young

DanYoungDr. Dan Young is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Wilmington University. He is the past CEO of Trustees of Color, a nonprofit created to improve diversity and inclusion on not-for-profit boards of directors. Dr. Young has a long background in entrepreneurship, from being one of the first adjunct professors at the Horn Program for Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware to being the founder or co-owner of several Delaware startups, including Civitas Partners, Young Consulting Group, and eNymbus.