Judge Albert was born in Norwich, Connecticut and raised in Simsbury. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University and received her J.D. from the Washington College of Law. While in law school, Judge Albert was a student attorney for the Women and the Law Clinic, representing mothers in the abuse and neglect system of D.C. Superior Court. Judge Albert also served as a Dean’s Fellow for a family law professor and worked as a legal intern for the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Child Support Section.
Upon completing law school, Judge Albert returned to the Office of the Corporation Counsel where she served in the Child Support Section, Domestic Violence Unit and the Abuse & Neglect Section. Judge Albert held numerous positions in the office, including Trial Attorney, Termination of Parental Rights Coordinator, Special Assistant to the Deputy, Family Services Division, Interim Chief of the Domestic Violence Section, and ultimately, Chief of the Abuse & Neglect Section.
During Judge Albert’s time at the Office of the Corporation Counsel, she was a member of numerous committees responsible for improving practices in the child abuse and neglect system, including the DC Children’s Advocacy Center Case Review Team and Working Group and the Child Protection Legislation Committee. She was also a member of both the Child and Family Services Agency’s Child Fatality Review Committee and the D.C. Fatality Review Committee. Judge Albert also participated in the D.C. Superior Court Improvement Project Advisory Committee and was the chair of the Mediation Subcommittee. In that capacity, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Child Protection Mediation Pilot Project that has since become a program of the D.C. Superior Court’s Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division.
In 1999 Judge Albert joined the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section as a trial attorney where she prosecuted Internet child pornography and child sex abuse cases on federal lands. Additionally, Judge Albert traveled throughout Eastern Europe to train law enforcement and prosecutors on the U.S. laws and best practices for investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking and sex tourism. While working in the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Judge Albert was awarded an LLM in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from George Washington University Law School in 2000. She became a licensed foster parent in April 2001 and an adoptive parent in April 2003.
In September 2001, Judge Albert became an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. During her tenure, she worked in the Appellate Division, Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, and Community Prosecution and Grand Jury Section.
Christopher Barnhill is an award-winning HIV/AIDS activist and Founder/CEO of POZitive Impact, LLC. At 16 he discovered that he was infected at birth with HIV, which inspired him to dedicate his life to promote the awareness of knowing one’s status. For the past 8 years he has been speaking publicly about being positive and has been featured on numerous media outlets such as NPR, BET's 106 & Park, LOGO, MTV, ABC Nightline, Black Enterprise Magazine, and profiled in the book “Travels of a Gay Nation” by Phil Gambone. His goal is to be the hope for other young HIV-positive people, by demonstrating that you can live a productive life. In addition to his many accomplishments, he also has worked on the Obama Administration’s National HIV Strategy in regards to HIV and Youth and is a licensed youth minister for The Community Church of Washington DC. His academic achievements include attending The Catholic University of America majoring in Social Science.
2012 has been a wonderful year for Christopher as he was the National Spokesmodel for The National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Organization (NBHAAD), featured in the International AIDS Society Documentary "Passing the Torch", and received "The Next Generation Award" from Metro Weekly.
Brandynicole Brooks is a Supervisory Social Worker in the Office of Youth Empowerment at the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). She co-chairs the CFSA LGBTQ Taskforce, which focuses on ensuring that the LGBTQ community within agency and whom the agency has contact with are treated with respect and dignity through education, advocacy and support. Ms. Brooks trains a CEU approved course entitled “Working Effectively with LGBTQ Young People.” She has recently completed a training-of-trainers class for D.C. government trainers representing the Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Mental Health, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, and D.C. Libraries. Currently, Ms. Brooks is the Project Manager for the Agency’s Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care Initiative. She has extensive training in the child welfare field with emphasis on child sexual abuse and working with LGBTQ youth and their families. Ms. Brooks has worked in child welfare for the past 8 years in the areas of Child Protective Services and Out-of-Home care. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S.W. from Hardin-Simmons University and a M.S.W. from The University of Alabama. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia and the state of Alabama.
Diana Bruce, Director of Health and Wellness for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), leads DCPS’s school health office, developing policies, programs, systems and partnerships that enable local schools to provide school health services and support for students. In this capacity, Ms. Bruce initiated the development of DCPS’s efforts to make its school welcoming and inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students, staff and families. She also leads the community engagement process to develop DCPS’s framework and approach to preventing, identifying and responding to bullying.
Prior to joining DCPS, Ms. Bruce was the director of policy and government affairs of AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families in Washington, D.C., and served temporarily as its co-interim executive director. Ms. Bruce’s other past experience includes working as the senior policy analyst for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and assistant director of clinical services for Planned Parenthood of New York City. An alumna of the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, Ms. Bruce also holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. A District resident and DCPS parent, Ms. Bruce serves on the Board of Directors of Choice USA, a national, youth-leadership organization.
Tomar Nocole Brown is a senior attorney within Children’s Law Center’s (CLC) Guardian ad litem project, and serves as CLC’s Training Coordinator. As the Training Coordinator, Ms. Brown supports the Training Director in managing CLC's internal training program and the technical assistance programs provided to private practitioners working in the Abuse and Neglect Branch of D.C. Superior Court's Family Court. She has been an attorney with CLC since 2008. Ms. Brown is also a member of the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) LGBTQ Task Force.
Thomas Coughlin, LPC, NCC, is a Staff Psychotherapist at Whitman-Walker Health (WWH), a community health center in Washington, DC. He is part of the Behavioral Health Department and sees clients for individual and group psychotherapy. He leads a psychotherapy group for persons on the transgender spectrum. Mr. Coughlin also acts as Patient Advocate for Transgender Health at WWH. In this role, he provides initial assessment for persons seeking TG-related medical care at WWH and introduces prospective clients to all the services available at the WWH. Thomas has also provided Cultural Competency and Mental Health-focused workshops on working with the Transgender, Transsexual and Gender-Nonconforming community to outside organizations, businesses and universities.
Tim Curry currently serves as the Managing Attorney at the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), which houses the Equity Project. Mr. Curry works on a variety of juvenile justice issues including conditions of confinement and the treatment of disparate populations in the juvenile system. He also trains attorneys and other system stakeholders around the country on best practices in juvenile defense. Prior to joining NJDC, Mr. Curry was the Supervising Attorney at D.C. Law Students in Court and an E. Barrett Prettyman Post-Graduate Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. In both of those positions, he defended adults and juveniles accused of crimes in the District while also supervising the practice of third-year clinical students who represented clients in D.C. Superior Court. Mr. Curry began his legal career clerking for the Honorable John Ramsey Johnson, Associate Judge of D.C Superior Court. Prior to earning his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2007, Mr. Curry worked with various humanitarian relief organizations in West Africa and as a television and print journalist. He also holds an LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.
Shannon Cuttle has been a national leader, speaker, consultant and expert in the safe schools movement for over 10 years. Shannon is also a writer on education, policy, equity and inclusion. Shannon is currently a consultant to the Government of the District of Columbia, Office of Human Rights, overseeing the first city-wide anti-bullying action plan in the country. Previously, Shannon worked as an educator in both the public and private sector, and in policy and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels. She served as the founder of National Safe Schools Day, Bully Free D.C. and as the Director of the Safe Schools Action Network, a national grassroots organization.
Judge Dayson was born in New York City and was raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She received her
Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Russian /Eastern European Studies from Appalachian State University. Judge Dayson received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1998.
Upon graduation from law school, Judge Dayson practiced criminal law as a solo practitioner, representing clients in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in misdemeanor and felony cases. In 2000, Judge Dayson served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Judge Robert E. Morin in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
After her clerkship, Judge Dayson was a partner in the firm of Wicks & Dayson. There, she represented clients in criminal matters, both in Superior Court and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition, she began her family law practice, representing respondents, parents and caretakers in abuse and neglect cases in the Superior Court. Judge Dayson’s family law practice also included representing litigants in divorce, custody and child support cases, as well as serving as court appointed Guardian Ad Litem in custody cases.
In 2003, Judge Dayson joined the firm of O’Toole, Rothwell, Nassau & Steinbach. There she continued her criminal practice, including representing capital defendants in several federal courts. In addition, she headed the firm’s domestic relations practice, serving clients in the area of separation, divorce, custody and child support. Judge Dayson was part of a team of lawyers who served as outside counsel for several small businesses and non-profit organizations, advising clients in matters related to employment law, corporate compliance, insurance and contract negotiation. In this capacity, Judge Dayson appeared on her clients’ behalf before agencies, courts and in arbitration.
Judge Dayson served on the Domestic Relations and Paternity and Support Subcommittee of the Family Court Implementation Committee, and the Steering Committee of the Family Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar. She volunteered, both for trainings and as a volunteer attorney for the Family Court Self Help Center in the D.C. Superior Court. Judge Dayson is an adjunct professor at the George Washington School of Law, co-teaching a criminal law seminar on the death penalty.
Judge Di Toro holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University, a Master’s Degree from The University of Oxford, and a Masters in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. Following graduation from Stanford Law School, she received an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship to work in the Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic. There she represented low-income residents of the District of Columbia in D.C. Superior Court. She also supervised law students handling misdemeanor cases. After the completion of her Fellowship, Judge Di Toro joined the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia as a staff attorney. In addition to handling misdemeanor and felony cases, Judge Di Toro also worked in the Special Litigation Division where she assisted in preparing impact litigation suits, and for the General Counsel’s office handling ethics and conflicts inquiries.
Judge Di Toro has also been in private practice, as an associate at the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. There, she participated in white-collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and provided direct representation to clients in D.C. Superior Court.
During her fifteen years of practice, Jennifer Di Toro has worked in government, in private practice, and legal services. She joins the Superior Court for the District of Columbia from The District of Columbia’s Children’s Law Center, where she served for seven years as the organization’s Legal Director. At the Children’s Law Center, Judge Di Toro oversaw the work of nearly fifty lawyers engaged in all aspects of litigation involving children and families in the District of Columbia. Judge Di Toro was responsible for hiring, training, and supervising attorneys and supervisors assisting families seeking custody, guardianship, adoption, access to health care and special education services for needy children and families. Together with other members of the Center’s management team, Judge Di Toro established supervision standards, training and litigation protocols, and program expansion and innovation.
Throughout her career Judge Di Toro has been an active member of the legal profession. She has trained law students, attorneys working in legal services and those in private practice through the Washington Council of Lawyers, Georgetown University Law Center, and the Harvard Law School.
Nancy Drane is Children’s Law Center's (CLC) Pro Bono Director. Ms. Drane first joined Children's Law Center as a staff attorney in 2003 and served as its first Training Director from 2006-2012. She has represented children in D.C.'s child welfare system as a guardian ad litem and adult caregivers in adoption, guardianship, custody, and special education proceedings. As the Training Director, Ms. Drane developed CLC's internal training program and technical assistance programs provided to private practitioners practicing in neglect proceedings in D.C. Superior Court's Family Court. In 2009, Ms. Drane was certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the D.C. Bar Family Law Section, and has been its co-chair since 2010. Ms. Drane is also an Adjunct Professor at American University's Washington College of Law. She received a BA from Boston College in 1994 with a dual major in Political Science and Communication. From 1994 to 1998, she worked with the Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC), a volunteer service program in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Drane was an elementary school teacher for two years through ICTC, and then served as the Assistant Director for the program. In 2001, Ms. Drane received a J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she was a Loyola ChildLaw Fellow, and the Managing Editor of the Loyola University Chicago Law Review. While in law school, Ms. Drane externed for the Children's Health and Education Project at the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CLC, Ms. Drane was a law clerk to the Honorable Dominic J. Squatrito of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Aisha Braithwaite Flucker is an Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for the District of Columbia (OAG), Family Services Division, Child Protection Section. For over six years, Ms. Braithwaite Flucker has represented the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) in neglect, guardianship, adoption, and termination of parental rights cases. In 2010 and 2012, OAG acknowledged Ms. Braithwaite Flucker’s dedicated service and awarded her with the Exemplary Service Award. Prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, Ms. Braithwaite Flucker worked in Prince George’s County, Office of Law, as an assistant county attorney in Child In Need of Assistance cases. In 1997, she received a Bachelors of Arts, magna cum laude, from Howard University. From 1997 to 1999, Ms. Braithwaite Flucker worked for Maximus, Inc., a human services consulting firm, where she assisted underserved mothers with finding employment. In 2002, she received a Juris Doctorate from American University’s Washington College of Law where she was a Marshall-Brennan Fellow, line editor for the Gender, Social Policy and the Law Journal, member of the Labor and Employment Law Society, and student attorney in the Civil Practice Clinic. As a Marshall-Brennan Fellow, Ms. Braithwaite Flucker taught constitutional law to high school students in the District of Columbia Public Schools. While in law school, she interned for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office, Appellate Division, and was a summer associate at Venable Law Firm.
Christina Gilbert is the Director of the Equity Project, a collaboration between the National Juvenile Defender Center, Legal Services for Children, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The Equity Project (www.equityproject.org) works to enhance policies and practices related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGI/E) and ensure fair, equitable and dignified treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in the delinquency courts. Prior to her current position, Ms. Gilbert worked with a variety of juvenile justice advocacy organizations on issues such as school discipline, restorative justice, disproportionate minority contact, and youth in the adult criminal justice system. She has also worked with international human rights and anti-discrimination organizations. Ms. Gilbert received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2009, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004.
Leandrea Gilliam joined the Metro TeenAIDS (MTA) staff in July 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Gilliam worked over 6 years as the Care Advocacy Program Manager at the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), identifying and linking previously diagnosed and newly diagnosed HIV positive LGBTQ youth to care and treatment, while also working collaboratively in the community. Ms. Gilliam worked indefatigably to advocate and increase awareness about the urgent needs that LGBTQ youth of color face. She has a strong commitment to actively support the youth community in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.
Ms. Gilliam is a Native Washingtonian and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Gerontology from the University of the District of Columbia. She is currently MTA's Capacity Building Training Manager, where she will apply her expertise to the mission of MTA through CBA trainings, technical assistance, and support to local service providers and staff members of community based organizations that are interested in reshaping and building an infrastructure to offer quality and comprehensive HIV/AIDS services and programs to youth ages 13-24, in the District of Columbia.
Ms. Gilliam has served as a member of the D.C. HIV Prevention Community Planning Group and sits on several committees and youth working groups. She has won several awards for her outstanding service and support in the youth community. In 2009 Ms. Gilliam was awarded The M.O.M.I.E's TLC DC Shero Award Mahatma Gandhi-Power in Empowering Others Award. In 2011, she also received the D.C. Care Award for dedication in the field of HIV/AIDS; in 2012, Making a Difference Award from Lambda PTO, and most recently the 2012 D.C. Black Pride-Wellmore Cook Award with appreciation for her outstanding work in the community.
Ms. Gilliam has won many other awards throughout her public health career. An important aspect of her life is family -- her mom, dad and big sister, and of course her longtime companion and several good friends. Ms. Gilliam enjoys movies, roller skating, and traveling. She also loves to play “go fetch” with her cat Cleo.
Justin Goforth serves as the Director of the Medical Adherence Unit and Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic. Mr. Goforth has been with Whitman-Walker in several roles since June, 2006. In the Medical Adherence Unit, he oversees Whitman-Walker’s nurse case management program, nutrition program, treatment adherence programs, social services, and referrals to health providers outside Whitman-Walker. Gay Men’s Health and Wellness Clinic is the longest running program at Whitman-Walker and provides safer sex/sexual health counseling, STD testing and treatment, and HIV testing to thousands of community members each year.
Mr. Goforth is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience working in HIV prevention and treatment. He dedicates his life to reducing the stigma of HIV by living openly as an HIV-positive gay man.
Phil Hicks has been on the board of Metro DC Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) for the past three years and currently serve as Board Chair. Mr. Hicks works as a Branch Manager with Access National Bank and is active on their Nonprofit Segment Team. This position allows him to work with many fine organizations, including the Northern Virginia Aids Ministry, Capital Pride, and Metro DC PFLAG.
Mr. Hicks and his wife Jo, are the proud parents of two gay sons. He has remained involved in several LGBT organizations in support of them. As time has gone by, Mr. Hicks has learned that he has received more than they for his efforts. His involvement has offered him the opportunity to meet many fine individuals from all walks of life. These associations have formed many friendships. This is a debt that he owes his sons. Mr. Hicks initially was drawn to PFLAG because far too many of the young men and women have a strained relationship with their families. PFLAG is a perfect outlet to offer support.
“Parents” is the first word in PFLAG. He is proud of his sons whom he describes as two of the smartest, kindest, and most loving people he knows, and he doesn’t think he is just bragging. For this reason he continues to fight for the basic human rights that other U. S. citizens enjoy.
Tawara Goode is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has been on the faculty of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), for the past 30 years and has served in many capacities. She has degrees in early childhood, special education, and human development and over 32 years of experience in the field.
Ms. Goode is Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence at GUCCHD. The mission of the NCCC is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems. Ms. Goode is nationally recognized as a thought leader in the area of cultural and linguistic competency.
As Associate Director of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), Ms. Goode is responsible for short-term and ongoing programs for individuals at risk for and with developmental and other disabilities and their families. She has a long history of involvement in the provision of training and technical assistance to Head Start, early intervention, and childcare programs locally, regionally, and nationally. These training and technical assistance activities focused on models and approaches for the early identification and inclusion of children with developmental delays and disabilities within home and community settings.
Ms. Goode has and continues to serve on numerous boards, commissions and advisory groups at the local, regional, and national levels. She has published articles, monographs, policy papers and curricula on such topics as policies and practices that support cultural and linguistic competence, children and families who are homeless, community-based service delivery models and the inclusion of children with disabilities and their families in child care.
Chaz Holman joined Adoptions Together in 2008 and has worked with that organization’s Post Permanency Family Center. In his current role he provides adoption education and programs to parents, caregivers, and, mental health professionals.
Andrea Khoury, J.D., is the Director of the ABA Youth at Risk Bar-Youth Empowerment Project focusing on adolescent’s access to attorneys, children’s right to counsel, and youth involvement in court hearings. She is also an Assistant Director of Child Welfare for the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues. As part of her position she provides technical assistance to states on issues dealing with the Adoption and Safe Families Act, Child and Family Service Reviews, and other child welfare legislation. Among other topics, she provides numerous trainings across the country on adolescent permanency, the role of the child’s representative, involving youth in dependency proceedings, and representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. She managed the writing, editing, and production of the ABA publication, Achieving Permanency for Adolescents in Foster Care: A Guide for Legal Professionals as well as authoring several chapters. She co-authored the ABA publication, Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: A Guide for Lawyers and Judges. She has represented children in abuse and neglect cases for over 10 years.
Robert Kim was appointed Senior Counsel in the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in 2011. At OCR, he serves on a senior leadership team responsible for advising and supporting the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the management of federal civil rights policy and enforcement activities nationwide. Prior to joining the Department, he was a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Education Association, where he focused on federal education policy and human and civil rights issues. He also served as the Director of Outreach and Training at the Respect for All Project and is co-author of the curriculum guide Let’s Get Real: Lessons & Activities to Address Name-Calling and Bullying (© Groundspark 2004). From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Kim was a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, where he engaged in litigation and advocacy pertaining to race, criminal and juvenile justice, gay and lesbian rights, and student rights. Mr. Kim has also served as Assistant to the Counsel at the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, where he focused on juvenile detention policy and administration. He was an education consultant on bullying, harassment and discrimination and a former trainer with the Anti-Defamation League’s World of Difference Institute, and he is a graduate of Williams College and Boston College Law School.
Laurie S. Kohn is the professor and the director of the Family Justice Litigation Clinic at George Washington (GW) University Law School. Before joining the GW Law faculty in 2010, Professor Kohn was the Co-director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised students representing victims of domestic violence, taught the clinic seminar, and litigated domestic violence, family law, and criminal contempt cases.
Professor Kohn's publications include scholarly pieces on domestic violence, family law, evidence, and constitutional law. Professor Kohn has also written several practice documents on representing victims of domestic violence including a practice manual used widely by attorneys entitled “Litigating Civil Protection Order Cases: A Practice Manual (2011.)”
Prior to entering academia, Professor Kohn was an associate at the D.C. law firm of Crowell & Moring where she specialized in medical malpractice and insurance coverage litigation. Before entering private practice, Professor Kohn focused on disability rights, assisting in the legislative phase of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s office, and later in the regulatory drafting and implementation phase of the ADA in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Professor Kohn also worked at the Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, focusing on reproductive rights and disability policy.
Professor Kohn serves as a hearing officer in police misconduct cases for the D.C. Office of Police Complaints. In addition, she is the former chair of the steering committee of the D.C. Bar Family Law Section. At D.C. Superior Court, Professor Kohn is the co-chair of the Domestic Violence Unit Task Force, and a member of the Domestic Violence Unit Rules Committee, and the Family Court Training Committee. She serves on the advisory board of the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers’ Project.
Margaret J. McKinney is a founding partner in Delaney McKinney, L.L.P., whose entire career has been devoted to the practice of family law in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Ms. McKinney's experience representing parents and children in all aspects of family law is broad and deep. Her litigation experience includes numerous complex divorce and child custody cases, at both the trial court and appellate levels. In addition to being a skilled litigator, Ms. McKinney is also an experienced and successful mediator, who is often called on by her colleagues to assist them in resolving intractable disputes.
Jeffrey D. Richardson is the Director of the District of Columbia’s Mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs. He transitioned into this role after serving as the National Program Director for the Center for Progressive Leadership, the President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and a member of the Democratic National Committee as the former Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Democratic Party.
Mr. Richardson is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Howard University School of Social Work. Prior to joining the Center for Progressive Leadership, he was with the D.C. Children’s & Youth Investment Trust Corporation (The Trust) working with non-profit organizations in the District of Columbia to develop and leverage existing public and private partnerships to support the development and implementation of out-of-school time youth programs in the District of Columbia. Before joining the Trust, Richardson was a researcher and program coordinator at Howard University’s D.C.-Baltimore Center on Child Health Disparities, where his work focused on the development and evaluation of youth development strategies targeting the prevention of adolescent risk behavior with a specific focus on adolescent sexuality and service learning.
In addition to his work at Howard University, he has interned as a school social worker within the Special Education division of DCPS, developed and facilitated parenting workshops, taught in residential treatment settings with students with emotional disabilities, and coordinated civic education and lobbying seminars and conferences on Capitol Hill. Jeffrey is an AmeriCorps Alumni and 2010 New Leaders Council Fellow.
Jamie Argento Rodriguez, Esq., is the Juvenile Services Program Coordinator in the Community Defender Division at the Public Defender Service (PDS) for the District of Columbia. The goal of the Juvenile Services Program is to ensure that the children who are detained by and committed to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) are receiving appropriate services and are afforded due process. Prior to her appointment to the Juvenile Services Program in 2008, Ms. Argento Rodriguez served as a Special Education Attorney in the Civil Legal Services Division of the Public Defender Service. As a Special Education Attorney at PDS for more than six (6) years, Ms. Argento Rodriguez predominantly represented juvenile clients involved in the delinquency system in an effort to identify and monitor appropriate special education programs. She worked closely with the criminal defense attorneys to offer judges solutions to issues relating to special education faced by delinquent youth. Ms. Argento Rodriguez conducts trainings for judges and attorneys in local and national audiences on post-adjudication juvenile justice issues and special education law and has been a featured presenter at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Substantive Law Conference, the National Juvenile Defender Center’s Annual Leadership Summit and the Louisiana Judicial College and Louisiana State Bar Association’s Joint Summer School.
Prior to her tenure at the Public Defender Service (PDS), Ms. Rodriguez worked as a special education attorney in the private sector, dedicated to representing inner city, indigent children with disabilities. Ms. Rodriguez earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Law and her bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from George Mason University.
The Honorable Mary Grace Rook was appointed by Chief Judge Rufus G. King, III and installed as Magistrate Judge on August 18, 2006. Magistrate Judge Rook was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the Catholic University of America and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Connecticut, where she specialized in clinical practice. She received her law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Prior to receiving her undergraduate degree, Magistrate Judge Rook spent two years living in the Philippines and worked as the director of a crisis intervention center at Clark Air Force Base.
Upon graduation from law school, Magistrate Judge Rook worked as Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect, and also worked with the Dalton and Dalton Law Firm on special education cases. In 1999, Magistrate Judge Rook took on the role of special education attorney in the civil division for the Public Defender Service, where she assisted the juvenile trial attorneys whose clients had outstanding special education needs. Magistrate Judge Rook was a planner and teacher at the Public Defender Service’s (PDS) first special education training in 2000.
Following her work as a special education attorney, Magistrate Judge Rook served as Coordinator of the Juvenile Services Program for PDS. In this capacity, she was responsible for training and supervising staff attorneys and law clerks that worked with PDS at the Oak Hill Youth Center and the Youth Services Center. Magistrate Judge Rook was part of the truancy workgroup that developed the middle school truancy diversion program.
Maya Rupert is the Policy Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Ms. Rupert joined NCLR in 2010 to advance NCLR’s federal policy and legislative priorities. Her work includes advocacy in many areas including federal legislation and regulations on housing, family policy, health, and employment.
Ms. Rupert has also been a regular contributing writer to a number of media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post, where she frequently addresses the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. She has been recognized by national outlets like Ebony Magazine and The Root for being one of the most influential African-American leaders in the country.
Ms. Rupert received her B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2003, and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2006. In 2007, Ms. Rupert clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining NCLR, she was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office.
Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., ACSW, is a clinical social worker who has worked on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health and mental health for nearly 40 years and is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. Dr. Ryan has an undergraduate degree with a concentration in human sexuality from Hunter College, a master’s degree in clinical social work from Smith College School for Social Work, and a doctorate in public policy with a focus on health policy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has pioneered the development of guidelines for care of LGBT adolescents, including co-authoring the first policy and practice guidelines for LGBT youth in out-of-home care which was published by the Child Welfare League of America to improve services for LGBT youth in child welfare, juvenile justice and transitional living programs. She serves as an expert witness on cases for LGBT youth in out-of-home care, school discrimination, immigration and child abuse cases and is routinely consulted by attorneys, judges, and providers for guidance on these issues. Dr. Ryan founded the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) – the first research, education, intervention and policy project – to help ethnically and religiously diverse families support their LGBT children in 2002. Dr. Ryan and her team are developing an evidence-based family intervention model to strengthen and help families support their LGBT children, to maintain LGBT youth in their homes, to decrease family rejection and health risks and to promote family acceptance and positive outcomes, including permanency. Her work has been recognized by many groups, including the American Psychological Association, Division 44 that gave her the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for groundbreaking research on LGBT youth and families. Her multi-lingual, research-based family education publications were designated as the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention for LGBT people by the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Ryan is collaborating with agencies, organizations, faith communities and providers to develop an international movement of family acceptance to promote wellness and healthy futures for LGBT children, youth and young adults – in the context of family, culture and faith.
Rachel Martell Schuchart, Psy.D., is employed full-time as a Staff Psychologist at the District of Columbia Superior Court Child Guidance Clinic. She was formerly employed at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital (SEH), having graduated from Antioch New England Graduate School. Dr. Schuchart is a certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider in Virginia who is licensed as a psychologist in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Additionally, Dr. Schuchart is an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University, teaching courses in Ethics, Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment, Substance Abuse Treatment and Assessment. The past several years she also served as an affiliate for George Washington University.
Prior to moving to the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Schuchart was licensed as a school psychologist and a clinical psychologist, working in a public school for grades K through 12 and serving as an independent consultant in a juvenile rehabilitation center. She worked with adults who suffered from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as legal involvement. Dr. Schuchart has extensive experience evaluating and treating adult and juvenile sex offenders. She supervises interns/externs, conducts forensic and psychological evaluations, and facilitates cognitive-behavioral/ psychotherapy groups to meet the needs of offenders.
Deborah Temkin, Ph.D., is the Research and Policy Coordinator for Bullying Prevention Initiatives with the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the US Department of Education. In that role, she contributes to all activities in the Department that relate to bullying and bullying prevention including managing the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Working Group, a coalition of nine federal agencies working towards reducing peer to peer bullying in American Schools and chairing the editorial board for StopBullying.gov. She was central in coordinating and executing the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summits held in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March, 2011. In May, 2012 Temkin was named as a finalist for the Service to America Medals for outstanding service by a federal employee under the age of 35. Temkin recently completed her Doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University and also holds a Master of Arts in Education Theory and Policy.
Brian Watson is the former Secretary and President of the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Men and Women, the oldest Black GLBT group in the United States. Mr. Watson presently serves as Director of Programs at Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. in Washington, D.C., where he has been employed for the last 6 years. In September 2008, he started the Wanda Alston House, the 1st and only GLBTQ youth homeless transitional program in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia area. He has worked with various target populations on many topics including religion, sexual minority youth, HIV positive individuals, foster children, recently incarcerated, substance abusers, transgenders and transgender youth. Mr. Watson has been a trainer educating homeless programs, police officers, foster care agencies, and department of corrections on working with GLBT individuals and cultural competency. He has experience working in health education, HIV and HEPC counseling, testing and referral, case management, cancer in African Americans, housing coordination, and conducting formative research. Mr. Watson was appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams and Mayor Adrian Fenty to sit on boards such as the Regional Health Services HIV/AIDS Planning Council, LGBT Executive Advisory Board, and by Mayor Vincent Gray to sit on the Interagency Council on Homelessness. He is also a member of the D.C. HIV Planning Group and Metropolitan D.C. Police Critical Incidents Team. Mr. Watson is frequently called on to travel across the United States to speak on HIV/AIDS in youth, the African American GLBT community, and the black church. Mr. Watson was named a Capital Pride Hero in 2007, and received a Distinguished Service Award from GLAA in 2008 as well as American Red Cross volunteer of the year award. He is an honorary Frederick Douglas Lodge Free Mason and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Lighthouse Christian College in 2012.
Yvonne A. Williams currently serves as Superintendent of the Youth Services Center in the District of Columbia. In this role, Ms. Williams is responsible for providing direct oversight of all programs and services administered at the Youth Services Center including rehabilitative treatment, facility operations and youth programming. Ms. Williams began her career with Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, District of Columbia (DYRS) in 2008. She has served as a Supervisory Social Worker in the Committed Services Administration and has been acting as Deputy Superintendent for Treatment at the Youth Services Center since September 2011. Ms. Williams has served children, youth, and families in the District of Columbia and Maryland as a Clinical Social Worker for 18 years. Her experience includes direct service and management of community and residential programs for public and nonprofit agencies as well as service to military families as a mental health provider. She has worked for, Child and Family Services, Commission on Mental Health, Devereux Foundation and Sterling Medical at Andrews Air Force Base. Ms. Williams earned her Master’s in Social Work from Howard University with a concentration in Mental Health. She completed a residency at Johns Hopkins University in the Sexual Disorders Clinic within the Department of Psychiatry. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Film Directing from Howard University. Before becoming a clinical social worker, Ms. Williams had a career in television production with CBS News, Washington Bureau, and Black Entertainment Television.
Derrick Wilson is a native DC Resident who attended Spingarn Senior High School. He attended North Carolina Central University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. He is a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Mr. Wilson has worked for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) since 2007. He serves in the capacity of a Case Manager for committed youths ages 18 to 21. Mr. Wilson’s mission is to help the youth become independent, self-sufficient, and productive adults as they transition out of DYRS. With over 20 years of experience in Positive Youth Development, Mr. Wilson has also served in the following capacities during his tenure at Covenant House Washington: Residential Advisor, Intake Coordinator, Service Manager, Self-Sufficiency Coordinator, and Assistant Program Director for Teen Life Choices Afterschool Program. Mr. Wilson has had the honor to participate in Positive Youth Development Training, DYRS Leadership Academy, HIV and Aids Training and serves as the DYRS Liaison for the LGBTQ population.
Ruth Zitner, Psy.D., has had a private psychology practice in Washington, D.C. since December 1999. Her practice consists of individual, conjoint and family therapy with children, adolescents and adults, with a special interest in parenting, parent coordination, reunification, divorce, and life transitions. She has significant expertise in attachment and bonding, child development, parent‐child relationships, trauma and parental fitness, and a special interest in anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as personality disorders.
Dr. Zitner provides clinical evaluations and specialist treatment in trauma and sexual abuse for children, adolescents and adults involved in the abuse and neglect system in Washington, D.C. She has served as an expert in both D.C. and Maryland Courts on the issues of child development, attachment, trauma, neglect and abuse, divorce, and parenting of children and adolescents.
After receiving her Psy.D. in June 1993 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Zitner did her post‐doctoral training at the Wright Institute in Beverly Hills, CA. During her years in California, Dr. Zitner worked as a staff or consulting psychologist in a variety of organizations, including Childhelp USA, The United American Indian Initiative, The Downtown Women’s Center, and the United States Federal Public Defender’s Office, in Los Angeles, CA. She also worked for Catholic Charities Mother/Child Residence in Hollywood and Herbody in Beverly Hills, while maintaining a private practice in Beverly Hills. For three years, Dr. Zitner worked as a psychologist with the John’s Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in Baltimore, MD.