Justice and Civil Rights Team Lead


Tom Perez is as a member of the Obama Transition Project’s Agency Review Working Group responsible for overseeing review of the justice and civil rights agencies.

Department of Justice Review Team Leads

Dawn Johnsen is Professor of Law, Indiana University—Bloomington, teaching constitutional law. She served as Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel (1997-97), and as Deputy AAG (1993-1996). Prior to that she was Legal Director for NARAL (1988-1993). She also served as a law clerk to Judge Richard Cudahy, Court of Appeals for 7th Circuit.

Alejandro Mayorkas is a partner at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. He represents corporations and businesses in government enforcement and civil cases throughout the country. He served as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California from 1998-2001.

David William Ogden is co-chair of WilmerHale’s Government and Regulatory Litigation Group specializing in high-stakes litigation and advice involving governmental entities and regulatory programs, including international legal issues. He served as Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Civil Division (1999-2001), Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno (1997-999), Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense (1994-95) and Associate Deputy Attorney General (1995-97). He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1982-83) and Abraham D. Sofaer (D.C.N.Y. 1981-82).

Tom Perelli is Managing Partner of the D.C. office of Jenner & Block and a member of the Firm's Management Committee. Prior to returning to Jenner in 2001, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division from 1999-2001 with responsibility over the Federal Programs Branch and partial responsibility for the Tobacco Litigation Team; from 1997-99, he served as Counsel to the Attorney General.

Theodore M. Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University School of Law. He is also Of Counsel to Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. Prior to joining Columbia, he was an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He served as Assistant Counsel and Director of the Education Docket, Western Regional Director, Associate Director-Counsel, and Director-Counsel and President. Mr. Shaw started his legal career as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1979-1982).

Commission on Civil Rights Review Team Leads

Aderson Bellegarde Francois is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the civil rights clinic at Howard University School of Law. Prior to joining Howard, Professor Francois was the Associate Director of the Lawyering Program at New York University School of law. He also clerked for the late A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and was a special assistant at the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Judge Cruz Reynoso was the first Latino to serve on the California Supreme Court. Before joining the Court he was deputy director of the California Fair Employment Practices Commission, and director of the California Rural Legal Assistance. Upon leaving the Court, he joined the faculty of UCLA School of Law and served as vice-chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Judge Reynoso is presently a Professor Emeritus at UC Davis School of Law.

Election Assistance Commission Review Team Lead

Spencer Overton is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University, and he specializes in the law of democracy. Professor Overton's academic articles have appeared in several leading law journals, and his book "Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression" was published by W.W. Norton in 2006. He has also served as a member of the Jimmy Carter-James Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, the Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling, and the Election Assistance Commission's Board of Advisors. Prior to entering the academy, he practiced law at Debevoise and Plimpton, and clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Federal Election Commission Review Team Lead

Robert Lenhard served as Chairman of the Federal Election Commission in 2007 and Vice Chairman of the agency in 2006. He is currently a member of Covington & Burling’s Election & Political Law Practice group in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the FEC, he served as Associate General Counsel for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, providing legal advice on the political process at the federal, state and local levels.

Legal Services Corporation Review Team Lead

Alan W. Houseman is Executive Director of the Center for Law and Social Policy and has held that position since he joined CLASP in 1982. He has long been a leader of the national efforts to preserve and strengthen the federal legal services program. He has also been involved in a variety of capacities with the American Bar Association. Mr. Houseman has been an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and has previously taught at Wayne State University Law School.

LaVeeda Battle has practiced law for 30 years. She served in a sub-cabinet level appointment by former Governor George Wallace as Director and General Counsel of the Staff responsible for advocating for consumers in gas, electric and telephone rate cases before the Alabama Public Service Commission. She was one of the first administrative judges in the Birmingham office of EEOC. Ms. Battle was managing attorney of the Bessemer office of Birmingham Area Legal Services. Ms. Battle served in the Clinton administration on the Board of Directors of Legal Services Corporation for ten years.

National Council on Disability/Access Board Review Team Lead

Kareem Dale is Managing Partner of The Dale Law Group and Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Prior to founding The Dale Law Group, Mr. Dale spent eight years in the litigation department of the country’s most prestigious law firms, where his practice focused on products liability, personal injury, mass tort litigation, contract disputes and other general commercial litigation.

Marilyn Golden is a Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), our nation's foremost national law and policy center on disability civil rights, with offices in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. She has been closely involved with the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout all the stages of its proposal and passage and now during its implementation. A highly lauded ADA trainer, she has directed and led numerous in-depth programs on the ADA which have given thousands of people comprehensive knowledge on how to make this law a reality. She is the principal author of the DREDF publication The ADA, an Implementation Guide (the "Bluebook"), DREDF's highly-respected ADA curriculum.


Helen Norton is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law. Earlier she served as a visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, and as the E. George Rudolph Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Before entering academia, she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Director of Legal and Public Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families.

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