The Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) is a non-partisan and non-profit 501(c)(4) organization that engages in advocacy aimed at influencing U.S. government policy on domestic and international issues, including civil rights and liberties, criminal justice reform, immigration, multilateralism, development assistance, health policy and promotion of human rights, transparency and accountability.


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Stephen Rickard

Executive Director

Stephen Rickard is the executive director of the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and a member of the Board of Directors. Under his direction, OSPC engages in policy advocacy on U.S. and international issues, including promotion of human rights and support for open societies abroad.

Rickard has a distinguished career as a Washington advocate for human rights. Before joining OSPC, Rickard served as the director of the Nuremberg Legacy Project, working to promote U.S. support for international justice. Rickard was also the director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights (2000-2001) and the Washington director for Amnesty International USA (1996-2000).

Rickard spent many years working for the U.S. government. He was the senior advisor for South Asian Affairs at the State Department where he focused on economic and global issues including human rights. He also served as senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During his time on Capitol Hill, he helped secure Senate approval for numerous treaties on international human rights and labor rights.

In the 1980s, Rickard worked as a litigator with the law firm, White & Case in New York, Washington, and Stockholm. At the firm, he specialized in international arbitration. He helped manage the firm’s pro bono legal aid program and served as secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Assistance.

Rickard received his JD from Yale Law School where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. He holds a MA in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He graduated summa cum laude from Adrian College with a BA in Political Science and English.

Asia Johnson

Executive Assistant

Asia Johnson is the assistant to the executive director of the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and serves as the secretary of the board.

Prior to joining OSPC, Johnson served as a Washington, D.C.-based contract translator providing linguistic services to the government and private sector.  She also taught in language schools in New York and Chicago.  In addition, Johnson worked at CBS Broadcast International, a foreign syndication arm of the network.

She received a MA in American Literature and Applied Linguistics from Warsaw University, Poland.

Lynthia Gibson-Price

Director of Administration

Lynthia Gibson-Price is the director of administration for the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and serves as the treasurer of the board. Gibson-Price oversees the administrative management issues for the office.

Prior to joining OSPC, Gibson-Price worked as the administrative officer of the Department of Health & Human Services in Arlington, Virginia County. She has also served as the business director of the Psychiatric Division of the University of Maryland Medical Center, the director of administration for Catholic Charities, special assistant to the director in the office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and director of administration for the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

She holds a BA in Health Care Management from the University of Maryland, an MPM from the University of Maryland and an Executive Master’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Georgetown University.

Caroline Chambers

Deputy Director and Director of Domestic Advocacy

Caroline Chambers is deputy director and director of domestic advocacy at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC).  Chambers works closely with the staff to develop and implement advocacy strategies on critical domestic policy areas, including voting and elections; drug policy; judicial nominations; racial equality; civil liberties; public health; criminal justice; and immigration reform.

Since 1986, Chambers has worked on a broad range of domestic policy issues, primarily for the U.S. Congress and two administrations.  Most recently, from 2009 to 2010, she served in the White House as director of confirmations for President Barack Obama.  There, she oversaw Senate approval of over 600 of the president’s nominees for high-level administration positions.  In 2000, she served in the Clinton White House on the Domestic Policy Council staff as deputy director of the Council on Youth Violence.

In the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2001, Chambers was policy director for Senator Byron Dorgan, legislative director for Senator Paul Wellstone, and staff director of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC), the policy and research arm of the Democratic leadership under Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  In addition to directing the work of the DPC, Chambers advised the leadership on policy development and legislative strategy on most major domestic issues, including health care, labor, education, government reform, budget and tax policy, and Senate floor procedure.

From 1991 through 1994, she served as senior policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee and, in that capacity, served as a congressional representative on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force.  From 1986 to 1990, she conducted advocacy before Congress and federal agencies on consumer protection issues related to telecommunications and utility regulation for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Chambers received a BA in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jasmine L. Tyler

Senior Policy Advisor for Global Health and Drug Policy

Jasmine L. Tyler is the senior policy advisor for global health and drug policy at the Open Society Policy Center, where she promotes the reform of domestic and international drug policy.

Prior to joining Open Society, she was deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, where she worked closely with Congress and the advocacy community to effectively shape public health, criminal justice, and health policy. She has also worked as research director for the Justice Policy Institute, contributing to research on the criminal justice system and juvenile justice reinvestment.

Tyler has contributed to several publications on mass incarceration, racial justice, and the war on drugs. She holds an MA from Brown University and a BS from James Madison University, both in sociology.

Jonathan E. Kaplan

Communications Officer

Jonathan E. Kaplan is the communications officer at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC). Kaplan works closely with the staff to develop and implement communications strategies on a range of policy areas, including national security; foreign and military assistance; criminal justice; and human rights.

Since 1997, Kaplan has worked as a journalist and policy and communications advisor to two members of Congress and senior officials in the Department of State. Most recently, from 2009 to 2012, Kaplan was the communications director and speechwriter for the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ellen Tauscher.  He worked on major security initiatives, including ratification of the New START Treaty. In 2011, Kaplan worked for Thomas R. Nides, the deputy Secretary of State, to build public support for State’s fiscal 2012 budget.

From 2002 to 2009, Kaplan was a senior staff writer at The Hill newspaper and the Washington, D.C., correspondent for the Portland Press Herald-Maine Sunday Telegram.  He also has reported stories for the Washington Post, Politico, New York Times, Baltimore Sun and Washingtonian Magazine.

He also served as a legislative assistant to Rep. Ken Bentsen (Texas) from 1998 to 1999 and served as an aide in Vice President Al Gore’s office in 1999 and 2000.

Kaplan received his BA in government from Colby College and an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago.


Julie A. Fernandes

Advocacy Director for Voting Rights and Democracy

Julie A. Fernandes is a advocacy director for voting rights and democracy at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC).  In that capacity, Fernandes works to influence public policy in support of the protection of civil and human rights in the United States with a focus in the areas of voting rights, election reform, and racial justice. Prior to her current position, Fernandes was deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Fernandes was responsible for oversight of the Division’s work in the areas of voting rights, federal compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and international human rights.  Fernandes also spent a year as director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, a coalition of national organizations working together to end modern slavery in the U.S. and around the world.

For more than six years, Fernandes was the senior policy analyst and senior counsel at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. Fernandes led the civil rights community’s successful effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2006. Fernandes also served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton at the White House Domestic Policy Council where her work focused on the development of policy in the areas of immigration, race relations, and civil rights.

Prior to her position with LCCR, Fernandes served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Bill Lann Lee, working primarily on legal and policy issues related to voting rights, international human rights, and police misconduct, including racial profiling, and was a trial lawyer in the Housing and Voting Sections of the Civil Rights Division.

Fernandes received both her JD and AB degrees from the University of Chicago. She was the Karpatkin Fellow in the National Legal Department of the American Civil Liberties Union and clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Nkechi Taifa

Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice Reform

Nkechi Taifa is advocacy director for criminal justice reform at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC). She works to influence public policy in support of comprehensive justice reform. Taifa focuses on issues involving federal sentencing reform, accountability in federal law enforcement, re-entry of previously incarcerated persons, and prison reform. She has played a major role in raising visibility of issues involving unequal justice. Taifa also convenes the Justice Roundtable, a Washington-based advocacy network advancing federal criminal justice policy reforms.

Prior to joining OSPC, Taifa served for ten years as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law where she taught the popular seminar, “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.”  She was the founding director of the Law School’s award-winning Equal Justice Program, where she developed and created new opportunities for public interest and pro bono activities.  Taifa spent four years as legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), serving as the principal spokesperson for the ACLU Washington office on criminal justice and civil rights issues.  Prior to that position, Taifa was also public policy counsel for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund and worked as a staff attorney for the National Prison Project.  She also maintained a private law practice specializing in the representation of indigent adults and juveniles as well as employment discrimination law.

Over the course of her career, Taifa has spoken extensively across the country and has been published on a variety of issues involving criminal justice and civil and human rights.  She has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United States Sentencing Commission, the District of Columbia City Council, and the American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission.  She has served as a consultant to various organizations and projects.  Taifa serves as an appointed commissioner on the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights.

Taifa has served on the board of numerous organizations, and has received awards and honors, including the prestigious “President’s Award from the Washington Council of Lawyers,” the “Rosmarian Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service,” “Professor of the Year,” and “Outstanding Social Engineer Award.”

Taifa received her JD from George Washington University Law School.  She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a BA in history and education.  She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Christopher Scott

Senior Policy Advisor

Christopher Scott is a senior policy advisor at the Open Society Policy Center focusing on criminal, civil, and racial justice.  Specifically, Scott advocates for educational equity, reducing disparities, strengthening family structures, and increasing economic opportunity for vulnerable populations. Scott helps convene the Justice Roundtable, a coalition working to reform the U.S. justice system.

Prior to joining OSPC, Scott served as youth policy analyst for the Center for Law And Social Policy (CLASP) where he worked on polices affecting disconnected youth and the Black Men and Boys 2025 campaign, and managed the Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth (CCRY) Network. Scott also served as a legislative fellow for Congressman Bobby Scott, where he was the chief staffer responsible for the congressman’s legislative agenda on K through 12 education.

Scott attended Oregon State University on a football scholarship where he earned a BA in political science and a MA in public policy

Jonas M. Rolett

Senior Policy Analyst for Southern Central and Eastern Europe

Jonas Rolett is the senior policy analyst for Southern Central and Eastern Europe at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC). He serves as a liaison between foundation networks in Eastern Europe and the Western Newly Independent States (NIS) and the international policy community in Washington, D.C. Rolett works with the U.S. Congress and other Washington-based policy makers to inform and influence U.S.policy toward Central Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Rolett has a notable history of working on Central and Eastern European issues. He has worked extensively with parliaments, political parties, and civic groups on a variety of initiatives designed to open the political process, promote good governance, and defend human rights. He lived in Albania during the 1990s and has stayed closely involved in political and social developments there.

Prior to joining OSPC, Rolett was a senior program officer at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where he promoted democratic development in Eastern Europe. Rolett managed programs related to governance, civic participation, and political party building, and established domestic election monitoring organizations in five countries. Before joining NDI, Rolett worked as the political training director for Campaigns & Elections Magazine, running a “campaign school” for candidates and campaign managers. He also served as the communications director for the United Way of Greenville County, South Carolina.

Rolett is a member of the International Committee of the Council on Foundations. He holds a BA in Literature and Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Sarah Pray

Program Officer, Fiscal Governance Program

Sarah Pray is a program officer in the fiscal governance program.

She previously served as senior policy analyst for Africa at the Open Society Policy Center, where she works closely with colleagues from the Open Society Africa foundations and the broader OSF network to advance OSPC’s advocacy priorities in Washington D.C.

Prior to joining OSPC, Pray was the coordinator of the Publish What You Pay United States coalition, advocating for corporate and government transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries. Pray also worked at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights as a human rights attorney, where she partnered with Delphine Djiraibe to establish the first ever public interest law firm in Chad.

Pray serves as a member of the Advisory Board of EG Justice, a human rights organization focusing on Equatorial Guinea. Pray received a JD from Boston College Law School and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Wendy Patten

Senior Policy Advisor

Wendy Patten is a senior policy advisor at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) engaging in advocacy on U.S. human rights and civil liberties issues. She works to influence the public policy debate around counter-terrorism and human rights, including detention, interrogation, rendition, and surveillance. She also monitors immigration policy with a focus on due process.

Previously, Patten was the U.S. advocacy director at Human Rights Watch where she handled legislative, policy, and media advocacy on human rights in the United States.  Patten was also senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice where she focused on a wide range of criminal justice and immigration policy issues.  She worked extensively on implementation of U.S. anti-trafficking laws and the Violence Against Women Act with federal, state, and local prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, and non-governmental organizations.

Patten also served as director of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, she handled refugee, migration, and human rights issues.

Patten began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow and legal aid lawyer at Ayuda, where she represented immigrant and refugee women in domestic violence, family law, and immigration matters.  She also worked on legal and judicial reform programs abroad at the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.

Patten received her JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Princeton University. She studied international relations in Strasbourg, France and has taught international women’s human rights at Georgetown University.

Lora Lumpe

Advocacy Director for Security Sector Governance

Lora Lumpe is a advocacy director for security sector governance at the Open Society Policy Center focusing on U.S. foreign military assistance and related policy issues. Lumpe develops and executes advocacy strategies to ensure that U.S. foreign military assistance is more transparent and effective and that it does not undermine human rights and governance in recipient countries.

Over a 25-year career, Lumpe has worked as a researcher, author, and advocate in the fields of human rights and government accountability with a focus on conventional arms control and the arms trade. Prior to joining Open Society, she lobbied the U.S. Congress on behalf of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and coordinated the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs (2007–09).

She has served as a consultant for the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, the World Bank, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Human Rights Watch, the Washington Office on Latin America, Amnesty International USA, and others on issues related to U.S. military assistance and training, weapons flows, and civilian protection.

From 1998 to 2001, Lumpe was the research director for the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, a coalition of humanitarian relief organizations working to diminish the impacts of gun trafficking on humanitarian operations.

Her books include Running Guns: The Global Black Market in Small Arms (London: Zed Books, 2000) andThe Arms Trade Revealed: A Guide for Investigators and Activists (Washington, D.C.: Federation of American Scientists Fund, 1998).

Jeff Goldstein

Senior Policy Advisor for Eurasia

Jeff Goldstein is the senior policy advisor for Eurasia at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC).  He works with the U.S.government and other Washington-based policy makers to inform and influence U.S.policy toward the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.

Prior to working at OSPC, Goldstein was senior program manager for Central Asia and the Caucasus at Freedom House.  In this capacity he sought to improve human rights through legislation and policy protections.

Goldstein, a 25-year veteran of the United States Foreign Service, served in the American embassies in Warsaw, Seoul, Moscow, and Tallinn, and in several positions in Washington D.C.  Throughout his tenure, Goldstein has played a significant role in human rights promotion.  He served as the U.S. Embassy liaison to the Solidarity Movement during the latter stages of Martial Law in Poland, and as the embassy officer responsible for working with the political opposition, student and labor movements in Korea during a period of rapid democratization.  Goldstein also has a background in conflict resolution, having served on U.S. teams negotiating with North Korea on nuclear and missile proliferation issues, and also as Deputy to the U.S. Special Envoy working to help resolve “frozen conflicts” in the Caucasus and Moldova.

Goldstein received his MA in International Relations from Yale University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jerry Fowler

Senior Policy Advisor for Multilateral Affairs

Jerry Fowler is the senior policy advisor for multilateral affairs at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), where he advocates for effective multilateralism in U.S. foreign policy and for improvements in multilateral institutions.

He comes to OSPC from having served as president of the Save Darfur Coalition from 2008 -2010.  His previous positions include founding director of the Committee on Conscience at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and legislative counsel at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.  His publications include “Out of that Darkness: Preventing Genocide in the 21st Century,” in Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views (Routledge, 2004). He also directed the short film A Good Man in Hell: General Romeo Dallaire and the Rwanda Genocide. He created and hosted Voices on Genocide Prevention, the Holocaust Museum’s award-winning interview program and podcast series.

He has taught courses on human rights and related issues at Claremont McKenna College (where he was the Podlich Distinguished Visitor in 2006-2007), George Washington University Law School, George Mason University Law School, and the American University Summer Human Rights Institute.  From 1983-1987, he served in the United States Army in the Federal Republic of Germany.  Fowler received a JD from Stanford Law School and a BA from Princeton University.

Morton H. Halperin

Senior Advisor

Morton H. Halperin is a senior advisor to the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC). In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance on U.S. and international issues. Halperin previously served as the executive director of OSPC.

Halperin has a distinguished career in federal government, having served in the Clinton, Nixon, and Johnson administrations. In the Clinton administration, Halperin was director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State (1998-2001), special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy at the National Security Council (1994-1996), and consultant to the secretary of defense and the under secretary of defense for policy (1993). He was nominated by President Clinton for the position of assistant secretary of defense for democracy and peacekeeping. During the first nine months of the Nixon administration, Halperin was a senior staff member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for National Security Planning (1969). In the Johnson administration, Halperin worked in the Department of Defense where he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense (International Security Affairs), responsible for political-military planning and arms control (1966-1969). He serves on the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

Halperin also has a long record as a Washington advocate on national and international issues. He spent many years at the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), serving as the director of the Washington office from 1984 to 1992, where he was responsible for the national legislative program as well as the activities of the ACLU Foundation based in the Washington office. Halperin also served as the director of the Center for National Security Studies from 1975 to 1992, where he focused on issues affecting both civil liberties and national security.

Halperin has been associated with a number of universities and think tanks including Harvard University where he taught for six years (1960-66), the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for American Progress (CAP). He has been widely published in newspapers and magazines across the world, and has authored, coauthored, and edited more than a dozen books.

The recipient of numerous awards, he serves on the boards of J Street and ONE.

Halperin holds a PhD in International Relations from Yale University. He received his BA from Columbia College.

Mike Amitay

Senior Policy Advisor for the Middle East and South Asia

Mike Amitay is the senior policy advisor for the Middle East and South Asia at the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC). He serves as a liaison between these regions and the international policy community in Washington, D.C. Amitay works with the U.S. Congress and other Washington-based policy makers on relevant issues.

Amitay has extensive experience in human rights and foreign policy issues. From 1996 to 2005, he served as executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that he helped establish to address a wide range of issues affecting Kurdish communities in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Under Amitay’s direction, WKI and partners initiated humanitarian medical treatment and research programs in Iraqi Kurdistan to address long-term health effects of exposure to chemical weapons. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to correlate weapons of mass destruction attack sites with medical and environmental data, WKI established community-based health education and service delivery platforms operated by women in isolated rural areas.

From 1987 to 1996, Amitay served as a professional staff member at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), a government body which monitors human rights compliance among 55 participating states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Amitay coordinated activities related to Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus and specialized in Kurdish affairs. Amitay served on official U.S. delegations to numerous OSCE meetings and organized U.S. and European parliamentary delegations to Turkey. Also responsible for the Commission’s work in the United States, he authored a 1991 report on homelessness in the U.S. and organized an extensive examination of migrant worker conditions. Amitay organized extensive examinations of the applicability of the OSCE model in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In 1995, Amitay founded Human Rights Access (HRX), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that promotes human rights and development of international law through arts and education.

Amitay received a MA in International History from the London School of Economics, completing a thesis entitled “The Great Powers and Formation of a Polish Provisional Government: 1943-44” and a BA in History from Brown University.

Andrea Soros Colombel

Andrea Soros Colombel is the founder and president of the Trace Foundation and the board chair of the Acumen Fund. The Trace Foundation supports the continuity and development of Tibetan culture, language, and places, improving lives and strengthening communities on the Tibetan Plateau. The Acumen Fund is a social enterprise investment fund that uses “patient capital” as an alternative to traditional aid or pure market approaches to address the critical problems of poverty in the developing world.

In addition, she is a cofounder and trustee of the Tsadra Foundation, which promotes authentic understanding of Tibetan wisdom traditions in the West. She serves on the board of the French American School of New York and as an advisor to Scenic Hudson and the Bard MBA program.

Colombel received her BA from the University of Chicago with honors in literature and holds a graduate certificate from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

Kenneth H. Zimmerman

Member of the Board of Directors, Open Society Policy Center
Director of U.S. Programs, Open Society Foundations

Kenneth H. Zimmerman is the director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. A lawyer with more than two decades of leadership in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Zimmerman has devoted his career to justice and equality with a focus on increasing access to opportunity for people of color and low-income communities.

Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations, he was a litigation partner heading the pro bono practice group at Lowenstein Sandler PC.  He was on the presidential transition team preparing the Obama Administration’s strategy for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He served from 2006 to 2008 as chief counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, playing a key role in abolishing the state’s death penalty and efforts to reform the state’s corrections and parole systems. He was also the first executive director of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, working on employment programs for urban youth, reentry, and other efforts to advance social justice.

Zimmerman began his career as a legal services lawyer in Oakland, California, where he successfully challenged discriminatory actions by FEMA in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. He was also a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Sherrilyn Ifill

Member of the Board of Directors, Open Society Policy Center

Sherrilyn Ifill is a professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she has taught since 1993.  During her tenure at the University, Prof. Ifill has litigated cases with her students involving environmental justice, co-founded a clinic focused on the rights of ex-offenders seeking to re-enter society and taught a law clinic on transitional justice. She is a former assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc., where she litigated voting rights cases on behalf of minority communities, and a former fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Prof. Ifill’s scholarly writing has been focused on the importance of preserving the impartiality of the courts, and promoting race and gender diversity on the judiciary.  Ifill also writes about contemporary legal responses to historic incidents of racial violence in the U.S.  Her 2007 book, On the Courthouse Lawn:  Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century, explores the continuing effects of the last two recorded mass lynchings in the state of Maryland. Prof. Ifill has become a leading national voice on race, voting and political participation.  She writes about law for The Root ( ), an online publication of the Washington Post. Professor Ifill is a regular political commentator on both national and local television and radio programs. Prof. Ifill has been a member of the board of OSI-Baltimore since 2003. She joined the board of OSI-U.S. Programs in 2009 and became chair of the Board in April 2011.

Jonathan Soros

Jonathan Soros is chief executive officer of JS Capital Management LLC, a private investment firm. He is also a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank based in New York City. Soros is the founder of Friends of Democracy, a super PAC that supports candidates who favor limits on big money in U.S. politics. He is a member of the Next Generation Leadership Board of the Indian School of Business and holds several board positions affiliated with the Open Society Foundations. He is also on the board of the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute.

Prior to founding JS Capital, he worked with Soros Fund Management LLC, serving as its president and deputy chairman from 2005 to 2011. Soros clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, served as assistant director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ mission to Moldova, and co-founded the Fair Trial Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to improve the quality of defense available to defendants facing the death penalty.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government and received a BA from Wesleyan University.


Stephen Rickard

Executive Director, Open Society Policy Center
Member of the Board of Directors, Open Society Policy Center

Stephen Rickard is the executive director of the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and a member of the Board of Directors. Under his direction, OSPC engages in policy advocacy on U.S. and international issues, including promotion of human rights and support for open societies abroad.

Before joining Open Society, Rickard created and ran the Freedom Investment Project and served as director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and as Washington director for Amnesty International USA. He served as the senior advisor in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South Asian Affairs during the Clinton administration. He also worked for Senator Moynihan and the Foreign Relations Committee in the U.S. Senate. In 2011, he was a Franklin Fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

In the 1980s, Rickard worked as a litigator with White & Case in New York, Stockholm, and Washington, D.C. He received his JD from Yale Law School, an MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA from Adrian College.

Christopher Stone

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Open Society Policy Center
President, Open Society Foundations

Christopher Stone is the president of the Open Society Foundations and Chairman of the Board of the Open Society Policy Center. He is an international expert on criminal justice reform and on the leadership and governance of nonprofits.

Prior to joining Open Society as president in July 2012, he was the Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Before that, Stone spent a decade as director of the Vera Institute of Justice. He founded the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and served as a founding director of the New York State Capital Defender Office and of the Altus Global Alliance.

Stone received his BA from Harvard, an MPhil in criminology from the University of Cambridge, and his JD from Yale Law School. He was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire for his contributions to criminal justice reform in the United Kingdom.


Gara LaMarche

Member of the Board of Directors, Open Society Policy Center

Gara LaMarche is a Senior Fellow at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. From 2007 to 2011, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation focused on aging, children and youth, health, and human rights operating in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States, and Viet Nam. During his tenure at Atlantic, the foundation made the largest grant ever made by a foundation for an advocacy campaign – over $25 million – to press for comprehensive health care reform in the U.S., embraced a social justice framework for grantmaking, and worked closely with new governments in many of its geographies to take advantage of opportunities to achieve changes in HIV/AIDS and nursing policies in South Africa, civic engagement and democratic reform in Ireland, a more secure peace in Northern Ireland, and many other areas.

Before joining Atlantic in April 2007, LaMarche served as Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI), a foundation established by philanthropist George Soros. LaMarche joined OSI in 1996 to launch its U.S. Programs, which focus on challenges to social justice and democracy.  During his tenure there, OSI (since renamed the Open Society Foundations) became the leading funder of criminal justice reform, launched and supported a number of fellowship programs in justice, law, medicine and community engagement, established an office critical in the revitalization of Baltimore, and helped create and foster a network of urban high school debate leagues.

LaMarche previously served as Associate Director of Human Rights Watch and Director of its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996. He helped build the organization’s work in the United States and on lesbian and gay rights; conducted human rights investigations in Egypt, Cuba, Greece, and Hungary; and wrote reports on freedom of expression issues in the 1991 Gulf War, Miami’s Cuban exile community, and the United Kingdom. He was Director of the Freedom-to-Write Program of the PEN American Center from 1988 to 1990, when PEN played a leading role in campaigns to lift Iran’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie and challenged restrictions on arts funding in the United States.

He served in a variety of positions with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), with which he first became associated with in 1972 at age 18 as a member of its national Academic Freedom Committee. LaMarche was the Associate Director of the ACLU’s New York branch and the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. At the Texas ACLU, he led campaigns to provide adequate representation for death row inmates and oppose discriminatory treatment of persons with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic.

LaMarche is the author of numerous articles on human rights and social justice issues, which have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Nation, American Prospect, Huffington Post, Texas Observer, and Wharton Magazine, and many other publications, and is the editor of “Speech and Equality: Do We Really Have to Choose?” (New York University Press, 1996).  He teaches a course on philanthropy and public policy at NYU’s Wagner School and has been an adjunct professor at New School University and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He also blogs at and many of his speeches and articles can be found there.

LaMarche has been recognized as a “Good Guy” by the Texas Women’s Political Caucus and as a Voice for Justice by the Fifth Avenue Committee. He has received the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service from Bard College, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Progressive Leadership Award from USAction, the President’s Award from the National Council of La Raza, the Champion Award from the Center for Community Change, and the Hope Award from Providence House. From 1988 to 1989, he was a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York. He has also served as a judge for the Sundance Documentary Fund, the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award, the ACLU’s Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Award, The Samuel Heyman Awards of the Partnership for Public Service, and the Lodestar Foundation’s Collaboration Prize.

LaMarche serves on the boards of StoryCorps, ProPublica, the Roosevelt Institute, and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

A Westerly, Rhode Island, native, LaMarche is a graduate of Columbia College at Columbia University in New York.