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Our Staff

Satory Adams is a Program Assistant primarily supporting Collective Justice as well as PDA's local and national LEAD work.  She started as an intern with CJ in 2018 then later joined CJ as part-time staff from January-June 2019.  Satory is passionate about criminal justice reform and anti-violence work.  Her personal experience as someone directly affected by the criminal justice system has led her to the meaningful work being done at PDA and... more

Jesse Benet, MA, LMHC

Jesse Benet, MA, LMHC, is currently the Deputy Director for the Public Defender Association in Seattle, Washington. Jesse has worked at the intersection of human services and the criminal legal system for over 20 years, largely focused on adult populations since 2002.  As a white, queer and trans person, Jesse is committed to systemically addressing racial disparities and other forms of oppression across criminal legal and social/... more

Catherine Bentley is a Staff Attorney with LEAD legal services and the inaugural recipient of the Tony Orange Fellowship. Prior to joining PDA, Catherine was a clinic member at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equity and wrote on various amicus briefs filed in the Washington Supreme Court, most notably the recent COVID-19 litigation Colvin v. Inslee. Catherine also served as the Research and Training Executive for the Seattle Journal... more

DeVitta Briscoe is the Survivor Network Coordinator with Collective Justice where she is building communities of healing and support for crime survivors most commonly affected by violence, including young people of color, and elevating those voices in policy discussions for public safety and criminal justice transformation.  DeVitta draws on her personal experience as a survivor of multiple forms of violence and her professional experience... more

Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is Consulting Expert for PDA’s LEAD Proof of Concept project. For over 20 years, Rebecca has specialized in designing cross-sector, multi-stakeholder initiatives to advance progressive justice reform at multiple intercepts of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. Among her other work, Rebecca designed a nationally recognized Misdemeanor Early Representation program with the Contra Costa County (CA) Public Defender’s... more

Aaron  Burkhalter

Aaron Burkhalter is the LEAD Project Manager for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program in Burien. His role provides support for the program in Burien, where he lives. He also provides support for King County expansion, working with other cities in the region interested in the LEAD program. Prior to joining the Public Defender Association, Aaron had a 15-year... more

Sarai Cook

Justice system involved attorney Sarai Cook has been directly impacted by many systems and cycles of oppression and poverty. Through those experiences she has made it her life's work to empower and encourage others by modeling the possibilities of overcoming cycles of oppression by lending a directly impacted voice to policy discussions and advocating for systemic change.

Since graduating law school in 2011, Ms. Cook has worked in... more

Brendan Cox

Chief (Ret.) Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies at the LEAD National Support Bureau, where he brings 23 years of experience in law enforcement and criminal justice reform. Brendan retired as Chief of Police from the Albany, NY police department in January of 2017. He was employed with the Albany police department for twenty-three years serving in many capacities throughout his career. After serving as a patrolman he was... more

Lisa Daugaard

Lisa Daugaard is the Executive Director at PDA and a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship recipient. Lisa served as Deputy Director of the King County (WA) Department of Public Defense through August 2015, and previously supervised misdemeanor practice (2002-2006) and then was Deputy Director (2007-2013) at The Defender Association, a non-profit public defender office.

Lisa was a founding staff attorney at the Defender Association Racial... more

Prachi Dave

Prachi Dave is the Legal Director. Prior to joining PDA, Prachi was a Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) where she managed the Second Chances Project, which focused on the reentry aspect of criminal justice reform. There, she worked to reduce the barriers posed by criminal records through litigation and policy advocacy. She also worked on the problems relating to legal financial obligations in the... more

Ashley Dawson is the Project Manager for LEAD Snohomish County. Ashley was born and raised in Montana and received her bachelor's degree in Human Development from Montana State University in 2003, she then made her way to Washington and graduated in 2009 from Eastern Washington University with a Master of Social Work degree and certificate in Public Administration. 

Ashley is a licensed clinical social worker with a passion for... more
Tiarra Dearbone

Tiarra Dearbone is a LEAD Project Manager for Seattle, WA, and has focused her community work in youth services, post-prison education, re-entry, and addiction recovery. Passionate about criminal justice reform, Tiarra has dedicated her career to helping others with healing from the effects of intergenerational trauma, addiction, and incarceration. Since 2018, Tiarra has been involved with Civil Survival, focusing on post-... more

Janet Ector

Janet Ector is a Site Advisor for the LEAD Proof of Concept Cohort Project, having begun her career in social services in 2001. Prior to joining PDA, Janet managed the HIV/Hep C Prevention and Harm Reduction programs at Glide Programs in San Francisco, where she was part of the team implementing San Francisco’s LEAD project. Previously, she worked at Shrader House as Assistant Director of this acute diversion unit, and at Walden House for... more

Melodie Garcia

Melodie is a LEAD Project Manager working in Seattle's East Precinct and in South King County and LEAD National Support Bureau WA State Expansion. Her first encounter with LEAD was as a contractor with SWOP-Seattle in 2018, when she started to advocate for expanded services for sex workers and/or people with prostitution convictions. She has a Master's Degree in Public Administration: Social Policy from the Evans School of Public Policy at... more

Tracy Gillespie

Tracy Gillespie is the LEAD Operations Director for the Seattle and King County sites. Her current role provides operational support, project design, community liaise, resource advocacy, and facilitation between the LEAD partners. Prior to joining the Public Defender Association, Tracy worked in social services for over 12 years. Locally, she served as a clinical case manager for street-involved youth at the City of Seattle’s PRO Youth... more

Corey Guilmette

Corey Guilmette is the Senior Attorney and leads efforts to reform King County's inquest process, which provides a public review of any death involving law enforcement.  Corey has represented several families in inquest hearings and led advocacy efforts to improve the inquest process.  These efforts culminated in significant improvements to inquest hearings.  Key reforms included a guarantee of publicly-funded attorneys to represent families... more

Brian Hawley is the Project Manager for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program in Albany New York. Brian recently retired from the Albany Police Department after serving for 26 years, with the majority of his career assigned to community-based units. In 2015, Brian volunteered to participate and assisted in the development and implementation of Albany's LEAD program. He assisted with research, analyzing and constructing a... more

Kimberly Hendrickson

Kimberly Hendrickson is a part-time Project Manager for the PDA Washington State LEAD Expansion Project and also serves as the Director for the Department of Housing, Health and Human Services in Poulsbo, Washington. Kimberly helped develop the City of Poulsbo’s police navigator program, which partners behavioral health navigators with police throughout Kitsap County. She was also the Project Manager of a year-long pilot Law Enforcement... more

Turina James

Turina James is a Bookkeeper and Program Assistant, as well as a former Board Member of PDA (serving from 2016-2018).  During her time as a Board Member, she volunteered at PDA in 2016 and completed an internship in 2017.  Turina comes to PDA with lived experience as an alumna of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.  She currently serves on several work groups and committees with the... more

Katrina Johnson

Katrina Johnson is a LEAD Project Manager with particular emphasis in developing the LEAD approach in South Seattle and South King County, as well as ensuring high quality services are provided for survival sex workers. Before joining PDA, Katrina worked for Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST) for just under two years as support staff in REST’s emergency receiver shelter in South Seattle, receiving and supporting informal police diversion... more

Martina Kartman

Martina Kartman is a Soros Justice Fellow with Collective Justice. Martina partners with community leaders in Seattle-King County, and The UW Center for Human Rights’ Rethinking Punishment Project to support community based responses to interpersonal and state violence. Her focus is on moving away from imprisonment as a frontline approach to addressing violence, and building responses to harm that uphold the needs, humanity and dignity of all... more

Anna Kovacevic

Anna Kovacevic is the Development Officer. She came to the United States from Germany where she grew up after leaving Bosnia during the civil war of the 1990s.  Her experience as a refugee shaped her world view and ignited her passion for social justice.  Anna is passionate about ending mass incarceration and building leadership and organizing capacity amongst formerly incarcerated people.  After earning her Bachelor of Social Work degree... more

Dr. Cyn Kotarski, ND currently serves two important roles to support the newly formed and integrated care operations at PDA (specifically for Co-LEAD). Dr. Kotarski is the Medical Director for the organization and she also serves in a separate independent contractor role as the direct medical provider for Co-LEAD. These two roles are mutually reinforcing and of great value during a time when integrated and holistic care for... more

Jacob Kuykendall

Jacob Kuykendall is a staff attorney with the Civil Survival Project. In 2016, Jacob left a career in private practice to help provide legal services to people impacted by the criminal legal system after their convictions. Prior to PDA, Jacob was the senior staff attorney for the King County Bar Association’s reentry legal aid program, and recruited and trained hundreds of attorneys on how to remove barriers to individuals who were denied... more

Malika Lamont

Malika Lamont is the Program Director for VOCAL-WA and a Project Manager for the WA State LEAD Expansion team. She has worked to address social determinants of health for over 20 years. In September 2019, Malika received a Community Champion Award from Molina Healthcare of WA that was awarded to people whose leadership, volunteerism and public advocacy embody the spirit of service and community. She holds a bachelor’s degree at Xavier... more

Marie McNabb

Marie brings a diverse background to her role as Finance Director.  As a Certified Public Accountant practicing independently, Marie created and led accounting and finance departments for non-profits and small businesses in the Seattle area.  This includes 8 years as contract CFO for PDA when it provided public defense services in Seattle and King County.

Marie also earned a masters in Psychology from Seattle University and has... more

Najja Morris

Najja Morris is the LEAD National Support Bureau Director. In her current role, Najja is responsible for providing national technical assistance and support to jurisdictions in all phases of the implementation of local LEAD programs; focusing on the areas of harm reduction, case management and direct services. Najja also now coordinates local LEAD operations in Seattle's East Precinct (the Central District, Capitol Hill and Little Saigon) and... more

Tara Moss

Tara Moss is the Seattle-King County LEAD Project Director. She has worked in the nonprofit field for over ten years and has long been passionate about social justice. As an undergrad at Smith College, she participated in an internship doing HIV prevention outreach with the Seattle nonprofit Street Outreach Services (SOS). After graduating with a BA in Psychology, Tara continued work with SOS where she advanced from the position of outreach... more

Christa Nemeth

Christa Nemeth is the Operations Director, bringing over 10 years of administrative experience with her from a variety of local and non-local institutions, such as: the University of Utah Medical Center, the Port of Seattle, the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM), and Harborview Medical Center (HMC).  Her previous work at UWSOM included advocacy for the Network of Underrepresented Faculty (NURF) and at HMC included supporting... more

Kris Nyrop

Kris Nyrop is a Consulting Expert and previously was Director of Harm Reduction Practices and the LEAD National Support Director.  Kris has worked on the LEAD project since 2009. Before his time with PDA, he was the former Executive Director of Street Outreach Services in Seattle from 1997-2007. Prior to that he worked for the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health - Seattle and King County, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse... more

Jim Pugel

Jim Pugel is a part-time Site Advisor for the LEAD Proof of Concept Cohort Project. Prior to retirement, Jim spent 31 years at the Seattle Police Department, serving as Assistant Chief and later Interim Chief. During his tenure, Jim was the department’s executive sponsor working closely with numerous community groups, non-profit organizations and government groups to establish the inaugural LEAD initiative. Jim also served on the Harvard... more

Jesse Rawlins

Jesse Rawlins is the Public Policy Manager, providing public policy advocacy for many of the organization's projects. Jesse engages in stakeholder and community engagement, public policy advancement, and programmatic design for the organization's safety and health initiative priorities. Previously at the organization, Jesse project managed for LEAD locally. Jesse came to PDA with over ten years of extensive leadership experience in community... more

Metasabia Rigby

Metasabia Rigby is a Program Coordinator for Collective Justice. She was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Her journey, like many, is full of broken pieces, love, and transformation.  She traversed oceans, lands, and seas, to reach Seattle. Metasabia has a deep affinity for and experience in peacebuilding and has collaborated with people in Afghanistan, Rwanda, France, and... more

Tarra Simmons

Tarra Simmons is a Skadden Fellow and her focus area is on expanding the LEAD Project and providing LEAD legal services. Tarra has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations on barriers to re-entry prior to joining PDA. Realizing the best way to avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction is to divert individuals from the criminal justice system, Tarra joins PDA in support of this mission. Tarra believes in a bottom up approach to... more

Bernadette Stanek

Bernadette Stanek is a Program Assistant for the Operations, Development, LEAD, and Co-LEAD programs. Prior to joining PDA, she worked in a consulting capacity to help nonprofit organizations and community leaders develop cause marketing initiatives, write fundraising literature and develop stronger boards. Bernadette's unique perspective draws upon lived experience as a community leader with a history of domestic violence and incarceration.... more

Lupe Vidaurri

Lupe Vidaurri is the HEAL Program Coordinator with Collective Justice. Growing up Chicana, the roots of her ancestors, and the lived experience of herself, her loved ones, and communities have shaped the way she moves in the world and is what moves her to do this work; work that is characterized by a profound love for people and commitment to nurturing individual and collective power.

Previously, Lupe has worked as a Senior Counselor... more

Jamila E. Taylor is a staff attorney with PDA’s Racial Disparity Project. Prior to joining PDA, Jamila was the former Statewide Advocacy Counsel at Northwest Justice Project leading a network of legal aid attorneys helping domestic violence survivors and other crime victims. Jamila has also owned her own consulting firm and private law practice that focused on family law, small businesses, and nonprofits. Prior to that, she worked... more

Cory Walster

Cory Walster is the Community Organizer for the Civil Survival Project. He started with Civil Survival as a volunteer 3 years ago, was one of the original founding board members, and has led the Kitsap County Gamechanger group since 2018. He is a father of two children, a son, and daughter, he's a registered tribal member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Cory’s passion for this work stems from his own lived experiences with the systems of... more

Corinna Yazbek

Corinna Yazbek is a Site Advisor for the Proof of Concept Cohort Project at PDA's LEAD National Support Bureau. Prior to joining PDA, Corinna was with the Vera Institute of Justice, serving as Project Manager for New Orleans LEAD. In this role, she worked closely with community and government partners to plan and launch a LEAD pilot in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods. In 2018, her efforts were recognized by the ... more