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Our Staff

DeVitta Briscoe is the Survivor Network Coordinator at the Public Defender Association, 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... more

Tim Candela is a LEAD Project Manager for the Public Defender Assocation and serves Seattle Police Department's West Precinct. Tim's current role is focused on providing technical assistance, coordinating LEAD activities, facilitation of meetings, and community engagement germane to LEAD. Tim has provided various levels of macro and micro level Social Work practices over the past 11 years. Before joining the Public Defender Association, Tim... more

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 is Director of the Public Defender Association. 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 Disparity Project, and went on to... more

Tracy Gillespie is a LEAD Project Manager for the Seattle Police Department’s East and North precincts.  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... more

Corey Guilmette is the Staff Attorney at PDA. Prior to joining PDA, Corey was an Intern at the King County Department of Public Defense in Seattle, WA and a Ford Foundation Summer Fellow at the Sentencing Project in Washington, D.C.  

During law school, Corey fostered his passion for criminal justice reform through his coursework and student activities. While in law school, he served as a member of the Arthur Liman Public Interest... more

Katrina Johnson is a LEAD Project Manager at the Public Defender Association, 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... more

Martina Kartman is a Soros Justice Fellow at the Public Defender Association. 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... more

Malika LaMont is a LEAD Project Manager at the Public Defender Assocation.  For over 20 years, Malika has worked to address social determinants of health. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Xavier University of Louisiana and holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in Public Health Policy and Nonprofit Management. Malika has worked as a licensed Adolescent Counselor and Family Care Coordinator in Tacoma, the Washington... more

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 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 is the Seattle-King County LEAD Project Director at the Public Defender Association. Tara Moss 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... more

Christa Nemeth is the Operations Manager at the Public Defender Association.  Christa brings 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, and Harborview Medical Center.  Her previous work at Harborview included providing support to the Transformation of Care Unit pilot... more

Kris Nyrop

Kris Nyrop is the Director of Harm Reduction Practices at PDA and has worked on the LEAD project since 2009. He was the 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 Institute at the University of Washington. He was a project ethnographer for the Vancouver Injection Drug... more

Tarra Simmons is a Skadden Fellow at the Public Defender Association. Her focus area is 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... more

Patricia Sully

Patricia Sully is the Policy and Legal Services Director at the Public Defender Association. She joined PDA in 2014, where she works on a number of public policy issues and most recently the campaign to bring Supervised... more