American marshall memorial fellowship



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American Marshall Memorial Fellowship

Fall 2007 Biographical Information




Ms. Cristine Almeida

President & CEO 407 2nd Street NE

Cristine Almeida Public Affairs Minneapolis, MN 55413

cristinealmeida@yahoo.com Tel: 612-770-8578


Ms. Cristine Almeida is an attorney and public policy consultant. She has been active in public policy and politics in Minnesota for the past eighteen years in various roles: as a legislative staff member, lobbyist and lawyer, volunteer and interested citizen. She focuses on health law, insurance and tax matters, and represents trade associations, corporations, non-profits and local governments in Minnesota and around the country. Cristine is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and William Mitchell College of Law, and was a 2002-2003 Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two dogs. In her free time, she enjoys her garden, exercise, music, travel and reading.
Ms. Vicki Blanton

Senior Attorney 6501 Legacy Drive

JCPenney Plano, TX 75024

vblanton@jcpenney.com Tel: 972-431-1277

Ms. Vicki D. Blanton is a Senior Attorney who practices ERISA/Employee Benefits for J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., with primary responsibility for the company’s 401(k), equity, executive compensation and international benefit plans. Vicki sits on the company’s internal Human Resources Payroll/Compliance Committee. Her legal career began in 1991 at Thompson & Knight in the Trial Department. In 1995, she became an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Dallas, Texas, where she changed her practice to employee benefits. Ms. Blanton volunteers with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas on the Central Allocation Committee, President of the J.L. Turner Legal Association, Dallas Bar Association Board Member and other non-profit organizations. Ms. Blanton attended the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Journalism. Ms. Blanton later attended Southern Methodist University School of Law where she obtained her law degree. Ms. Blanton, a native to Dallas, is married with two daughters.
Ms. Emily Cain

State Representative 2 State House Station

Maine House of Representatives Augusta, ME 04333

cainorono@hotmail.com Tel: 207-287-1430


Rep. Emily Ann Cain (D-Orono) was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2004. Now in her second term, she serves as a member of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, and as chair of the Subcommittee on School Administration Reform. In her first term, Rep. Cain served as a member of the Education and Cultural Affairs Affairs Committee, and chaired the Joint Select Committee on Research, Economic Development, and the Innovation Economy. Rep. Cain focuses on issues in higher education, arts education, youth involvement in government, and sustainability and efficiency in government. She has also participated in several leadership development opportunities, such as the Center for Policy Alternative's Flemming Institute and an American Council of Young Political Leaders trip to Venezuela. She holds a B.M.E. in Vocal Music Education from the University of Maine with highest Honors and a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Maine. Rep. Cain also works part-time as the Coordinator of Advancement in the Honors College at the University of Maine. She resides in Orono with her husband and dog.
Mr. Tom Daniel

Manager, Economic Development & Community Planning 105 Fifth Avenue South

City of Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN 55401

tom.daniel@ci.minneapolis.mn.us Tel: 612-673-5079


Mr. Tom Daniel is the Manager of the Economic Development Section of the City of Minneapolis’ Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, working on the City’s economic development policy and programs. His focus has been on commercial and cultural facilities development and transit-oriented development resulting in more than $300 million of investment over the past four years. Mr. Daniel is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the Board of the Greater Metropolitan Foreign Trade Zone Commission and the Humphrey Institute Alumni Board. He has been a member of several community and public advisory groups and currently serves on the city’s Arts and Culture Coordination Committee. Mr. Daniel received a Bachelor’s degree in French from Grinnell College and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. He lives in Minneapolis with his partner and their infant son.
Ms. Dawn M. Ford

Emergency Response Coordinator 921 East Third Street

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Chattanooga, TN 37403

dawnf@mail.hamiltontn.gov Tel: 423-209-8073


Ms. Dawn M. Ford was born and raised on a farm in rural Western Kentucky. She earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor Environmental Studies in 1992 (Summa Cum Laude) from Western Kentucky University. She earned a M.S. degree from Miami University, and during her time there, she completed marine biology research on Andros Island, Bahamas. In 1997, she moved to Chattanooga for a faculty position in the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. As Assistant Professor, Ms. Ford received over 20 grants, published three books, and taught tropical biology courses that took students to the Bahamas and Costa Rica. After seven years at UTC and with a desire to work in local government, Ms. Ford accepted a position at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department as an Environmental Scientist in 2004. In 2006, she was promoted to Emergency Response Coordinator and now manages the Emergency Preparedness program. With this position, she develops emergency plans to respond to chemical, nuclear, and biological threats. In December 2006, she completed a graduate degree in Applied Epidemiology. Her most recent work project has been to lead pandemic influenza planning for the community. Ms. Ford is married and has two young sons.

Ms. Val Haskell

Senior Manager 15305 Dallas Parkway, Ste 600

Hitachi Consulting Addison, TX 75001

vhaskell@hitachiconsulting.com Tel: 469-221-2895
Ms. Val Haskell is a Senior Manager in Hitachi Consulting’s Business Intelligence Performance Management Practice. She helps Global 2000 companies define strategies to better leverage information and improve performance. Prior to Hitachi Consulting she worked in New York City at a company called Intrasphere which specializes in assisting pharmaceutical companies. Ms. Haskell is active in her community; she volunteers on the City of Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, serves as the Crime and Code Chair for her neighborhood, acts as a liaison for a German foreign exchange student and captains a women’s soccer team. Recently she began renovating a house with some friends and family in her historic neighborhood. She has a deep interest in architecture, urban planning, sustainability and issues impacting corporate social responsibility.
Dr. Stephen Hollingshead

Senior Advisor to the Secretary and

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement 451 7th Street SW

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Washington, DC 20410

Stephen.b.hollingshead@HUD.gov Tel: 202-257-3141
Dr. Stephen Hollingshead grew up in an entrepreneurial family; his father ran companies in Michigan, California, Guam, Minnesota, and Texas. When he was 16, he dropped out of high school. But 10 years later, he had a Ph.D., had taught government at the university level, and had become the youngest winner of a primary election for US Congress. Another 10 years after that, he had co-founded one school and turned another into a National Blue Ribbon School, written a book on Shakespeare’s politics, been a marketing executive, started two companies, and acted as executive director of a national tax reform group. Today, Dr. Hollingshead serves as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement. Dr. Hollingshead and his wife are the proud parents of 10 children.
Ms. Beth Locker

Deputy Project Director 244 Washington St SW, Ste 300

Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children Atlanta, GA 30334-5900

beth.locker@gmail.com Tel: 404-463-5227

Ms. Beth Locker is the Deputy Project Director for the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children (J4C). The G4C is Georgia's federal grant funded Court Improvement Program designed to enhance the administration of justice in child abuse and neglect proceedings. Before coming to the J4C, Ms. Locker worked as the Post-Graduate Fellow in Law at the Barton Child Law & Policy Clinic at Emory Law School. There she participated in the policy work of the Clinic, including co-authoring an article on a child's right to legal representation in Georgia and served as a guest lecturer in the class "Child Advocacy: The Law, the Policy and the Players." Ms. Locker is a 2003 law school graduate with a history of child advocacy. Prior to law school she taught both elementary and middle school. During law school she was awarded a Bergstrom Fellowship in child advocacy and she worked for child welfare law clinics at both the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Cape Town School of Law. Through her work with these legal clinics Ms. Locker has provided both policy advocacy and direct service representation. Ms. Locker received her A.B. from Dartmouth College with a major in psychology and a minor in education. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan, School of Law. She is a member of the Bar in both Michigan and Georgia.
Ms. Danielle Nava

Associate Director 959 South Coast Plaza Dr., Ste. 210

Anti-Defamation League Costa Mesa, CA 92626

dnava@adl.org Tel: 714-979-4733

Ms. Danielle Nava is currently the Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League serving the Orange County/Long Beach region in California. She has 15 years experience working in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, she served in a joint role as the Director of Special Projects at Children & Family Futures and as the Deputy Director of the Alcohol and Drug Policy Institute. Prior to joining ADPI and CFF, Ms. Nava worked for the Orange County Human Relations Council from 1995 to 2005. At the Council, Ms. Nava served as Director of the BRIDGES, a nationally recognized program School Inter-Ethnic Relations Program; BRIDGES was recognized by the White House and U.S. Department of Justice as a “Promising Practice” in reducing hate and bias related incidents in schools. She has been a conference presenter on various issues in numerous forums, including the pre-session of the World Conference on Xenophobia and Racism in 2000. Her civic engagement includes serving on the Board of Directors of Project Access who assist low income families and seniors of affordable housing and as Chairperson of GLSEN, Orange County who works to eradicate homophobia in schools. Ms. Nava received her Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in educational systems from Chapman University. She also holds a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton. Ms. Nava is adjunct faculty at Chapman University and is a graduate of the Southern California Leadership Program.
Mr. Christopher Neumann

Shareholder 1200 17th Street, 24th Floor

Greenberg Traurig, LLP Denver, CO 80202

neumannc@gtlaw.com Tel: 303-572-6551


Mr. Christopher Neumann serves as Shareholder and Leader of the Environmental and Land Use Departments in the Denver office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. In this capacity, he counsels client in the retail development, petroleum, natural gas and mining industries on a wide variety of litigation, land use, environmental, natural resources, administrative, government contract and insurance coverage matters. Since 2002, he has served as national counsel to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on storm water enforcement and other environmental matters, frequently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice and states. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Neumann is involved in several civic and community activities, including the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation, the Colorado Hazardous Waste Commission, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. He received a B.S. in Engineering and Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College.

Ms. Barbara Nicholas

Senior Associate 1999 Bryan Street, Ste 3470

Adorno Yoss White Wiggins, LLP Dallas, TX 75201

bnicholas@adorno.com Tel: 214-665-4156

Ms. Barbara Nicholas was born in Vieux, Fort on the island of St. Lucia, the middle of three children. Her parent immigrated to the United States when she was very young – first to New York and then to Corpus Christi, Texas. Ms. Nicholas spent her formative years in Corpus Christi, where she attended elementary, junior high and high school, before heading for college, where she obtained her Bachelor’s in International Business and Marketing. Subsequent to college, she worked for a year prior to enrolling in Southern Methodist University’s Law School. During Law School, she clerked for the firm of White & Wiggins, LLP, where she commenced her career upon graduating. She now serves as a senior attorney at the firm of Adorno, Yoss, White & Wiggins, LLP where she primarily defends companies in suits involving negligence, premises liability, products liability, business torts, and contract disputes. She has also served on various committees within many of the local bar associations, including the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (“DAYL”), J.L. Turner Legal Association, and the Dallas Bar Association. More recently in 2007, as Co-Chair of the DAYL Lawyers Promoting Diversity Committee, she helped organize An Evening of Dinner and Dialogue. The focus of the program was to encourage dialogue between attorneys of all backgrounds on pressing social and political issues.


Mr. Raj Pai

Principal 200 West Madison Street, Ste 3500

CID Capital, LLP Chicago, IL 60606

raj@cidequity.com Tel: 312-578-5350


Mr. Raj Pai is a Principal of CID Capital. He has extensive experience working with businesses at all stages of development, and his areas of expertise include information technology, communications, enterprise software, and hardware/network infrastructure. Mr. Pai focuses his efforts on early through growth stage equity companies, and he assists with evaluating businesses in the information technology, life sciences and business services sectors. He is currently a Board director at RedSky Technologies, a leading provider of emergency response crisis solutions. His other current portfolio responsibilities include acting in a Board observer/oversight capacity to Midi, Inc., the leading provider of high-impact ethics and compliance technology learning solutions to Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies. Raj is active in the venture community and has served on several conference panels, participated as a judge in many business plan competitions and selection committees, and served as a moderator or panel member at many venture-related events. Prior to joining CID Capital in 1999, Raj worked in information technology and risk management initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies, including British Telecommunications, Ameritech and US West. He was a senior management consultant for American Management Systems. Mr. Pai received an MBA from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Bombay.

Ms. Gwendena Real Bird

Deputy Chief of Staff to the Chairman Box 1150

White Mountain Apache Tribe, LLP Whiteriver, AZ 85941

gbird@wmat.us Tel: 928-338-2502
Ms. Gwendena Lee Real Bird is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe from Whiteriver, Arizona. She is an assistant to the Tribal Chairman, Ronnie Lupe, where she provides high level administrative support and performs a variety of administrative duties for the Chairman. Her duties include meeting with tribal leaders, local leaders, state and national leaders to discuss events or issues that affect Indian Country. Gwendena is fluent in her Apache language, can also speak various other languages, and would like to learn more. She is the mother of three children, Emery, Grant, and Lindsey Jane who are the closest to her heart. Gwendena is a former Rodeo Queen – her favorite activity is riding horses - and her other hobbies include playing sports such as basketball, softball, and volleyball. She loves to hunt deer, elk, turkey and go fishing. She hopes to be a Spring Gobbler guide someday. She is learning how to “shoe” horses, which is something that she has always wanted to do. Ms. Real Bird earned her Bachelor’s from Northern Arizona State University with a major in Human Resources Management and is currently a degree candidate in the Masters in Public Health Extension Program at Johns Hopkins University.
Ms. Darnella Robertson

Assistant General Counsel 3900 Euclid Avenue

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Cleveland, OH 44115

robertsond@neorsd.org Tel: 216-881-6600 x6725


Ms. Darnella Robertson currently serves as an Assistant General Counsel at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. In this position, Ms. Robertson focuses on labor and employment and environmental regulatory matters, in addition to serving on community outreach and education committees. She sees her current position as a true manifestation of the things that she values: people, our natural resources (including the arts in all of its incarnations) and the law. Previously, she worked for the City of Cleveland in the Law Department and for a sole practitioner. Ms. Robertson serves on the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees and the Board of Senior Outreach Services. She is a member of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc. and the National Bar Association. She received her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and her B.A. from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).
Mr. Gabriel Sandoval

Deputy Legal Counsel to the Mayor 200 North Spring Street, Rm. 303

Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LLP Los Angeles, CA 90012

gabriel.sandoval@lacity.org Tel: 213-922-9754


Mr. Gabriel Sandoval serves as Deputy Legal Counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In this capacity, Mr. Sandoval assists the Counsel in providing advice to the Mayor and his staff on a range of local, state, federal, and international legal and policy issues. Mr. Sandoval also acts as the Mayor’s liaison to the Los Angeles Department on Disability, the AIDS Coordinator’s Office, and the Human Relations Commission and lead on the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Prior to joining the Villaraigosa Administration, Mr. Sandoval served as a Special Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, Special Assistant to the Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the State of California, employment and labor associate with O'Melveny & Myers LLP, and law clerk for the Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, then U.S. District Judge in the Central District of California. Mr. Sandoval has been appointed to several governmental, professional, and non-profit boards and commissions. He currently sits on the California State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, the Los Angeles County Commission on Public Social Services, and the Board of Trustees for Partnerships to Uplift Communities, a non-profit charter school development and management organization. Last year, Mr. Sandoval was an international observer for the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute during Mexico's presidential election. A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Sandoval received his undergraduate degree in political science with departmental honors from Stanford University and his Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law where he was the recipient of a human rights fellowship.


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