Our expert staff is on the frontlines of advocacy, helping nonprofits advance their causes every day. In addition to our coaches, who have trained thousands of organizations to become effective advocates, AFJ staff work hard to support foundations and nonprofits by keeping track of relevant federal and state legislation, arranging trainings and technical assistance, providing materials and resources, and helping build and foster a community of nonprofit organizations that support and enhance one another’s work. Read more about our staff and their expertise below.
A leading voice in public interest law for over 30 years, Nan Aron is President of Alliance for Justice, a national association of over 100 public interest and civil rights organizations. Nan, who founded AFJ in 1979, guides the organization in its mission to ensure that all Americans have the right and opportunity to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives.
Sue develops programs and reaches out to funders to help them find ways to comfortably and effectively support advocacy, and links them to tools, events, and trainings and other resources.
Abby Levine serves as Legal Director of Advocacy Programs at Alliance for Justice. She provides legal guidance that encourages grantmakers to support advocacy and other nonprofit organizations to participate in policymaking decisions through an understanding of federal tax and election law.
Sara graduated with a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University. She is the chair of the ACLU of Northern California – North Peninsula Chapter and a founder of the San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Sara began her career in policy change advocacy in 1988. She’s excited to use her community organizing and training experience, along with her Spanish/English bilingualism, to broaden the advocacy work of social justice organizations in California and across the country.
Keely Monroe serves as Counsel for the Bolder Advocacy Initiative at Alliance for Justice. She consults with and trains nonprofit organizations on the rules and strategies for legal and effective advocacy, including lobbying, election-related activity, and ballot measure advocacy.
Natalie Roetzel serves as the Director of AFJ’s Texas office. She previously helped to create and run the Innocence Project of Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing those wrongfully convicted of crimes in the state. At IPTX, Natalie held both Executive Director and Chief Staff Attorney positions, and she specialized in the litigation of cases involving the use of DNA evidence. She also worked with the organization to successfully advocate on behalf of reforms designed to reduce the number of wrongful convictions and assist those reentering society after lengthy terms of unjust confinement.
Ronnie Pawelko is Elections Counsel for Alliance for Justice. Before joining AFJ, Ronnie was General Counsel at Family Planning Advocates of New York State where she focused on reproductive health care policy and worked with New York’s Planned Parenthood affiliates to ensure their advocacy and political activities were conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. She also served as Treasurer for the Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York PAC and the Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York Political Committee. Previously, Ronnie served as Health and Human Services Team Counsel for the New York State Senate and as staff attorney for the MergerWatch Project.
Nikhil received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and B.S. from the Ohio State University. Before joining AFJ, Nikhil was Associate Counsel at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL CIO. In that role he was responsible for drafting and negotiating operational agreements, advising staff on prospective legal concerns, and ensuring compliance with campaign finance and lobbying laws. Prior to that, he was a law fellow at AARP.
As the Southern California Director for AFJ’s Bolder Advocacy program, Nona manages AFJ’s Southern California office; builds partnerships with nonprofits and foundations in the region that are engaged in policy advocacy; and builds the capacity of these groups to advocate for policy and systems change by providing legal and practical training, technical assistance, and publications to ensure groups have the knowledge they need to become confident advocates and tools to help them navigate complex advocacy rules.
Shyaam serves as Southern California Counsel for the Bolder Advocacy program at the Alliance for Justice. In this capacity, he assists nonprofit organizations in pursuing legal and effective advocacy to advance their public policy goals.