Board of Directors and Advisory Board

Board of Directors*

  • Michelle Crentsil, Treasurer
    Political Director, New York State Nurses Association (bio) Michelle Crentsil is currently the Political Director of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York's largest nurses union, where she directs the union's political and legislative efforts advocating for health equity and workplace safety. She is deeply committed to the labor movement and the overall fight for social justice. Prior to joining NYSNA's political department, Michelle organized physicians at the Committee of Interns & Residents (CIR/SEIU) and property services workers at SEIU Local 32BJ, working on their campaign to organize airport workers in New York and New Jersey. She also funded and advised political and advocacy campaigns nationwide to end mass incarceration while on staff at Open Philanthropy. She comes from a family of healthcare workers and advocates and holds a bachelor's degree in African American Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Harvard University.
  • Sharon Cromwell, Clerk,
    Deputy State Director, New York Working Families Party (bio) Sharon Cromwell is the Deputy State Director of the New York Working Families Party. She has ten years of experience working with community-based organizations, labor unions, and advocacy organizations to launch new programs, develop member leaders, and lead legislative, budget and electoral campaigns. Prior to joining the Working Families Party, Sharon was the City Gun Violence Prevention Manager at Everytown for Gun Safety and previously worked on policy and strategic campaigns with SEIU 32BJ.
  • Timothy Fisher, President, Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law (bio) Tim Fisher recently completed a seven-year term as Dean at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he is now is Professor of Law. Tim is the founder of the Connecticut Innocence Fund, a first-in-the-nation revolving loan fund that assists exonerees. He has served on Connecticut’s task force on racial disparity in jury selection, has worked in money bail reform. Prior to his service as Dean he was President of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, the primary funder of legal aid in the state. Tim was in the private practice of law prior to joining UConn; he lives with his wife in Hartford.
  • Daniel Kopf, Director
    Writer, Quartz
    2016 interview (bio) Dan Kopf is the data editor of Quartz and worked as a data scientist before becoming a journalist. He lives in Oakland, California and has been volunteering with the Prison Policy Initiative since February 2015. He is the co-author of several Prison Policy Initiative reports, including The Racial Geography of Mass Incarceration, Separation by Bars and Miles: Visitation in state prisons, Prisons of Poverty: Uncovering the pre-incarceration incomes of the imprisoned, and Detaining the Poor: How money bail perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty and jail time.
  • Elena Lavarreda, Director
    New Jersey Political Director, SEIU 32BJ (bio) Elena Lavarreda is the New Jersey Political Director for SEIU 32BJ, a labor union that represents essential building service workers and fights for economic, social, and racial justice for all working people. Elena’s first job after graduating from Smith College in 2008 was as a research associate for the Prison Policy Initiative. Among other projects, she co-authored reports about prison gerrymandering in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. The Massachusetts report became the basis of a resolution that passed the state legislature in August 2014. In 2013 Elena returned as a consultant and researched the effects of prison gerrymandering on school board districts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her dog and partner.
  • Paul Watterson, Director
    Attorney (bio) Paul Watterson is counsel to a New York based law firm, Schulte Roth & Zabel. Previously he was an officer of a bank in New York and London, and he has held various government positions, including Assistant to the Mayor of New York City. He is a graduate of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Law School at Harvard University.

*Organizations for identification purposes only.


Advisory Board*


In memory

*Organizations for identification purposes only.



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