Leadership

2013 Board of Directors

To see the biography of a board member, click on the name.

Robert K. Johnson, Esq., Chair is of counsel to the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles and was co-managing partner for six years. He also worked for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General and as an associate for Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Johnson is an active member of the American, California and Los Angeles County Bar Associations and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association where he served as Chair of its Taxation Section and Chair of its Employee Benefits Committee, receiving its Dana Latham Memorial Award in 1999. Johnson also served as Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of California and received its V. Judson Klein Award in 1997. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. Johnson is currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Employee Benefits Law and Tax Law. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School where he served as an officer of the Stanford Law Review. Johnson also currently serves on the Board of Directors and as President of the Housing Rights Center, which is California’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to security fair housing.

Barrett S. Litt, Esq., Vice Chair, is a partner at Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt in Los Angeles, CA. He began his career as a criminal defense attorney, and worked on the Pentagon Papers and Chicago Conspiracy trials. He has spent most of his career litigating civil rights and constitutional cases in the civil arena. Many of the civil rights cases he has tried and settled involved multi-million dollar awards. In 2003, Litt was lead counsel in the McClure v. City of Long Beach trial, a Fair Housing Act case that resulted in a unanimous verdict and an award of $22,500,000.00 after seven months of trial, the largest Fair Housing Act verdict in the country. Litt has been recognized frequently for his public interest and civil rights work with the UCLA School of Law naming him as its public interest 1995 alumnus of the year. He was also named a “Super Lawyer” in Civil Rights/First Amendment and Class Action/Mass Tort actions for the years 2005, 2006, 2007,2008, 2009 and 2010. Litt is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.

Richard Alexander, Esq. is managing  partner with Arnold and Porter LLP, a member of the Firm’s financial services group and is based in Washington, DC. His practice involves some of the most significant enforcement, supervisory, and governance matters affecting the financial services industry.   Mr. Alexander’s practice includes representing financial service companies with respect to a wide range of issues arising out of the supervisory process. He has extensive experience in federal anti-money laundering laws and frequently counsels clients on the bank examination process. Mr. Alexander also has significant experience with respect to issues arising out of the conservatorship or receivership of regulated financial service companies.  He regularly is called upon to counsel clients with respect to complex corporate governance issues, often representing Boards of Directors or their Audit and Special Committees. He has conducted many internal or independent investigations into alleged accounting fraud, legal, ethical, and internal control violations, self-dealing, and other wrong doings. An alumnus of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, he is a graduate of Brandeis University and received his JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Alexander currently serves on the DC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education Board of Trustees.

Yanira Cruz, Ph. D. is the President & CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). She also currently serves on the Boards of the Consumer Health Foundation and the American Society on Aging. Ms. Cruz has been appointed to serve on the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (APME), which advises the Secretary of DHHS and the Administrator of CMS on opportunities to enhance the federal government’s effectiveness in implementing a national Medicare education program. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at The George Washington University School of Public Health. Before joining NHCOA, she served as executive director and chief operating officer of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) in Washington. She joined HSHPS after serving as director of the Institute for Hispanic Health at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) where she led numerous public health programs to improve the health status of Latinos nationwide. Ms. Cruz received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in global health from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

David H. Fry is a litigation attorney with Munger, Tolles & Olson of San Francisco, CA. He has frequently represented major national corporations in high level cases, however his pro bono work helped the NSCLC and others in the well-known Martinez vs. Astrue case. This case obtained $500 million for thousands of people who were wrongfully denied government benefits such as Social Security and Supplement Income Security (SSI). His firm received the National Law Journal’s 2009 Pro Bono Award for work on that case and, in 2010, he received personal recognition for pro bono work from California Lawyer magazine and the Wiley W. Manuel award from the State Bar of California. Fry is a graduate of Pomona College and received his law degree from Yale Law School.

Russell Hirschhorn is a Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department at Proskauer and is based in New York City. He focuses on complex ERISA litigation and advises employers, fiduciaries and trustees on ERISA benefit and fiduciary issues. When he is not litigating, Hirschhorn is active in counseling benefit plan clients on a host of compliance and federal and state government agency enforcement matters, including complex and lengthy investigations and audits by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor. He received the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Award (2013) and the Urban Justice Center Social Justice Award (2013) for his work with NSCLC and the Urban Justice Center in the Clark v. Astrue nationwide class action lawsuit. In addition, Russell is a prolific writer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues, and often speaks on topics related to his publications. He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers since 2011.  He also served as a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University where he received his J.D. from its School of Law.  Hirschhorn is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego.

Phyllis J. Holmen, Esq. is executive director of Georgia Legal Services Program of Atlanta, GA, a position she has held since June 1990. GLSP provides civil legal services to low-income Georgians who live outside the metro Atlanta area, through 9 locations throughout the state. Ms. Holmen began her legal career with GLSP in 1974. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Board of Governors Executive Committee and is active with several State Bar committees. She served on the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission, the Supreme Court’s Indigent Defense Commission, its Blue Ribbon Commission on the Judiciary, and the Administrative Office of the Court’s Committee on Pro Se Litigants. She formerly served on the President’s Task Force on Access to Civil Justice, and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) of the American Bar Association. She is a current or former member of many national and community boards and organizations, including the National Legal Aid and Defender Association; the national Poverty and Race Research Action Council; CHRIS Homes; the Women’s Policy Group; Leadership Atlanta; and the ACLU of Georgia. Ms. Holmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.

Michael J. Kelly, Ph.D. Esq. has served on NSCLC’s Board of Directors since 2000, including two years as chair, and was interim Executive Director of NSCLC prior to the rehiring of Executive Director Paul Nathanson. In his career, Kelly was Dean of the University of Maryland School of Law as well as University Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Georgetown University. He was also a visiting scholar at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a senior fellow at the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the boards of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and, for nine years concluding in December 2012, was a board member and chair of the executive compensation committee of CareFirst Inc., the nonprofit Blue Cross/Blue Shield Company serving the Maryland and Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is a Princeton University graduate with a Ph.D. from King’s College, Cambridge University and earned his law degree from Yale University.

Hannah Lieberman, Esq. is executive director of Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington, DC. She formerly was principal at Lieberman Consulting LLC,  in Bethesda, MD. Before that, she was the deputy executive director of the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. where she oversaw advocacy work of this statewide, multi-office, 130+ attorney legal services program. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Ms. Lieberman served as the Litigation Coordinator/Director of Advocacy of Community Legal Services in Arizona and a litigation partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. In 2005, Ms. Lieberman received the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. She is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

John A. Picciotto is retired. He formerly served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for CareFirst, Inc., CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. He directed the operations of the legal, audit and compliance divisions of the companies and their subsidiaries. An attorney for the company for 37 years, Mr. Picciotto previously served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, providing counsel and directing all legal activities for the organization and its subsidiaries. Mr. Picciotto received his Bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Baltimore and his JD from the University of Maryland. He has been a member of the Maryland Health Care Access and Cost Commission, the Governor’s Chief Executive Officer’s Council on the Handicapped, Director and Legal Counsel to Maryland Special Olympics, as well as serving on several other Governor’s commissions and in voluntary leadership positions.

Edward D. Spurgeon, Esq. has been Executive Director of the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging in Salt Lake City, UT since 1998. He also has been both a practicing lawyer, including a partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker in Los Angeles, and a legal educator at the University of Utah, the University of Georgia and Pacific McGeorge School of Law. At the latter, Spurgeon was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and holder of the Gordon D. Schaber Chair in Health Law and Policy. He also served a combined total of 12 years as the Dean of the University of Utah and University of Georgia law schools, and was a visiting law professor at both Stanford and New York University law schools. Since 1991, he has been a Commissioner and Special Advisor to the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and he co-founded Utah Legal Services’ Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project. Spurgeon is a graduate of Princeton University, received his law degree from Stanford University Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from New York University Law School. He currently is Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at both the University of Utah and the University of Georgia.

E. Percil Stanford,Ph.D. is currently President of Folding Voice and also San Diego KIND Corporation. Positions at AARP included West Region Director, Interim Director of the State Affairs Department and Senior Advisor in the Thought Leadership Group. In his role as AARP’s Senior Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion he led AARP’s initiative to implement a strategy that would ensure equal opportunities for all employees and volunteers and ensure that services, programs and products would be user friendly for all.

Dr. Stanford began his career at Iowa State University and subsequently worked at the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Administration on Aging. While serving as a Congressional Fellow, he worked in the House of Representatives and Senate focusing on Veteran’s Affairs. As a professor at San Diego State University (SDSU), he founded the University Center on Aging, The National Institute on Minority Aging and the Gerontology Department and was Interim Director of the School of Social Work. Stanford continues to serve as Professor Emeritus at SDSU. He is a widely published author of several books and articles on a wide range of Age related topics.

Leadership roles have been assumed in numerous professional organizations such as The Gerontological Society of America, The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and The American Bar Association Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly. Dr. Stanford has been appointed to several National, State and local Commissions and Task Forces including White House Conferences on Aging.

Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress (CAP). Tanden previously was Senior Advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, advising Secretary Sebelius and working on  President Obama’s health reform team to develop and pass the Affordable Care Act. Prior to that, Tanden was the Director of Domestic Policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, managing all domestic policy proposals. She had formerly served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and earlier as Legislative Director for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). A frequent guest on national television news program, Tanden is a graduate of Yale Law School.

Stu Zimring, Esq. is in private practice in North Hollywood, California, specializing in elder law, estate and life planning, special needs trusts and probate, conservatorship and trust litigation. He is certified as a specialist in estate planning, probate and trust law by the Board of Certification of the State Bar of California, and is co-author (together with Donna Bashaw, CELA) of Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly – California Guide and (together with Prof. Rebecca Morgan, Bradley Frigon and Craig Reaves) Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts.“ Zimring is a member of the Matthew-Bender/Lexis-Nexis Elder Law Editorial Board. He is admitted to practice in California, the U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California and the U.S. Supreme Court. A fellow of both the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the American College of Trust and Estate Counselors (ACTEC), he is also a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a Past President of NAELA, and a Charter Member of NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practicioners. He also serves on the boards of directors of a number of non-profit organizations including the Organization for the Needs of the Elderly (ONEgeneration), of which he is also a Past President. He graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 1971 with a J.D. degree.

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