BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lara Bazelon was an associate professor at Loyola Law School and the Director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent prior to becoming the Director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Law Clinics at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Before her academic career, Professor Bazelon worked for seven years as a trial attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles. Professor Bazelon’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of ethics and criminal justice advocacy. She is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Ethics, Gideon & Professionalism Committee, where she has organized roundtables at law schools across the country to develop and revise ethical standards for judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in the areas of mental health and forensic science. In January 2017, she was selected to serve a three-year term on the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Council. Professor Bazelon is a contributing writer for Slate and Politico Magazine. Her essays and op-eds have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fusion, and the Los Angeles Times. Professor Bazelon’s book about wrongful convictions and restorative justice will be published in 2018.
Chesa Boudin served as a law clerk to the Hon. Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2011-2012 and the Honorable Charles Breyer on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 2013-2014. In 2011, Chesa completed his J.D. at Yale Law School. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned two master's degrees from Oxford University in 2006 and 2004. In 2003, he graduated summa cum laude from Yale College. Chesa Boudin is currently a trial attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.
Chesa has translated, edited, and authored several books. His scholarly law articles cover a range of topics such as direct democracy, immigration, institution building, the rights of children with incarcerated parents, and prison visitation policies.
Chesa grew up visiting both of his biological parents in maximum security prisons from the time he was fourteen months old. His mother was released after 22 years and his father is still serving a 75 year to life sentence.
At the age of 16, Jose was sentenced to life imprisonment. Jose spent the next 20 years in prison, transforming from a young man escaping a troubled upbringing to a man who turned to education and drawing, eventually earning his A.A. in prison. As a result of Senate Bill 260, allowing for youth offender parole hearings, Jose was given the opportunity for parole. Jose’s transformation was evident and Jose was granted parole. Jose now works at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Los Angeles and in 2016, enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles, where he is working towards his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science.
Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, MA, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Mr. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won” leading him to found Prosecutor Impact - a non-profit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system.
During his nine years as a prosecutor, Mr. Foss collaborated with the courts and the community to develop programming that continues to have a positive impact on the neighborhoods he prosecuted in. One example of these efforts is the Roxbury CHOICE program, an initiative Mr Foss co-founded, to turn probation from a punitive sentence into a beneficial relationship with the court, the probation department, and the District Attorney’s Office. He is also the founder of the SCDAO Reading Program, a program he started, to bridge the achievement gap of area elementary school students. Before leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Foss was a critical piece of the foundation of the first juvenile diversion program in Suffolk County, keeping young people out of the cradle to prison pipeline.
Most recently, The Mandela Foundation recognized Mr. Foss as the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business of 2017. The NAACP awarded Mr. Foss with the 2017 Roy Wilkins Next Generation Leader Award. The Root named Mr. Foss one of the 100 most influential black Americans of 2016. He was named Graduate of the Last Decade by his alma mater, Suffolk University Law School and is a visiting senior fellow at Harvard Law School. He also is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation Leadership in Government initiative as well as a Director’s Fellow in the world renown MIT Media Lab. In February of 2016, Mr. Foss delivered a TED talk that has already eclipsed 2 million views. In 2015, he was voted one of the country’s 40 most up-and-coming lawyers by National Law Journal and in 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association voted him Prosecutor of the Year. In both his professional and personal capacities, Mr. Foss volunteers much of his time to the community he works in.
Amy Rao is the CEO of Integrated Archive systems a company she founded in 1994. Originally from Indiana, Amy moved to the Bay area in 1985 and currently resides in Palo Alto with her husband and five children. She has a long history of involvement in both local and national democratic politics and she actively advocates for stronger human rights and environmental policy. Amy’s greatest passion is for the defending and protecting of human rights both domestically and internationally and currently serves on the International board of Human Rights Watch as well as on the Vday board with Eve Ensler. Amy serves as President of the board of the 11th Hour Project and also serves on the board of the Schmidt Family Foundation.