Sascha Meinrath (Co-President)
Sascha directs X-Lab and has been described as a “community Internet pioneer” and an “entrepreneurial visionary.” In 2008, Sascha founded the Open Technology Institute (OTI), and he has been an unapologetic advocate for consumers and a counterweight to the major telecom and wireless industry lobbies for over half-a-decade in Washington, DC. Sascha was named to the “TIME Tech 40” in 2013 as one of the most influential figures in technology, and was also named to the “Top 100” in Newsweek’s Digital Power Index in 2012.
Woody Kaplan (Co-President)
Woody founded the Civil Liberties List (a political action committee) and is a full-time political and civil liberties activist. Along with serving as president of Defending Dissent Foundation, he is the Development Chair of American Atheists and serves on the advisory boards of the American Humanist Association, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Godless Americans Political Action Committee, and the Secular Student Alliance. Kaplan is a former member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Board of Directors and served on its Executive Committee. Congressional lobbying and organizational governance and development work are Kaplan’s major activities. His civil liberties interests include freedom of expression, the right of dissent, separation of church and state, racial justice, LGBT rights, reproductive freedom, abolition of the death penalty, the rights of the accused, police misconduct and a general extension of political and civil liberties.
Mike Rufo (Vice President)
Mike is a Bay Area activist, singer/songwriter, and sustainable energy consultant. Mike has directed several sustainable energy consultancies and is currently an Executive Consultant for Itron Inc. Mike also serves on the board of the Clean Power Campaign and was previously a board member with the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT). In addition to his work addressing sustainable energy, his passions for civil liberties, social justice, the environment, and music come together in songs that promote grassroots activism.
Fadi Saba (Vice President)
Fadi specializes in teaching students. He brings his background knowledge in civil liberties and rights into the classroom where students engage in critical thinking and debates. Outside of teaching, Fadi is involved in the anti-war and pro-Palestinian freedom movements. He is the president of Culture and Conflict Forum, a volunteer-run organization dedicated to bringing voices from and about the Global South.
Shahid Buttar (Clerk)
Shahid is Director of Grassroots Advocacy for Electronic Frontier Foundation, and former Executive Director of BORDC. He also serves on the advisory bodies of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together. Shahid received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BA in political science and creative writing in 2000. Shahid also supports populist constitutionalism as an independent columnist, community organizer, and hip-hop and electronica MC and DJ. In his creative capacities as a poet and musician, Shahid has performed around the world for audiences as large as 30,000, co-founded several grassroots art and culture groups around the country, facilitated workshops for young people and emerging artists, and released his debut CD, Get Outta Your Chair, in 2008.
Donald Goldhamer (Treasurer)
Don is an activist and advocate focused on civil liberties and individual privacy. As a computer specialist since the 1960’s he has focused attention on the abuse of technology to undermine privacy and rights, through organizations such as the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and the ACM. Beginning in the 1970’s he has been involved in work toward prison abolition, transparency and civilian oversight; and later with the control and oversight of urban police.
Steve is a practicing CPA with extensive experience in nonprofit accounting and tax matters. He is a former member of Amnesty International USA’s board of directors.
Emily is professor of Constitutional Law at University of Houston Law School. Her research interests focus on whether and how the legal, constitutional, and regulatory structures of the domestic criminal justice apparatus have been transformed by the past decade’s focus on efforts to detect, prevent, and punish the threat of terrorist violence. Her current work seeks to elucidate the implications of these changes for both criminal law and national security law. She has written extensively about domestic intelligence collection, executive power and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She has worked at the Brennan Center for Justice, New York University Law School and Brooklyn Law School.
Timuel, born and raised in Chicago, is a revered educator, political and social activist, community leader, oral historian and philosopher. He has taught at several Chicago high schools, colleges and universities, and is currently the retired professor emeritus of social sciences of the City Colleges of Chicago. The grandson of slaves, Dr. Black was a pioneer in the independent, progressive black political movement in Chicago which eventually saw the rise of Chicago’s first Black Mayor, the late honorable Mayor Harold Washington. Professor Black is also credited with coining the phrase “plantation politics.” Black has spent his life furthering the cause of social justice, and promoting the political, educational and social empowerment of African Americans. Black’s celebrated book, Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Great Migration, chronicles black Chicago history from the 1920s to the present, and is based on interviews he conducted with local luminaries and every day individuals whose stories are deeply interwoven into the fabric of Chicago’s past, present and future.
Victor S. Navasky
Victor has served as editor, publisher and now publisher emeritus of The Nation. He teaches Journalism at the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he also directs the Delacorte Center of Magazines and chairs theColumbia Journalism Review. In the 1970’s he served as an editor on The New York Times Magazine. His books include Kennedy Justice, Naming Names, The Experts Speak: The Definitive Guide to Authoritative Misinformation and Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War In Iraq
Harry is an activist, software developer, and cryptography enthusiast in San Francisco. He currently works with Kiva.org providing community funded micro-finance to the underbanked world-wide. Harry has previously participated in fundraising efforts with bike-zambia for aids treatment and awareness in Zambia.
Suraj K. Sazawal
Suraj is the Advocacy Associate at Casey Trees in Washington DC, helping shape district policy to create and maintain healthy and sustainable communities. As the research coordinator at the Charity & Security Network, he worked to reform national security laws that restrict peace-building and charitable action in conflict zones. He is the co-author of the chapter about the U.S. in Civil Society Under Strain: Counter-Terrorism Policy, Civil Society, and Aid Post 9/11), the first book to examine the War on Terror’s impact on civil society around the world.