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Alessandra Soler, Executive Director
Alessandra Soler came to the ACLU of Arizona as Executive Director in February 2006. She brings nearly 12 years of ACLU experience to Arizona, and is the first Latina to head the statewide civil liberties organization. She served as Communications Director of the ACLU’s fifth largest affiliate in Florida, where she was responsible for spearheading statewide public education campaigns on the USA Patriot Act and racial profiling post 9-11. Prior to her work in Florida, Alessandra worked at the ACLU of Louisiana, coordinating advocacy efforts in New Orleans to combat police misconduct, improve prison conditions and keep school-sponsored prayer out of public schools. Before joining the ACLU, Alessandra worked as a reporter for The Miami Herald, where she covered local government, business, crime and education. She also worked for a brief period at the Roanoke Times in Virginia. Alessandra, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and a minor in Latin American Studies.
Dan Pochoda, Legal Director
Dan Pochoda has been the Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona since 2007. During this period the ACLU litigated numerous cases against unconstitutional practices by governmental actors and agencies including challenges to SB 1070 and racial profiling by Sheriff Arpaio and the MCSO. The ACLU successfully advocated for persons and groups targeted on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation, and for persons seeking to exercise rights of speech including to protest governmental policies, and to practice their religion without retaliation. After graduation from Harvard Law School, Dan began his career with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. He has litigated numerous constitutional cases at trial and appellate levels including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan was the legal coordinator for the Attica Brothers after the rebellion in 1971. He has served on the law faculties of the City University of New York, New York University and Santa Clara University.
James Duff Lyall, Border Litigation Staff Attorney (Tucson)
Based in Tucson, James conducts litigation and advocacy related to civil and human rights violations in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Since joining the ACLU as staff attorney in September 2011, he has been involved in much of our civil rights litigation, including our immigrant rights and prisoner rights docket. James is a former Georgetown Law Fellow at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles, where he provided pro bono legal representation to detained immigrants in removal proceedings. Subsequently, as Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) Law Fellow, he specialized in representing unaccompanied immigrant children in state and federal court proceedings, including Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) cases. Prior to joining the ACLU, James was a volunteer with No More Deaths in Tucson, where he co-authored Culture of Cruelty, a report documenting widespread Border Patrol abuse along the US-Mexico border. A native of Massachusetts, James is a 2007 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he completed a certificate program in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.
Kelly Flood, Senior Staff Attorney
Kelly Joyce Flood joined as our Senior Staff Attorney in May 2012. Kelly comes to the ACLU of Arizona after having served as a partner at the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart, P.C., where she handled complex civil litigation and appeals in both state and federal court. During her 12-year career at the firm, Kelly handled class action lawsuits on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, legal malpractice cases, complex commercial disputes and employment-related litigation. She also handled a variety of appeals to the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court. She has litigated constitutional law cases dealing with campaign finance and election law, and has defended the rights of consumers and workers, including filing cases to vindicate the rights of employees to be fairly paid. She also has served as an election protection volunteer lawyer to ensure voters have access to the polls. Prior to joining Polsinelli, Kelly clerked for Judges Sarah D. Grant, Rebecca White Berch and Rudolph J. Gerber on the Arizona Court of Appeals. Kelly is involved in a variety of bench/bar activities, including the Sandra Day O’Connor Inn of Court and the Arizona State Bar Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. She recently served as a Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Kelly and her Certified Therapy Dog, Buddy, currently volunteer for Hospice of the Valley’s Pet Connections Program, visiting patients on hospice care.
Darrell Hill, Intake Attorney
Darrell joined the ACLU of Arizona in May 2010. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in May 2009 and began volunteering with our legal department shortly thereafter, drafting legal memos and assisting with public education and advocacy efforts related to our Voting Rights Restoration Project. While in law school, Darrell worked as a law clerk for the Kasieta Legal Group LLC and also interned at the ACLU of Wisconsin. Before attending law school, Darrell worked as a project manager for a marketing research company in Chicago.
Gloria A. Torres, Paralegal
Gloria is responsible for providing primary administrative support for all cases and assisting with other activities of the ACLU-AZ’s legal department, including CLEs, workshops and trainings geared toward attorneys and community advocates. She also works with Legal Director Dan Pochoda to coordinate efforts to build relationships with new cooperating attorneys through targeted, pro-active outreach with law firms throughout the state. Gloria has over 25 years of legal experience providing litigation support for various law firms in the Valley. Gloria received her paralegal certification and degree in Business Administration and Management from Arizona State University. Gloria, is a native of Phoenix.
Victoria López, Program Director
Victoria López is the Program Director at the ACLU of Arizona overseeing non-litigation advocacy efforts in defending civil rights and liberties in Arizona. She joined the ACLU of Arizona in 2009 as the Immigrants’ Rights Advocate to lead a documentation project on immigration detention. She is the primary researcher and author of In Their Own Words: Enduring Abuse in Arizona Immigration Detention Centers, a report based on over one hundred in-person interviews with people detained in Arizona. Victoria is a former Equal Justice Works Fellow, staff attorney and executive director of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois-Champaign and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Addy Bareiss, Program Associate
Addy Bareiss is responsible for outreach, public education events, and volunteers and interns. She is also a liaison to chapters across Arizona, and the contact for membership inquiries. Addy earned her B.A. in history with a minor in special education/deaf studies at the University of Arizona. She graduated from Kansas State University with her MBA and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. Her focus on social justice and community activism are at the core of her work - professionally and personally. She avers that her pursuit of higher education is driven by her passion for civil liberties and human rights. Addy is currently a graduate student at Arizona State University in the Women and Gender Studies Department.
Dulce Juarez, Immigrants' Rights Project Coordinator
Dulce Juarez joined the ACLU of Arizona on Monday, June 25th, 2012 the day the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the “show me your papers” provision of SB 1070, Arizona’s racial profiling law. Her start date is significant because she is responsible for documenting civil rights abuses stemming from racial profiling laws like SB 1070 through community outreach, communications and non-litigation advocacy. Dulce came to the ACLU of Arizona after having worked as a campaign organizer for the ACLU of Northern California’s Estamos Unidos campaign to raise awareness about immigrants’ rights and petition in different states to end discriminatory laws like SB 1070 that encourage racial profiling. For more than 10 years she has been very actively involved in migrant rights and the DREAMers movement, which has advocated for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children, brought to the U.S. by their parents. Dulce, who is an actress and performer, was recently awarded the Phoenix New Times’ 2012 Big Brain Award. Fluent in English and Spanish, Dulce is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in Human Communication with an emphasis on Family and Human Development, and a master’s in Education.
Courtney Spellacy, Director of Philanthropy
Courtney has over eight years of diverse development experience working with individuals, foundations, and corporations. She joined the ACLU of Arizona after having worked as Development Director of New Global Citizen, a local Phoenix non-profit that works to prepare youth to become engaged international advocates. Prior to that position, she spent a decade in Washington, D.C. working for several non-profits including International Women’s Democracy Center, American Near East Refugee Aid, and ActionAid USA. Courtney was named Fundraising Success’ 2009 Fundraising Rising Star of the Year. A Minnesota native, she attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon studying International Affairs before she headed east to attend American University in Washington, D.C. where she earned her M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, while playing point guard for AU’s women’s basketball team.
Somone Johnson, Donor Relations Coordinator
Somone joined the ACLU of Arizona in January 2013 as Donor Relations Coordinator. Somone is responsible for supporting the ACLU of Arizona’s broad-based major gifts fundraising efforts. In addition, she will coordinate daily Development Department operations and assist in planning and executing the ACLU of Arizona’s major gifts program. Somone comes to the ACLU of Arizona after serving as a Management Assistant for the City Manager and Finance Director at the City of Glendale, where she worked since 2010. While working for the city, Somone was responsible for producing monthly internal and external financial and activity reports for various departments, including Finance and Public Works, and also handled all of the City Manager’s communications ranging from drafting memos and speeches, to web content and City Council presentations. Prior to working at the City of Glendale, Somone served as a Membership Marketing/Educational Programs Coordinator for the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Somone grew up in Glendale, Arizona, and received a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University, where she was awarded the Marvin Andrews Fellowship for her work in Urban Management.
Anjali Abraham, Public Policy Director
Anjali Abraham joined the ACLU of Arizona in August 2010 as Public Policy Director. She comes to the ACLU after serving as Associate Government Affairs Director for the Arizona Association of Counties, where she served as a lobbyist for Arizona's elected county officials. Prior to working at the Arizona Association of Counties, Anjali worked as an assistant attorney general for the Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Arizona Attorney General's Office. She previously clerked for the Honorable James Hardesty of the Nevada Supreme Court and worked as an editor for web and print health care news publications. Anjali, received her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and earned a Master of Letters in Divinity from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Anjali grew up in Phoenix and is a volunteer with the Arizona Humane Society.
Lizabeth (Beth) Thomson-Gorman, Office Manager
Beth joined the ACLU of Arizona in July 2011 and is responsible for ensuring the smooth daily functioning of the ACLU of Arizona office, including coordinating outside vendors and contractors, handling various payroll and accounting functions, developing and organizing office procedures and systems and providing administrative support to the Executive Director, Finance Director and the ACLU Board of Directors. She has worked in the field of non-profit administration for the past 25 years, most recently as the Program Manager of Valley Leadership, where she was responsible for coordinating the adult and teen leadership development programs, overseeing office operations and finances, coordinating events and volunteers and supporting the organization’s Board of Directors and committees. Prior to working at Valley Leadership, Beth worked as a Business Manager for the West Valley and Chris-Town Branches of the Valley of the Sun YMCA where she managed the organization’s office operations and supported the Board of Directors and Board committees. Beth is an alumna of the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she studied Business Administration.
Deanna Robinson, Finance Director
Deanna Robinson joined the ACLU of Arizona in July 2011 as the part-time Finance Director. Deanna holds an Arizona CPA license and comes from Big 4 public accounting in addition to many years of private industry experience with US and International GAAP.