Debra Askanase is the Community Engagement Manager at FirstGiving, Inc. She has a passion for helping nonprofit organizations succeed. She brings to FirstGiving 20 years of experience working within the nonprofit sector, from community organizer to executive director. Prior to her current position, Debra founded Community Organizer 2.0, a social media consulting firm to nonprofit organizations. She continues to blog regularly about social media in the nonprofit sector at www.communityorganizer20.com
Federal Trade Commission
Julie Brill was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission April 6, 2010, to a term that expires on September 25, 2016. Since joining the Commission, Brill has worked actively on issues most affecting today’s consumers, including protecting consumers’ privacy, encouraging appropriate advertising substantiation, guarding consumers from financial fraud, and maintaining competition in industries involving high tech and health care. Before she became a Commissioner, Brill was the Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice, a position she held from February 2009 to April 2010. Brill has also been a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia University’s School of Law. Prior to her move to the North Carolina Department of Justice, Brill was an Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the State of Vermont for over 20 years, from 1988 to 2009.
Brill has received several national awards for her work protecting consumers. She has testified before Congress, published numerous articles, and served on many national expert panels focused on consumer protection issues such as pharmaceuticals, privacy, credit reporting, data security breaches, and tobacco. Brill has also served as a Vice-Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association. Prior to her career in law enforcement, Brill was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York from 1987 to 1988. She clerked for Vermont Federal District Court Judge Franklin S. Billings, Jr. from 1985 to 1986. Brill graduated, magna cum laude, from Princeton University, and from New York University School of Law, where she had a Root-Tilden Scholarship for her commitment to public service.
Assistant Attorney General
Missouri Office of Attorney General
Bob Carlson has been with the Missouri Attorney General’s office for over five years. For the past three years he has coordinated the Missouri AG’s regulation of all aspects of the charitable sector: registration, nonprofit corporations, charitable trusts, asset sales, etc. In 2007, he joined the NASCO board and currently serves as its secretary.
Assistant Attorney General
Massachusetts Office of Attorney General
Eric Carriker has been an assistant attorney general in the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Massachusetts office of the Attorney General since 1983. He has conducted a wide variety of litigation matters, including civil lawsuits involving deceptive fund-raising practices, insider misconduct, and misapplication of charitable funds, as well as two criminal prosecutions for embezzlement and other misconduct. He also handled the seminal litigation defining standards for determining which non-profit corporations are charities subject to regulation in Attorney General v. Weymouth Agricultural and Industrial Society, 400 Mass. 475 (1987). He was active on the Boston Bar Association task force for the revision of the non-profit corporation statute, G. L. c. 180 and he is president-elect of the National Association of State Charities Officials. A graduate of Harvard College and Boston University Law School, Mr. Carriker previously held government legal positions as a civil rights attorney at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, as General Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare, and as an enforcement attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency. Since 1988 he has been an adjunct professor at New England School of Law, teaching clinical students placed at the Attorney Generals office. Mr. Carriker has lectured at many seminars and continuing education programs.
Charities Program Manager
Colorado Secretary of State’s Office
Chris Cash is a native of Colorado with a background in government service and the nonprofit sector. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Political Science, interned in Washington D.C. for Sen. Tim Wirth (CO), and later worked for Rep. David Skaggs (CO-2nd CD). He also pursued graduate studies at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, where he studied the role of civil society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and carried out nonprofit funding research projects. At the Colorado Secretary of State's office, he is responsible for administering the Secretary of State's charities and fundraisersregistration program, pursuant to Title 6, Article 16, Colorado Revised Statutes (the "Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act"). He is a past president of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO), which is a forum for the exchange of views and experiences relating to charitable trust and charitable solicitation issues.
New Mexico Office of Attorney General
Alanna Goodman has been the Charity Investigator for the New Mexico Attorney General since the fall of 2008. Prior to this position, she was the Foundation Director for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau in Evansville, Indiana, which focused on consumer education. One of her primary duties was to oversee the evaluation of local charitable organizations for their Charity Review Program. She was also a member of a local committee created to address and prevent fraud in the Evansville tri-state area. Before her career in consumer protection, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Arts Management and Leadership. She has held various positions within several charitable arts and cultural organizations.
Elizabeth Grant is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Charitable Activities Section at the Oregon Department of Justice. She joined the Department in 2003. Prior to that, she worked for approximately twelve years as an attorney in the Division of Marketing Practices in the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection in Washington, DC. While at the FTC, she developed and litigated federal enforcement actions involving deceptive and unlawful business practices. Ms. Grant graduated magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.
Oregon Office of Attorney General
Kirk Harvey is the Chief Investigator for the Charitable Activities Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner with 33 years of law enforcement and regulatory experience. He has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master’s Degree with concentrated studies in nonprofit administration.
Senior Assistant Attorney General, Charitable Trusts Section
California Office of Attorney General
Ms. Johns has been a member of the Charitable Trusts Section since 1989. As Senior Assistant, she is the statewide head of the Section. From 1989 until late 2004, Ms. Johns specialized in the civil prosecution of charity and charitable solicitation fraud. During that time period she also served as the liaison between the Attorney General’s office and local law enforcement agencies to assist in the detection and prosecution of charitable solicitation fraud and was responsible for enforcement of the Attorney General's charitable fundraising registration program. Ms. Johns is a past president of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) and is active in charitable trust issues at the national level.
Assistant Attorney General
New Mexico Office of Attorney General
Elizabeth Korsmo joined the New Mexico Attorney General’s Charities Unit in November of 2008 armed with an education from the University of New Mexico School of Law (1996) and twelve years in various types of public service including legislative analyst, public defender, and employment lawyer for state government agencies. The unit, previously managed by a single administrative staff person and barely able to handle the volume of mail much less see to enforcement of the Charitable Solicitations Act, was expanded to include a full time attorney, an investigator and 1 ½ full time administrative employees. New Mexico launched its electronic registration system (NMCOROS) in February of 2010 and has been holding the line against incoming complaints and outrage about change in general and charitable oversight specifically. Elizabeth is working on developing a reputation as the cause of New Mexico’s recent change in status from an oversight-free zone to a ‘problem’ state for unscrupulous fundraisers and less than charitable organizations. She is looking forward to the day when one of them will take her up on her standing offer to address objections to oversight of charitable organizations’ activities through litigation. While she waits, she learns everything she can from the incredible pool of experience and talent known as NASCO, works with other state charity oversight officials on multistate enforcement actions, attempts to educate the charitable community in her state about their statutory and common law responsibilities and answers thousands of questions about electronic registration in New Mexico. When she is not trying to rid the world of charitable fraud, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she volunteers for an organization fostering abandoned kittens, keeps life interesting for her husband, aka the bravest man alive, and has recently taken up with the hipster refashioning movement.
Section Chief, Charities Bureau
New York State Office of Attorney General
Karin Kunstler Goldman is a Section Chief in the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Karin was the 2001-2002 president of the National Association of State Charity Officials, is a founding member of the Governance Matters! and serves on the advisory board of the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics. From 2003 to 2007 she served on the advisory board of New York University's National Center on Philanthropy and the Law. In 2008, she was appointed to the Internal Revenue Service's Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt Entities. Prior to joining the Attorney General's office, Karin was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow and a staff attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation. As an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow in Hungary, Karin worked with not-for-profit organizations, government officials and legislative drafters in developing the law and regulations affecting the non-profit sector. She has consulted with government officials and legislative drafters in Ukraine and China on the development of statutory regulation of charitable organizations in those countries. In 2007, Karin was a guest of the People's Republic of China at its International Symposium on Charity Legislation in China at which she was a speaker. Karin and her husband, Neal, spent two years as Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal, West Africa. They have two grown children. Karin has a law degree from Rutgers University Law School, a BA from Connecticut College, and an MA from Columbia University.
Paul Luehr Esq.,
Managing Director and Counsel
Stroz Friedberg LLC (Formerly with US DOJ and FTC)
Following eleven and a half years as a federal attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Paul H. Luehr is now Managing Director and General Counsel of Stroz Friedberg, LLC. Together with Scott Larson, Mr. Luehr manages the operations of the firm’s office in Minneapolis. Mr. Luehr has supervised numerous computer forensic, computer crime and electronic discovery matters. He has overseen several investigations into trade secret thefts and has pioneered cases involving “database forensics,” in which the data from enterprise Oracle, Sequel and Access databases must be extracted, preserved, authenticated and interpreted in electronic discovery and regulatory matters. He has used his deep regulatory expertise to assist outside counsel in presenting the results of forensic analyses to state and federal consumer protection regulators, including in cases involving alleged violations of Do Not Call rules and cases in which digital rights management (DRM) software is alleged to have violated trade practices and spyware laws. Mr. Luehr is an expert on spyware and phishing technology and privacy law, and has been retained by the FTC, state prosecutors, and private companies to assess specific software, track potential offenders, or provide identity theft training. Twice, he has testified before the Minnesota Legislature on proposed phishing and identity theft statutes. Mr. Luehr has also rendered consulting advice in support of litigations involving trademark infringement, patent infringement and online advertising, at times acting as an expert witness.
Mr. Luehr served as Computer and Telecommunications Coordinator (“CTC ”) in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota from 2000 to 2004. In that capacity, he conducted and supervised investigations and prosecutions of computer intrusions, e-mail threats and extortion, terrorism, Internet auction fraud, online identity theft and phishing schemes, web hosting fraud, software piracy, criminal trademark infringement, and the manufacturing and transmission of child pornography. Among his notable cases, Mr. Luehr prosecuted: the hacking of corporate computers owned by department store retailer Saks, Inc.; extortionate e-mail demands of $2.5 million made against Best Buy Co.; the billing of $340,000 in fraudulent credit card charges to web hosting clients; and the sale of stolen software through eBay. Working with other federal districts, Mr. Luehr supervised the search and arrest of the “Blaster Worm B” virus writer in Minnesota , and immediately following September 11, 2001 , Mr. Luehr oversaw the initial investigation into computer evidence related to convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. Apart from prosecuting cases, Mr. Luehr served as a member of the U.S. Internet and Telemarketing Fraud Task Force, the Justice Department’s CTC Working Group, and the Anti-Spam Task Force. He was also selected to travel abroad as a U.S. State Department Speaker, lecturing on e-commerce and cybercrime to Southeast Asian officials and companies.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis, Mr. Luehr was Assistant Director of Marketing Practices at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC, where he supervised the agency's Internet fraud program. In that role from 1998 to 2000, he chaired the agency’s Internet Coordinating Committee, helped manage a 50-person division and supervised federal court litigation against Internet schemes such as “Web site cramming” and “page jacking.” In one Internet case, Mr. Luehr initiated and later supervised an investigation into an online credit card scheme that bilked thousands of consumers out of more than $43 million. Mr. Luehr graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received his law degree from UCLA. Before entering the legal profession, Mr. Luehr worked for Louis-Dreyfus Corporation as a domestic and international commodities trader.
Vice President, Nonprofit Programs
Dan leads the team that supports the GuideStar Exchange, GuideStar’s program to encourage nonprofits to share up-to-date information about their missions, programs, leadership teams, and social impact. Before joining GuideStar, Dan was the chief charity regulator for the state of New Mexico and served as president of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO). A nationally recognized expert on nonprofit accountability, Dan holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico.
Mark A. Pacella
Chief Deputy Attorney General
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Mr. Pacella received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in April of 1981, and his J.D. from the Antioch School of Law in May of 1984. He maintained a general law practice for three years before joining the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in November of 1987 as a staff attorney within its Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section. He has served as the chief of that section, which performs the Attorney General’s supervisory role over property committed to charitable purposes, since September of 1999. Mr. Pacella is a Past-President of the National Association of State Charity Officials (“NASCO,” an affiliate of the National Association of Attorneys General), and has served on several NASCO committees. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Charitable Organizations and Government Lawyers Committees, and an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy after a four year active duty enlistment in July of 1977.
Assisting Managing Editor and Blog Contributor
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Peter Panepento is an assistant managing editor for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where, among other duties, he oversees its online presence at http://philanthropy.com and in social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. After joining the paper as a senior reporter in 2006, he created Give & Take, a Chronicle blog that covers the nonprofit blogosphere. Since then, he has been working to reinvent http://philanthropy.com, managing and moderating its popular Live Discussions series, and closely following nonprofit groups’ use of social media. Panepento reports in depth on issues such as fund raising, endowments, cause-related marketing, donor-advised funds, and planned giving. Before coming to The Chronicle, Panepento worked at the Erie (Pa.) Times-News as its first online reporter from 2005 to 2006 and as a business reporter from 2000 to 2005, covering Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric Co., Erie Insurance Group, and International Paper Co. He was a senior editor for SchoolSports magazine in Boston (1999 to 2000) and edited several community newspapers in the Boston area for Community Newspaper Co. (1995 to 1999). Panepento has also written for national magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Computerworld, and Men’s Health. He has been a speaker at conferences and meetings across the United States, talking about how nonprofit groups can build their presence through the use of social media, fund-raising trends, regulatory trends, and the economy.
Senior Research Associate and Program Director
National Center for Charitable Statistics
Mr. Pollak, JD, is Program Director of the National Center for Charitable Statistics, a program of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. Recent research projects include a study of operating reserves of Washington-area nonprofits, a report on the nonprofit environmental movement; and an analysis of private contributions to U.S.-based international development organizations. In addition, he manages the NCCS Form 990 Online, state charity registration, and the IRS e-Postcard projects. His current focus is on the development of state and local civic capacity-building projects with the Urban Institute/NCCS Community Platform. He has published in numerous scholarly journals and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post, USA Today, the New York Times, and other national media. He has his JD from Georgetown University and is a member of the Maryland and DC bars.
Amy Sample Ward
NTEN (The Nonprofit Technology Network)
Amy Sample Ward is a blogger, facilitator and trainer focused on leveraging social technologies for social change. In 2009, she co-authored Social by Social, a handbook in using social technologies for social impact, and has contributed to various other publications about social media. She is a conversation-starter and thought-leader, writing about strategic uses of new technologies for communities and organizations on her blog (AmySampleWard.org) and the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIReview.com/Opinion). As of March 1st, Amy is the Membership Director at NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network.
Jeremy D. Sher
Grassroots Giving Group Inc.
Jeremy is an experienced leader in the political technology and nonprofit areas. He was Director of Technology at the Washington State Democratic Party from 2002 to 2005, where he co-wrote (with Rob Lloyd of Hang Wire and under Paul Berendt's leadership) the nation's only successful online voter database application developed in-house by a Party organization. This software made important contributions to Democrats' success. Jeremy then went to work on web and data technology as an owner of Hang Wire LLC in Seattle, and he moved to Boston in 2008 to lead Auburn Quad, Inc., and the Auburn Quad Community Fundraising business unit that's now Grassroots Giving Group.
Jeremy's board experience includes four years each as a trustee of Seattle's Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) and Temple Beth Am, and on the Seattle Human Rights Commission as a mayoral appointee, and he was a seven-year organizer of Seattle's annual Martin Luther King, Jr., March & Rally. He is a certified mediator. Jeremy holds a B.S. in mathematics from MIT, where he received the 1999 Karl Taylor Compton Prize, the highest award given to an undergraduate. He currently lives in Boston, where he attends Temple Beth Zion and is an avid cyclist. In his spare time, Jeremy is studying to become a rabbi, under the direction of the respected Jewish leader Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.
Nonprofit/For-Profit Social Enterprises
Katy Spencer is a consultant for nonprofit and for-profit social enterprises specializing in operations, organizational change and strategy. She has experience as an entrepreneur, a funder and a nonprofit leader with a diverse background in education, arts and culture, criminal justice reform and reproductive health and rights. She was previously the co-director of a private foundation with a portfolio in the US, Mexico and Guatemala, the Director of Administration at a music school in East Harlem and a teacher in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. She has an MBA from Oxford University and a BA in Anthropology from Occidental College.
Assistant Attorney General
Arkansas Office of Attorney General
Having grown up in Arkansas, Kevin returned home to take a job with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office after graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2007. On his first day, he learned both that he was “the new guy in charge of charities” and that there exists a body of law regarding the same. Two weeks later, he attended his first NASCO Conference, and did not comprehend enough even to know how much was going over his head. Since then, he has gotten up to speed quickly with the help of his fellow NASCO members.