Research & Policy
Technical Assistance & Capacity Building
Tenants' Rights & Housing Justice
Facilities & Operations
Nasoan Sheftel-Gomes, Supervising Attorney (2007 to present)
Nasoan’s work in the Consumer Justice practice involves collaborating with community partners to provide free legal clinics, teach community education workshops, participate in legislative campaigns and defend alleged debtors in state and federal court. Nasoan is also an active member of the NYC Bar Association’s Civil Court committee and she volunteers for CLARO in the Bronx as a legal expert for a brief advice legal project for low-income consumers held in the Bronx Civil Court. Prior to joining CDP, she was an associate at the elder law firm Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP. She obtained her J.D. from CUNY School of Law, her Master’s of Journalism from UC Berkeley and her B.A. from Clark University.
Dami Obaro, Skadden Fellow (2017 to present)
Dami Obaro’s work with the Consumer Practice focuses on the intersection of housing and consumer law. Specifically, she works with community based organizations to raise awareness of and fight back against debt collection lawsuits brought by landlords against former tenants, also known as “broken lease” cases.
Miriam Uribe, Paralegal (2018 to present)
Tedmund Wan, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Ted is a staff attorney in the Consumer Justice practice area. Prior to joining CDP, Ted was a law clerk for Chief Judge Aida Delgado-Colón at the United States District Court of Puerto Rico. He also worked for Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of the New York State Supreme Court. Ted was a Public Service Scholar at Hunter College, where he obtained his B.A. in political science (2007). He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2011. Having lived in New York, South Bend, San Diego, London, Portland, DC, and San Juan over the last few years, Ted is happy to be anchored in Brooklyn with his wife Anna and their dog Sandy for the foreseeable future.
April Herms, Chief Operating Officer (2005 to present)
April oversees CDP’s fundraising and development work, and provides technical assistance to CDP’s community partner groups. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Prior to working at CDP, April worked on LGBT, HIV and immigrants’ rights issues at the Hispanic AIDS Forum and the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force (now called Immigration Equality). In civilian life, she is a technophile, foodie, video game geek, amateur vegetarian chef and avid reader in English and Spanish. Her favorite condiment is sriracha.
HaQuyen Pham, Director of Contract Management & Communication (2008 to present)
HaQuyen oversees government grants administration, coordinates event planning, and facilitates the implementation of CDP’s communication and social media strategies. Prior to her current position, HaQuyen worked as a paralegal in CDP’s Housing and Consumer Justice practice areas, and before that taught undergraduate courses in interviewing and public speaking at the University of Dayton. She graduated from Dayton with an M.A. in Communication and a B.A. summa cum laude in French and Journalism. Her off-duty interests include reading, cycling, grammar, and dance-offs.
Jackie Del Valle, Stabilizing NYC & Development Coordinator (2014 to present)
A long-time housing organizer, Jackie is the former Director of Organizing at Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), as well as at Housing Conservation Coordinators (HCC). Prior to working at HCC, she founded CASA (Community Action for Safe Apartments) at New Settlement while working as a tenant organizer in the Bronx. Jackie first worked with CDP when they represented her in an anti-SLAPP suit filed against her and two organizations to quell organizing efforts in a distressed multi-building portfolio. Jackie also chairs the board of the Metropolitan Council on Housing and graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Bard College. Her favorite colors are gold and turquoise.
Ahdenah Glass, Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Development Coordinator (2017-present)
Ahdenah co-coordinates the work of the LEAP Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Coalition. Before joining UJC-CDP, Ahdenah managed the VITA Tax Program at New York Cares, where thousands of low- to moderate-income New Yorkers have their taxes prepared free of charge every year. Ahdenah graduated from City College with a B.A. in Business Administration and Management in 2012. She also has a certification in financial counseling and often serves as her friends' personal “Help me repair my credit” Guru.
Selena Lilly, Database Coordinator (2017-present)
Keriann Pauls, Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Coalition Coordinator (2015 to present)
Keriann co-coordinates the work of the LEAP Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Coalition. Prior to her current position she was a staff attorney in CDP's Tenants' Rights practice. Before joining CDP, she was a staff attorney at Part of the Solution (POTS), representing low-income clients in Housing Court and Public Benefits proceedings. She earned her J.D. from the CUNY School of Law (2013) and her B.A. from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (2006). Before deciding to attend law school, Keriann spent a number of years as a line cook and is pretty savvy when it comes to cooking eggs. In addition to cooking, she enjoys going to the movies, camping, and listening to other peoples’ record collections.
Katia Tovmenko, IOI and Development Coordinator (2016 to present)
Katia is responsible for administering government contracts. She is also the coordinator of the CILEC consortium, a collaborative of legal service providers and community organizing groups serving NYC’s low-income immigrant communities. Prior to joining UJC, Katia worked with South Florida-based non-profits serving immigrant communities and the homeless. She holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University and a B.F.A./International Studies co-major from The University of Kansas. Katia enjoys reading, discovering music from different parts of the world, and learning new languages.
Lakeish London, Contracts Manager (2018 to present)
Paula Z. Segal, Senior Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Paula Z. Segal is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Equitable Neighborhoods practice. Prior to joining the CDP team, Paula was the founding director of 596 Acres, Inc., NYC's community land access advocacy organization, where she developed programs to make public land available for public use and to protect charity-owned properties from foreclosure and eviction. Paula has practiced civil rights and freedom of information law at Rankin & Taylor, been a Fellow at the Fordham Urban Law Center and a Supervising Attorney in Fordham’s Community Economic Development Clinic, and was an attorney in the Staten Island Legal Services Disaster Recovery unit after Superstorm Sandy. Paula is an Ashoka Fellow recognized for building the field of community land access advocacy. She coordinates the NYC Community Economic Development Attorney Community Land Trust Study Group. Before law school, she taught English to immigrants and refugees at the City University of New York. She graduated from City University of New York (CUNY) Law School and Brown University. Email Paula.
Adrien A. Weibgen, Staff Attorney (2014 to present)
Adrien was CDP’s first full-time land use attorney, and their work as an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow laid the groundwork for the creation of the Equitable Neighborhoods practice. Adrien has over a decade of experience in racial justice advocacy, including through positions at the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Social Inclusion (now Race Forward). A Co-Chair of the Urban Justice Center Union from 2015-2017, Adrien was selected as a 2018 NextCity Vanguard, a nationwide urban leadership program for the best and brightest young urban leaders working to improve cities across sectors. Adrien holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a B.A. in History from Wesleyan University, and a new, but avid interest in poetry. Email Adrien.
Humberto Saddler, Director of Finance (2018 to present)
Danielle Alvarado, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Danielle works with immigrant members of grassroots groups organizing across New York City, providing direct immigration representation in addition to strategic legal support for campaigns. Prior to joining CDP, Danielle worked on Long Island as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at the Central American Refugee Center. Before law school Danielle was deeply involved in anti-deportation and border militarization organizing in Arizona, which she credits for shaping her understanding of the role of lawyers in supporting movements led by frontline communities. Danielle received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and her B.A. in Politics from Whitman College. As a new New Yorker, Danielle spends her free time getting lost on the train and looking for good Mexican food.
Aline Gue, Paralegal (2016 to present)
Aline is a paralegal in the Immigrants’ Rights practice area. Before joining CDP, Aline was a coordinator for the Immigrant Justice Project at the City Bar Justice Center providing immigration legal services for survivors of violent crimes; a facilitator and coordinator of GenSex NYC (a volunteer-organized citywide anti-oppression gender and sexuality workshop); and an intern at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture working on access to benefits with asylees. Aline graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Dance (2012). Outside of trying to do all things intersectionality- and social justice-oriented, Aline can be found reading a book, taking a dance class, or enjoying the company of friends.
Sean Lai McMahon, Staff Attorney (2014 to present)
Sean is a staff attorney in the Immigrants’ Rights practice area, focusing on immigration representation in the context of worker organizing. His previous work with low-income immigrants includes community health outreach in immigrant communities in Oakland, CA, and employment assistance for resettled refugees at the International Rescue Committee. Sean received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Shanti Tharayil, Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Shanti's commitment to working with immigrant communities is inspired by her upbringing in the diverse San Francisco Bay Area. During law school, she worked closely with immigrant survivors of domestic violence as an intern with the Family Law Project and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. She worked as a fellow with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, where she represented unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings and victims of domestic violence and crime. Prior to joining CDP, Shanti worked in the Sex Workers’ Project at the Urban Justice Center. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.
Melanie Zuch, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Melanie is a staff attorney in the Immigrants’ Rights practice area. Prior to joining CDP, Melanie was a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney at Covenant House New York, where she represented runaway and homeless youth in a range of civil legal issues, including collateral consequences of criminal proceedings, consumer and immigration matters. Prior to law school, Melanie worked on the development of an adolescent sexual health program in Cape Town, South Africa. Melanie received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in Development Studies from Brown University.
Erin Markman, Director of Research & Policy (2013 to present)
Erin is thrilled to bring her experience in research and policy analysis to the crucial and vibrant work of CDP. Prior to joining CDP, Erin was the Policy and Research Coordinator for the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center. She is dedicated to examining issues of oppression, discrimination, and exclusion in New York City and nationally, and to working with grassroots groups to impact systems, hold governments accountable, and create enduring change. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College School of Social Work, where she focused on community organizing and political social work.
Irene Linares, Research & Policy Coordinator (2018 to present)
Irene is a macro-focused social worker and is very excited to be part of CDP. Previously, Irene was a campaign researcher for IATSE and SEIU. Irene was thrilled to return to CDP after interning with the Participatory Research and Policy team in 2015. Irene holds a bachelor's from San Francisco State University and a Master of Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, where she focused on community organizing and social welfare policy. She enjoys eating carbs, practicing Pilates and listening to Democracy Now!
Michael Grinthal, Supervising Attorney (2017 to present)
Michael has been a housing attorney in New York City for more than ten years, including as a staff attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services and as a supervising attorney at MFY Legal Services, where he supervised the housing and three-quarter house practices. Michael received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government in 2006, and clerked for U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner in the District of Massachusetts. Before becoming a lawyer, Michael worked as a community organizer for six years with local leaders building power in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Texas.
Sadia Rahman, Supervising Attorney (2009 to present)
Sadia supervises the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Before joining CDP, she was a staff attorney at the Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Project for over three years, where she litigated against abusive landlords on behalf of tenants living in substandard buildings along the 7 subway line in Queens. She graduated from Tulane University in 2001 and received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2005. Email Sadia.
Greg Baltz, Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Greg supports the organizing work of community-based tenants’ rights groups across New York City, providing group representation in housing cases as well as strategic support for campaigns. He previously represented immigrant workers organizing to challenge wage theft and discrimination as a Ford Foundation Fellow at Make the Road New York. As a law student, Greg defended members of City Life/Vida Urbana in eviction proceedings, collaborating closely with tenants and organizers in multi-faceted anti-displacement campaigns. Prior to law school, he lived in Annunciation House, a shelter on the U.S.-Mexico border that offers sanctuary to migrants and refugees. Greg is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.
Catherine Barreda, Staff Attorney (2018 to present)
Catherine is a member of the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Before joining CDP, Catherine was a Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow at Legal Services NYC in both Queens and Brooklyn, and a Pro Bono Scholar at The Door’s Legal Services Center. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and New York Law School. A native Texan, Catherine is always up for a good fight, enjoys counting down the days until summer – the best season of the year - and roller skating/derby.
Pilar DeJesus, Paralegal (2016 to present)
Pilar is a fierce fighter for the safe housing rights of low-income New Yorkers. She was born and raised in El Barrio and is strongly committed to combating gentrification and displacement. Also known as La Problema, Pilar has become a leader in East Harlem, providing advice and support when slum landlords and predatory developers threaten to displace the community. Her Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage fuel her passion for making sure New York remains a safe haven for immigrants, workers, and those who paved the way historically to shape this city. Above all, Pilar is a proud aunt working to build a better future for her nephews and niece.
Alexandra Drimal, Staff Attorney (2018 to present)
Rini Fonseca-Sabune, Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Rini is a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area where she represents tenants facing harassment; she also works with the Consumer Justice practice on this issue. Before joining CDP, Rini was a Karpatkin Fellow at the ACLU Racial Justice Program, and a law clerk in the Southern District of New York and the Third Circuit. Prior to law school, Rini worked as a social studies teacher at the Bushwick School for Social Justice, an investigator of police misconduct for the Civilian Complaint Review Board and as a teacher and community health program coordinator in Uganda and Rwanda. Rini is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.
Sherief Gaber, Staff Attorney (2016-present)
Sherief Gaber is a staff attorney in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Prior to joining CDP, Sherief lived in Egypt, working with communities engaged in self-help urbanism and social justice in the wake of the 2011 revolution. Sherief is a co-founder of the Mosireen media collective, and a collective member emeritus at the Austin Yellow Bike Project. He graduated from the University of Texas with a J.D. and an M.S. in Community and Regional Planning, and received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. In his spare time, Sherief drinks coffee.
Iliana Garcia, Paralegal (2016-present)
Iliana is a paralegal in CDP’s Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Prior to joining CDP, Iliana worked in accounting and was also part of NYC’s Build it Back Program, where she managed cases of families affected by Hurricane Sandy. In her spare time, Iliana enjoys writing, baking and being outdoors. She graduated from Hunter College with a B.A in English Language Arts.
Rajiv Jaswa, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Rajiv is a staff attorney in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Before joining CDP, he was a staff attorney with the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project, where he focused on serving public housing residents in the Bronx and Queens. He previously worked as an environmental and land use attorney with the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. Rajiv received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2011, and an A.B. in English from Brown University in 2005.
Michael Leonard, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Michael Leonard is a staff attorney in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Prior to joining CDP, Michael worked at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa, assisting communities to fight evictions and for basic service delivery in informal settlements. Michael was also attorney at a law clinic in the Bronx called Part of the Solution, where he represented low-income people in eviction proceedings and public benefits matters. He is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and has been involved in civil rights legal education, community organizing, and prisoners’ rights initiatives. CUNY School of Law, J.D. (2010); Fordham University, B.A. (2004).
Jane Li, Staff Attorney (2015 to present)
Jane is a staff attorney in CDP’s Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Before joining CDP, Jane worked for the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Storm Response Unit, where she advocated on behalf of tenants and homeowners who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Jane received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.S. from Georgetown University. In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking, reading, and being outdoors.
Margaret Lyford, Paralegal (2016 to present)
Margaret is a paralegal in CDP's Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice. Prior to joining CDP, she worked as an assistant teacher in remedial reading and writing classrooms with the CUNY Start program, as an Investigator at The Bronx Defenders, and as a client advocate for food stamp recipients at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. Margaret completed an M.P.A at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School where she focused in urban policy, and she holds a B.A. in French and International Studies from Colby College.
Bianca MacPherson, Paralegal (2016 to present)
Bianca is a paralegal in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. After graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a B.A. in Political Science, she worked as a Legislative Liaison and Community Liaison for several elected officials. In these positions, she found a great interest for helping tenants with tenant/landlord issues. In her spare time, Bianca loves to read books about history, politics, and social justice. She also enjoys going to see Broadway musicals with her fiancée. To date they have seen over 20 shows together.
Linden Miller, Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow and Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Linden is a Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow in the Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice practice area. Linden received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she was active in the student chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild. She interned with the New York Legal Assistance Group bringing legal services into communities with the Mobile Legal Help Center. Linden also worked on police misconduct and prisoners’ rights cases with Cardozo’s Civil Rights Clinic and at Newman Ferrara LLP. As a Pro Bono Scholar, Linden worked in the Housing Help Program of The Legal Aid Society representing tenants facing eviction.
Addrana Montgomery, Staff Attorney (2015 to present)
A native New Yorker, Addrana is a staff attorney on CDP's Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice team. She has championed local, NYC-wide, national, and global social justice movements, including in South Africa, where she served as one of the youngest overseas election monitors for that country’s first democratic election. During her clerkship at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, she worked on critical housing and land use cases which continue to inform her advocacy for affordable and decent housing for every New Yorker. Addrana received a B.A. in International Relations/African Studies at Boston University and her law degree at Howard University School of Law.
Malcolm Peyton-Cook, Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow (2017 to present)
Malcolm is a Poverty Justice Solutions fellow in CDP’s Tenants’ Rights & Housing Justice team. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Amherst College (2010) and a law degree from Washington University School of Law (2013) where he graduated as one of five David M. Becker Public Interest Fellows. During law school, Malcolm interned with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law’s Fair Housing/Community Development, the National Fair Housing Alliance’s Department of Enforcement, and the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Ohio’s housing group. Malcolm has also worked at the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York, NY as an Investigative Coordinator and Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. in Baltimore, MD as a Senior Fair Housing Specialist.
Rodrigo Bacus, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Rodrigo is a legal worker for the people in the Technical Assistance & Capacity Building practice. Prior to CDP, Rodrigo did research with UNITE HERE on the lived experiences and workplace conditions of migrant workers in the hospitality industry. Rodrigo graduated from Fordham Law School and was a Stein Scholar and the Public Service Valedictorian. Rodrigo also spent time in Fordham Law as a Crowley Scholar, in the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, to investigate the conditions of Burmese refugees in Thailand’s border. Rodrigo spends the rest of the time involved in and actively supporting the movements of directly impacted people.
Julian M. Hill, Staff Attorney (2018 to present)
Julian partners with worker cooperatives, not-for-profits, small businesses, community-based organizations and coalitions regarding legal assistance, political education and/or policy development. After completing a B.A. in his home state at Northwestern University, Julian taught high school Spanish in California and later obtained his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to marrying his interests in institution-building, teaching, cooperative economics and community organizing at CDP, Julian advised international clients in corporate and financial transactions and pro bono clients in small business and not-for-profit matters at an international law firm in New York. Julian enjoys creative writing, cooking veggie dishes and traveling. Email Julian.
Maggie Marron, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
As an attorney in the Technical Assistance & Capacity-Building practice, Maggie counsels worker cooperatives on transactional matters, and is pretty sure she knows what that sentence means. From what she hears, she provides legal assistance to small businesses that are owned and democratically operated by their workers. According to such sources as Maggie's conservative uncle, "that sounds new age-y." Nonetheless, Maggie earned her B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College in 2009, and her J.D. from NYU Law in 2015. Originally from beautiful New Jersey, she's lived in New York for ten years, has been an angry feminist for as long (thanks, Barnard!), and is a self-identified Crazy Dog Lady.
Tito Sinha, Supervising Attorney (2016 to present)
Tito supervises the Workers’ Rights team. He has worked as a Senior Associate in civil rights firms litigating claims of wage and hour violations and employment discrimination. Tito’s experience has also included working at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and having his own law practice. He obtained his J.D. from City University of New York School of Law and his B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Reena Arora, Senior Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Reena is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Workers’ Rights Practice. Previously, Reena worked at Empire Justice Center establishing the Wage Justice Program in Westchester County for low wage immigrant workers and at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest pursuing civil rights claims for persons with disabilities. Reena was also the NYU Public Interest Fellow at the plaintiff-side employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP and an international human rights lawyer for the non-governmental organization MAP Foundation, defending the rights of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand. Reena received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Adriana Cruz, Paralegal (2017 to present)
Adriana is a paralegal in the Workers’ Rights Practice. Previously she worked as a union organizer supporting efforts to organize health care workers in Pennsylvania and most recently in New York with low wage workers. Adriana obtained her B.A. from the University of California, Riverside in Chicano Studies and Public Policy, and her Master of Labor Studies degree from The Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, City University of New York.
Laura Misumi, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
Laura is a staff attorney in the Workers’ Rights practice area. Prior to joining CDP, she was the Home Care Law Fellow at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington, DC, supporting SEIU locals that represent home care workers and providing counsel to the Home Care Fight for $15 campaign. Laura obtained her J.D as a Public Interest Law Scholar from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and her B.A. with high distinction in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean studies, with a minor in Asian/Pacific Islander studies from the University of Michigan. She loves food and cooking, and does Crossfit to facilitate the eating.
David Ureña, Staff Attorney (2016 to present)
David is a staff attorney in CDP’s Workers’ Rights practice area. Before joining CDP, David worked as a staff attorney in MFY Legal Services, Inc.’s Workplace Justice Project. David is a graduate of Fordham Law School, where he was a Stein Scholar, and obtained his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Wendy Baez, Facilities/Operations Manager (2016 to present)
Wendy has been part of the Urban Justice Center for a decade. Prior to joining CDP, Wendy was part of UJC’s Administrative team, where she served as an Office Manager. She has led the Urban Justice Center Union as a Co-Chair since 2015.
For a list of former staff, please click here.