Facilities & Operations
Research & Policy
Technical Assistance & Capacity Building
Tenants' Rights & Housing Justice
Elizabeth Clay Roy, Executive Director (2018 to present)
Elizabeth Clay Roy is committed to helping cities live up to their potential as places of connection, inspiration and opportunity. She has led coalitions and campaigns from the neighborhood to national level, and is now the Executive Director of the Community Development Project.
Before joining CDP, she was the Chief of Staff at Phipps Neighborhoods and Co-Director of South Bronx Rising Together, a educational equity partnership. Prior to that, she was the founding Deputy Director of Opportunity Nation, a national campaign to expand economic mobility where she spearheaded the creation of the Opportunity Index with research partner Measure of America, a first-of-its-kind measurement of contributing factors for economic opportunity at the state and local level.
Elizabeth is an urbanist and the co-author of Shaping Vibrant Cities, a guidebook on effective community-led urban planning based on her participatory governance work with Janaagraha in Bangalore, India. She also served Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as a Policy Advisor and the Director of Grassroots Governance. Elizabeth and her family live in Harlem, and she is a Board member of the Black Women for Black Girls Giving Circle. She received a B.A. from Columbia University and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was an IGNITE Leadership Fellow at NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service.
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) Miriam is a proud Mexican immigrant raised in California and is currently a paralegal with the Consumer Justice team. Prior to CDP, Miriam was an organizer at Workers Justice Project where she helped develop a hiring hall for women day laborers in Williamsburg. Miriam graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2017 with a B.A. in Politics and Latin American Studies. During her undergraduate career, she gained organizing experience through the fight to make her alma matter become a more inclusive and supportive space for undocumented students. She was the co-founder of UndocuWeek at USF and helped advocate for the Magis Fellowship, a scholarship fund dedicated to undocumented students. She enjoys reading, signing up to do half marathons (although she claims to hate running), and creating playlists with the same 10 songs on them.
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, gym-ing, grammar, dance-offs, and exploring cultures through their food.
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.
Katisha Andrew, IOI and Development Coordinator (2018 to present)
Katisha is a nonprofit human services administrator with a passion for social justice, poverty alleviation, and racial and gender equality. Originally from Grenada, she immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. Katisha brings over a decade of experience from working at Sanctuary for Families, where she optimized allocation and distribution of human services grants and managed complex data reporting for private foundations and large government grants.
Katisha earned her B.A. from Union College, where she helped create the Black Student Union. She went on to become a member of the first graduating class of the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, from which she received an Executive MPA. She also serves on Equal Justice USA’s board and Empower Her Network’s Program Committee.
Lakeish London, Contracts Manager (2018 to present)
Lakeish manages and coordinates various government contracts funding CDP’s work. Before coming to CDP, Lakeish spent four years working with government-funded contracts as a Contract Manager in the home care industry. From this experience, she learned the value of hard work, efficiency, and effective communication. Aside from administrative work, she is a Brooklyn native who is dedicated to strengthening anti-poverty non-profit groups. Lakeish places high value on her work within her community through a program with disadvantaged youth and adults. She is deeply committed to the belief that everyone deserves to enjoy full, equal opportunity. During her personal time, Lakeish enjoys spending time crafting, baking, traveling and fitness.
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.
Humberto Saddler, Director of Finance (2018 to present)
Humberto oversees CDP’s Finance department and provides technical assistance to CDP’s community partner groups. He has a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in Accounting from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from C.U.N.Y Brooklyn College. Prior to working at CDP, Humberto worked as a CFO at Cicatelli Associates Inc, an international nonprofit specializing in training and technical assistance with respect to health services, and as Controller for the Guttmacher Institute, a research base nonprofit with an emphasis on sexual reproductive health. In civilian life, he enjoys basketball, football, various cuisines, and bowling. His favorite TV show is Martin.
Maila Gamatero, Senior Accountant (2018 to present)
Corina Bogaciu, Staff Attorney (2019 to present)
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.
Antonia House, Staff Attorney (2019 to present)
Antonia is a staff attorney in CDP's Immigrants’ Rights practice area. Prior to joining CDP in 2019, Antonia was a staff attorney in Brooklyn Defender Services' Padilla practice, an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at Make the Road New York, and a student in NYU's Immigrant Rights Clinic. In each of these roles, her work has focused on providing legal support for immigrants' rights organizing and on the intersection of immigration and criminal law. Antonia earned her J.D. at New York University School of Law, and also holds an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from NYU. She completed her undergraduate degree in Arabic and Geography at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
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.
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.
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)
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 and Staff Attorney (2017 to present)
Malcolm is a Poverty Justice Solutions fellow and staff attorney 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.
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.
Farrell Brody, Staff Attorney (2019 to present)
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 nail salon 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 CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. As a native Californian, Adriana and her yorkie terrier Brooklyn Leo now call New York home.
Naoki Fujita, Staff Attorney (2019 to present)
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.