IPNO is made up of full-time staff attorneys and support staff, aided by a constellation of interns and volunteers.

Jee Park (she/her)

Executive Director

Jee Park has served as IPNO’s executive director since June 2018. Prior to joining IPNO in January 2017 as the senior attorney for policy, Jee served as the deputy district defender of Orleans Public Defenders (OPD) from 2014-16. She joined OPD in the spring of 2008 as a supervising attorney then directed OPD’s Special Litigation Division from 2009-14. Prior to OPD, Jee worked as a staff attorney at The Bronx Defenders in New York and was a  Prettyman Fellow at the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center.

After college, Jee worked for Equal Justice Initiative. Jee also served as a law clerk to Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law; received an LL.M in clinical advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center; and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Back to Top

Meredith Angelson (she/her)

Deputy Director

Meredith Angelson is the deputy director of IPNO and directs IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project. She formerly worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s New Orleans office as a senior staff attorney in criminal justice reform and as a staff attorney at the Orleans Public Defenders. Meredith clerked for Judge Robert Sweet of the Southern District of New York. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Yale College.

Back to Top

Merrill Berkowitch (she/her)

Law Fellow

Merrill started as a legal fellow at IPNO in the summer of 2023 after graduating cum laude from Tulane University Law School. During her final year in law school, Merrill worked as a legal intern at IPNO. She is also a graduate of Tulane University where she majored in History and Political Science.

During law school, Merrill was a summer law clerk at the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the San Diego County Public Defender Office. She also served as the Senior Articles Editor of the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law and as a Senior Writing Fellow.

Back to Top

Alex Cahill (she/her)

Staff Investigator

Alex Cahill joined IPNO as an investigative fellow in February 2022. Alex is a graduate of George Washington University where she studied global development and Spanish. During her four years in the Washington D.C. area, Alex became interested in criminal justice reform through her advocacy and volunteer work with the Petey Greene Program. In this role, she supported the academic goals of incarcerated students through tutoring and GED preparation.

Back to Top

Lily Cooper (she/her)

Avodah Fellow 

Lily joined IPNO’s Client and Family Services team in September as an Avodah corps member. Originally from Madison, WI, Lily graduated from Macalester College in May 2023 with a degree in Anthropology.

Back to Top

Zac Crawford (he/him)

Staff Attorney

Zac Crawford is a staff attorney with IPNO. Prior to law school, Zac worked at IPNO as case review manager and a junior investigator. He graduated Order of the Coif from Washington and Lee School of Law in 2019 and Bowdoin College in 2012.

During law school, Zac was a summer law clerk with the Southern Center for Human Rights, attorney Rob McDuff, and Chief Justice John Weimer of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Zac was a student attorney in the Criminal Justice Clinic and Executive Editor of the Law Review. Before returning to IPNO, he clerked for Judge Madeline H. Haikala of the Northern District of Alabama.

Back to Top

Huy Dao (he/him)

Case Manager

Huy Dao started as the case manager in October 2015. Prior to working at IPNO, Huy was the case director at the Innocence Project, where he managed the Intake & Evaluation Department from 1997-2015.

Huy graduated from Cornell University in 1997 and received an Master of Fine Arts in writing from the New School in 2000.

Back to Top

Richard Davis (he/him)

Legal Director

Richard Davis came to IPNO for a four-month internship in 2005 and has remained ever since.

Richard obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Sheffield in 2004. He obtained his Master of Law degree from Loyola University New Orleans in 2011 while working at Innocence Project New Orleans.

Back to Top

Calvin Duncan (he/him)

Law Fellow

Calvin Duncan joined IPNO as a Law Fellow in summer 2023 after obtaining his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School. Calvin also has a B.A. in General Legal Studies from Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement, where he now teaches Criminal Law as an adjunct instructor.

Prior to attending law school, Calvin Duncan was wrongfully imprisoned for twenty-eight years. During this time, he worked as Inmate Counsel Substitute. Polk Award winning prison journalist Wilbert Rideau recognized him as “the most brilliant legal mind in Angola.” Calvin was also instrumental in the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Ramos v. Louisiana that convictions by non-unanimous jury verdicts were unconstitutional. Since his release, in addition to obtaining his B.A. and J.D., Calvin co-founded the Rising Foundation and First 72+ to help people returning from prison, obtained a Soros fellowship to help people in prison get access to case records, and co-created of the Visiting Room Project to share stories of people sentenced to life without parole.

Back to Top

KateGauthreauxHeadshot

Kate Gauthreaux (she/they)

Office Administrator

Kate Gauthreaux joined IPNO as an office administrator in the summer of 2023. A Louisiana native, they graduated from LSU with degrees in sociology and English. They have since worked in the publishing and hospitality industries, while helping organize and support local mutual aid initiatives.

Back to Top

Leora Greene (she/her)

Client Services Advocate

Leora first came to IPNO ad an Avodah Corps Member as a program assistant in client services. Immediately following her fellowship, she join the IPNO team, full time. She graduated from Colorado State University in May 2022 with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minors in Political Science and American Sign Language.

Back to Top

Kiah Howard (she/her)

Senior Investigator

Kiah Howard is an investigator who started at IPNO in May 2018. Prior to joining IPNO, Kiah spent almost five years as an investigator at the Orleans Public Defenders.

Kiah is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison where she studied political science and international studies.

Back to Top

Ayyub Ibrahim (he/him)

Director of Research for LLEAD

Ayyub Ibrahim is the Director of Research for IPNO’s Louisiana Law Enforcement Accountability Database (LLEAD). Ayyub joined IPNO in November 2020 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. Ayyub has previously supported criminal justice research programs in the United States, Africa, and the Middle East.

Back to Top

Libra LaGrone Pealer (she/her)

Managing Director

Prior to joining IPNO, Libra LaGrone Pealer served as the finance/development manager at the Newcomb Art Museum, the deputy director/curator of Southern music at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and has consulted independently for multiple arts and cultural organizations including Prospect 4, TEDWomen, and French Quarter Festival. Libra serves as a board member for A Studio in the Woods, an artists’ retreat center dedicated to science-inspired art education. She holds an MLA from Tulane University and a B.S. in Political Science from the University of North Alabama.

Back to Top

Jack Largess (he/him)

Senior Investigator

Jack Largess is an senior investigator who joined IPNO in October 2017. Jack received a Bachelor of Arts in geography from UNC Chapel Hill. His honors thesis studied the ways that housing policy limited the effectiveness of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system’s court-ordered desegregated plan. Before joining IPNO, he volunteered at a migrant shelter in Mexico and interned with the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Back to Top

Sandra Levick (she/her)

Senior Staff Attorney

Sandra joined IPNO in 2022 as a senior staff attorney following six years at the Mississippi Innocence Project.  She began her career in the District of Columbia at the Public Defender Service where she worked as a trial, appellate and post-conviction attorney.  As chief of PDS’s special litigation division, Sandra was the lead attorney for four men whose exonerations served as the impetus for the FBI review of all convictions based on the junk science of hair microscopy.

Sandra is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and of Northeastern University School of Law.

Back to Top

Elena Malik (she/her)

Staff Attorney

Elena Malik is a staff attorney. Prior to joining IPNO, she was a staff attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund and a legal fellow at the Promise of Justice Initiative. Elena clerked for Chief Judge Nannette J. Brown of the Eastern District of Louisiana. She was also a summer law clerk at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan law school, where she served as a student attorney in the Michigan Innocence Clinic for two years.

Back to Top

Caitlin Newswanger (she/her)

Staff Attorney

Caitlin graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with Juris Doctor in 2019. Prior to law school, she worked as a social worker in several homeless shelters and street outreach teams in Pennsylvania and Virginia. She obtained her masters in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Virginia.

Back to Top

Cora Patz (she/her)

Avodah Fellow

Cora joined IPNO’s Client and Family Services team in September 2023 as an Avodah corps fellow. She earned her BA in Philosophy and Minor in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Cora is from Seattle, Washington.

Back to Top

Erica Williams (she/her)

Communications and Development Manager

Erica Williams is the Communications and Development Manager at IPNO.  A native New Orleanian, she worked at The Pro Bono Project and CASA New Orleans prior to joining IPNO. Erica graduated from LSU and Mississippi State University with degrees in Kinesiology and worked in athletic training for several years.

Back to Top