Jee Park | Meredith Angelson | Charell Arnold | Merrill Berkowitch | Alex Cahill | Lily Cooper | Zac Crawford | Huy Dao | Richard Davis | Calvin Duncan | Kate Gauthreaux | Leora Greene | Kiah Howard | Ayyub Ibrahim | Libra LaGrone Pealer | Jack Largess | Sandra Levick | Caitlin Newswanger | Cora Patz | Móni Sakamoto | Virginia White | Erica Williams
Jee Park (she/her)
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.
Meredith Angelson (she/her)
Director of Special Projects
Meredith Angelson is the director of special projects at IPNO. 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.
Charell Arnold (she/her)
Supervising Attorney for Case Development
Charell Arnold is the supervising attorney for case development with IPNO. She has been with IPNO since 2013.
Charell graduated from Tulane Law School and was awarded the Order of the Barristers. She also holds a BA in English language and literature from the University of Chicago.
During law school, Charell was a summer law clerk with the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana and the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as a student attorney for the Tulane University Juvenile Clinic. Charell worked as a staff investigator with the Orleans Public Defenders Office for several years before attending law school.
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.
Alex Cahill (she/her)
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.
Lily Cooper (she/her)
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.
Zac Crawford (he/him)
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.
Huy Dao (he/him)
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.
Richard Davis (he/him)
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.
Calvin Duncan (he/him)
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.
Kate Gauthreaux (she/they)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Libra LaGrone Pealer (she/her)
Director of Development
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.
Jack Largess (he/him)
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.
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.
Caitlin Newswanger (she/her)
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.
Cora Patz (she/her)
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.
Móni Sakamoto (she/her)
Móni became an Investigative Fellow after joining IPNO in March 2022 as an intern. She graduated from Loyola University New Orleans where she studied Criminology and minored in Digital Filmmaking. Móni was a member of Loyno’s SGA Court of Review and an intern at Metro Centers for Community Advocacy.
Client Services Specialist
Dr. Virginia White joined IPNO as the client services specialist in September of 2021. She completed undergraduate studies at Dillard University and received her Master’s in social work from Southern University at New Orleans. Virginia earned a doctorate in social work from Tulane University. She has presented at the National Summit on Eliminating Health Disparities and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship Program.
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.