Our Staff

Lenore Anderson

President, Alliance for Safety and Justice
Executive Director, Californians for Safety and Justice
Lenore is the founder and President of Alliance for Safety and Justice, and founder and Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. She is an attorney with extensive experience working to improve our criminal justice system. She is a regular commentator in the media about challenges within our prison and justice system and new approaches to smart justice. Lenore was the Campaign Chair and co-author of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed by voters in November 2014 to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to mental health, drug treatment, K-12 programs and victim services. The initiative represents the first time in the nation voters have elected to reclassify multiple sections of the penal code to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to communities. Previously, Lenore served as Chief of Policy and Chief of the Alternative Programs Division at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she spearheaded initiatives to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. She also crafted local and state legislation to aid victims of domestic violence, protect violent crime witnesses, reduce elementary school truancy and reduce recidivism. Lenore also previously served as Director of Public Safety for the Oakland Mayor, overseeing the Mayor’s violence-reduction and police recruitment initiatives, and as Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. There she oversaw $10 million in violence-prevention grants, advised the Mayor on public safety matters, and launched a citywide gun buy-back program, Community Policing Task Force and Juvenile Justice Task Force. Lenore serves on the Advisory Board of the Innovations in Prosecution initiative of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is also a cofounder and served as the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Center for Youth Wellness, an initiative to reduce the health impacts of toxic stress on urban youth. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and lives with her family in Oakland, California.

Kimberly Deterline

National Media Trainer
Kimberly has spent more than 20 years improving nonprofits’ communications and organizational capacity, including those focused on criminal and juvenile justice reform. She has consulted for clients such as the American Bar Association, Vera Institute of Justice, Open Society Institute, and public defender offices across the country. Kimberly also spent five years in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. There she served as a policy advocate and organizational development and communications consultant to the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, which closed two notoriously violent youth prisons, increased alternatives to incarceration, and transformed the state’s system from abusive to rehabilitative. After Katrina, Kimberly helped launch another startup nonprofit focused on reforming the justice system in New Orleans. In 1995, Kimberly founded and directed a communications training and capacity-building firm called, We Interrupt This Message (Interrupt), in San Francisco and New York, which helped reform juvenile and criminal justice policy, free innocent young men jailed due to racial prejudice, and more.  She has a BA from UC Berkeley and spent a year as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. She currently lives in the Bay Area.

Shakyra Diaz

Regional Director, Midwest
Shakyra is a strategist with extensive public policy and organizing experience grounded in authentic coalition building. In her role as Regional Director for the Midwest region, Shakyra provides leadership support to in-state advocacy campaigns in the Midwest region. Prior to joining ASJ in April of 2016, Shakyra worked with the policy team of the ACLU of Ohio, and as an educator with Case Western Reserve University’s Upward Bound Program and Youth Opportunities Unlimited. In these different capacities, Shakyra enhanced educational outcomes for students and led successful policy, legislative, and judicial rules campaigns to improve justice systems. Her efforts have led to the elimination of unfair drug law policies, restricted seclusion and restraint practices in schools, enhanced protections for sexual assault victims during interviews, limited collateral sanctions, expanded access to counsel, supported voting rights access for currently and formerly incarcerated people, and ended routine juvenile shackling in courts. Shakyra’s collaborative work style has provided her the opportunity to work with several stakeholders to shape recommendations for many reform efforts including the Cleveland Division of Police’s consent decree. Shakyra is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her family.

Kristin Ford

National Communications Director
An experienced communications professional, Kristin has worked with elected officials, advocacy and ballot campaigns, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic foundations.  Prior to joining the Alliance for Safety and Justice, she worked for California Attorney General Kamala Harris as Deputy Communications Director and Speechwriter.  She served as a spokesperson for Attorney General Harris and developed and implemented high-impact communications strategies around the Attorney General’s efforts to combat recidivism, restore the relationship of trust between law enforcement and communities, and make criminal justice data open and accessible to the public, among many other initiatives. Kristin has also worked with MoveOn.org and led communications departments at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the nation, and Faith in Public Life, amplifying the voices of faith leaders speaking out on health care reform, economic justice, and a host of other issues.  Kristin worked with the California Endowment on their #Health4All campaign, building support for expanding health care access to undocumented immigrants in California and their #TheyAreChildren project to help children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America and seeking refuge in the U.S.  In 2012, she served as communications director for Educating Maryland Kids, the campaign to protect in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students from repeal at the ballot in Maryland. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Arlington, Virginia with her family.

Seung Hong

Director of Administration
Seung is a veteran of local government and  has extensive experience on electoral and  advocacy campaigns. In New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s inaugural term, Seung served for three years as the city’s youngest cabinet member.  As a cabinet member, he was tapped to operate and turn around the city’s beleaguered juvenile justice system, which was under federal court oversight for unconstitutional conditions. He previously served as Chief of Staff to City Councilmember Shelley Midura, for whom he drafted policies and managed campaigns to reform the city’s troubled police department with an Independent Police Monitor, safely reduce the population in the city’s adult and juvenile jails, and create an Office of Inspector General and Ethics Review Board to watchdog against waste and corruption in city government. Prior to his work with the city, Seung worked for the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana as Communications Director and following Hurricane Katrina, he co-founded a criminal justice reform advocacy nonprofit called Safe Streets, Strong Communities. Seung is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he studied English and Sociology.

Subhash Kateel

Florida State Director
Subhash is an experienced strategist and community organizer who has worked in immigrant communities affected by the intersection of the criminal justice and deportation system for over 15 years. He co-founded and co-directed Families For Freedom, a multi-ethnic network of immigrants facing deportation. Before that, he helped initiate detention and deportation work for DRUM-Desis Rising Up and Moving. In Miami, Subhash served as an organizer with the Florida Immigrant Coalition helping to develop community responses to ICE raids, detentions and deportations. Subhash led the We Are Florida! campaign that successfully stopped an Arizona-style anti-immigrant bill from passing in the Florida legislature. He also worked with the Service Employees International Union leading community campaigns on civic engagement, minimum wage, immigration reform and criminal justice. For three years he hosted Let’s Talk About It!, a talk radio program on Miami’s business station that brought people from various viewpoints and backgrounds to discuss issues affecting the lives of real people. Subhash has written extensively on issues ranging from immigration and criminal justice to mental health and the gun debate. He has called many places home, but now lives in Miami, Florida.

Karalyn Lacey

Operations Associate
Before coming to the Alliance for Safety and Justice, Karalyn worked at GiveWell and Open Philanthropy Project, managing their accounting and providing research support to senior staff on projects related to the criminal justice system and giving opportunities in the social sciences. She started her career in economic consulting at Analysis Group where she conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis for expert witness reports. Her interest in criminal justice reform solidified while she interned as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley Law School’s Death Penalty Clinic assisting faculty and students in reviewing evidentiary materials pertaining to death penalty cases. While at Berkeley she also helped to assemble a national database of people sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes committed as juveniles and assisted with a project that explored whether machine learning could reduce the problems of inconsistency and bias in adjudication.  Karalyn received a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and currently lives in Berkeley.

Robert Rooks

Vice President, Alliance for Safety and Justice
Associate Director, Californians for Safety and Justice
Robert is a seasoned organizer and campaigner who over the last two decades worked to achieve landmark wins in justice reform in multiple states. Robert is the co-founder and Vice President of Alliance for Safety and Justice where he oversees all of ASJ’s state-based advocacy strategies and campaigns and the Organizing Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. Prior to ASJ, Robert was a national criminal justice campaigner and expert working to advance solutions to criminal justice problems through sentencing reform, crime victim advocacy and advancing new safety priorities. Robert was the Organizing Director for the Yes on Prop 47 campaign, a statewide ballot initiative projected to reduce incarceration and re-allocate savings to drug treatment, K-12 programming and victim services. Robert also served as the Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP. Robert was the founding director of the program and provided strategic direction, oversight and management of criminal justice activities. He was responsible for launching the “Misplaced Priorities – Educate Not Incarcerate” campaign, where he worked with Right on Crime to recruit conservatives to join NAACP’s efforts to reduce state prison populations. Robert served as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and St. Joseph’s College, and at Central Connecticut State University. Robert lives in Sacramento, California with his family.

Seema Sadanandan

Managing Director for Campaigns
Seema is an attorney and seasoned campaign strategist on criminal justice reform. As Managing Director of State Campaigns at the Alliance for Safety and Justice, Seema oversees campaigns and legislative advocacy strategies in ASJ’s partner states. Prior to joining ASJ, she served as the criminal justice director at the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital where she oversaw non-litigation advocacy efforts in defending civil rights and liberties in the District of Columbia. Seema led several successful criminal justice reform campaigns and initiatives to address discrimination and other issues that have disproportionately impacted communities of color, such as enforcement of drug laws, policing practices and over-incarceration of these communities. Prior to joining the ACLU, Seema was a documentary filmmaker and campaign strategist for social movements in the United States and abroad. She is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law and Tulane University and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth (Liz) Sanchez

Executive & Administrative Assistant
Elizabeth (Liz) supports Alliance for Safety and Justice’s President and staff. Previously, Liz provided administrative support at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), a nonprofit legal clinic that provides free legal services for East Bay residents. While at EBCLC, Liz also served as a temporary Executive Assistant, Spanish interpreter and Legal Assistant for immigration attorneys. She gained a passion for social justice advocacy through her participation in Project WHAT!, a youth group that makes presentations in universities, jails and prisons throughout California about the impact on children when a parent is incarcerated. Liz received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University, and currently resides in the Bay Area, California with her family.

Aswad Thomas

National Organizer
On August 24, 2009, Aswad was 26 years old and just three weeks from going to Europe to play professional basketball. As he left a convenience store, he was approached by two men intent on robbing him, and he suffered two near-fatal gunshots to his back, ending his basketball career. Aswad’s story was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, NPR, Sacramento Bee, and the Hartford Courant, He went on to become one of Connecticut’s most outspoken supporters of additional resources for victims of gun violence, and has been a leader in building coalitions across racial lines to address justice reform and gun violence prevention. This has included Aswad’s founding of Hartford Action, a grassroots organization working to empower communities to change policy and improve the relationship between the Greater Hartford community and the justice system. Aswad serves as the National Organizer for Californians for Safety and Justice; Aswad is helping to expand the organization’s statewide network of crime survivors to include those most commonly affected by violence (including young men of color) and help elevate those voices in state and federal policymaking debates. For ASJ, Aswad will help build Crime Survivors Chapters in our pilot states (and beyond) and lead our national advocacy effort to ensure that increased federal dollars from the Victims of Crime Act go to community organizations that have better access to and credibility with vulnerable populations typically un-served by current/traditional victims’ services agencies. Aswad received a MSW, with a concentration in Community Organization and focused area of study in Urban Issues, from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. in Business Management from Elms College. He lives in Sacramento with his fiancé.

Annie Whalen

Development Manager
Annie has broad experience in nonprofit fundraising and project management, and has been working in the field of criminal justice reform since 2014. As Development Manager, she leads the organization’s fundraising efforts and oversees philanthropic relationships. Annie previously served as the Director of Development at JustLeadershipUSA, where she worked closely with the founder to help launch the organization, grow its funding portfolio, and implement its nationwide “Leading with Conviction” training program for formerly incarcerated advocates. Annie also worked as Coordinator at the Freelancers Union and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Union Settlement Association, a nonprofit that brings holistic programming to East Harlem residents. She has consulted with several nonprofit organizations as a grant writer and development strategist. Annie received a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Vermont. She lives in San Francisco.

Keevonya (Keevy) Wilkerson

Executive Assistant
Keevonya (Keevy) Wilkerson provides administrative support for staff and the Vice President of Alliance for Safety of Justice. Keevy has over 20 years experience in legal administrative support beginning her work with many high profile law firms in Dallas, Texas. Propelled by her grief over the murder of her only brother John John, Keevy made the move to the non-profit sector, with hopes of amplifying the voices of victims of crime and their families. Her studies in Criminal Justice at Dallas Baptist University, led to a field research position at the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has organized conferences dealing with drug awareness policy change, gun violence, and mothers against teen violence. Her personal story about the ineffectiveness of the “War on Drugs” was featured as an opinion editorial on Russell Simmons’ Global Grind website. Keevy is a proud mother of 3 boys, including a United States Airman, and her little sister who is an actress and activist. She is also a comedian committed to policy awareness, criminal justice reform and spreading joy.

Dionne Wilson

National Crime Survivor Advocate
In 2005, Dionne’s husband, a police officer in San Leandro, was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call. Though her husband’s shooter was caught and convicted, the experience changed Dionne’s perspective on the justice system. She saw first hand the ineffective and costly results of investing in strategies that respond to harm versus of preventing crime. In 2012, she began volunteering as a survivor advocate for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, joining other victims working to elevate their voices and calls for smarter justice policies. In April 2015, she joined Californians for Safety and Justice as staff, expanding her role as a survivor advocate in Sacramento and throughout the state, as well as helping to elevate the voices of other crime survivors. Dionne now supports ASJ’s efforts to train and organize crime survivors to become advocates in the media and in state capitols across the country.



Job Openings

Digital Manager

Digital Manager

ASJ seeks a creative, innovative, experienced digital strategist with big ideas and a proven track record of building and empowering communities online, successfully sharing messages through a range of digital channels, engaging new supporters, and deepening organizational reach online. The Digital Manager will join a fast-paced team of policy and program staff and consultants working to reform state criminal justice policy and transform the national dialogue on crime and incarceration.
Illinois State Director

Illinois State Director

The Illinois State Director is a new position in a growing organization that will be responsible for facilitating ASJ’s various efforts in Illinois to advance justice reform. The Illinois State Director is a dynamic position that involves working closely with in-state partners and allies, engaging in justice policy analysis and advocacy, and coordinating with ASJ staff, crime survivor members, grantees and contractors to help the state reduce over-reliance on incarceration and increase investments into prevention, treatment and support for victims.
Program Manager for State Campaigns

Program Manager for State Campaigns

Operations Manager

Operations Manager

ASJ seeks an Operations Manager to administer the organization's financial and operations functions. The Operations Manager should have experience in a non-profit setting and experience ensuring organizational effectiveness in a fast-paced office environment.
Communications Director of State Based Campaigns

Communications Director of State Based Campaigns

ASJ is hiring a full-time Communications Director for State Based Campaigns to manage strategic communications related to these efforts and provide direct technical assistance to state partners to advance state priorities. This position will be responsible for executing high-impact communications strategies for a wide variety of audiences, including the media, policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, community-based organizations, and the general public.