Skip to main content

The Sentencing Project Staff

Amy Fettig

Executive Director

Warren Allen

End Life Imprisonment Fellow

Alexandra Bailey

End Life Imprisonment Strategist

Celeste Barry

Executive Assistant

Breanna Bishop

Communications Associate

Durrel Douglas

Jail-based Voting Initiative Organizer

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.

Senior Research Analyst

Kara Gotsch

Deputy Director

Liz Komar

Sentencing Reform Counsel

Heather Koslov

Development Director

Florence Lee

Development Associate

Bob Libal

Senior Organizing Consultant

Marc Mauer

Senior Advisor

Morgan McLeod

Communications Manager

Richard Mendel

Senior Research Fellow

Ashley Nellis, Ph.D.

Senior Research Analyst

Terry Nixon

Director of Operations & Finance

Nicole D. Porter

Senior Director of Advocacy

Joshua Rovner

Director of Youth Justice

The Sentencing Project Board of Directors

Henderson Hill, President

Henderson Hill is Senior Counsel at ACLU. He previously worked as a public defender (PDS), director of the NC Death Penalty Resource Center, a partner at the civil rights law firm, Ferguson Stein Chambers (CLT), and as director of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina. Most recently, Henderson served as founding director of the 8th Amendment Project. Henderson launched, and continues to serve as co-director of Redress NC, an initiative to unwind extreme sentences through collaboration with community stakeholders. Henderson is a graduate of Lehman College, CUNY, (B.A. Economics), and Harvard Law School, J.D.

Santha Sonenberg, Vice President

Santha Sonenberg served as a public defender in the federal and local courts, litigator, consultant, and associate professor at various schools of law—including Harvard Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and University of Maryland School of Law. As a career practitioner, Sonenberg’s emphasis has been the fair and individualized treatment of the disenfranchised. Sonenberg received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and her Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Mark MacDougall, Treasurer

Mark MacDougall is a trial lawyer with extensive civil and criminal trial experience. He formerly served as a federal prosecutor with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. For more than a decade, MacDougall has devoted considerable time to the pro bono representation of defendants facing the death penalty in South Carolina and has received national recognition for this work, including the Foot Soldier Award from the NAACP and the Exemplar Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. MacDougall received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, his MBA from Boston University, and his law degree from the George Washington University.

Ashley McSwain, Secretary

Ashley McSwain is the Executive Director for Community Family Life Services, an organization serving women returning home from prison or jail and serves, homeless and low income families offering case management, release planning and navigation services. McSwain is also adjunct faculty for Catholic University’s Graduate School of Social Work and is licensed to practice Social Work in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She holds a Master of Social Work from Temple University, a Master of Organizational Development from American University and a bachelors in Criminal Justice from Temple University.

Michael Blake

Michael Blake is an independent consultant who advises endowments, foundations, and private family financial offices on governance and management of investments. Blake served as Vice President of Finance at Evelyn and Walter Haas Fund, San Francisco and worked as Country Director of Central African Republic (CAR) Peace Corps. Blake received a B.A. in Economics from Duke University, and Master’s in Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley.

Angela J. Davis

Angela J. Davis is a professor of law at American University's Washington College of Law. She is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a specific focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. Davis previously served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent juveniles and adults. Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor. She received her undergraduate degree from Howard University and her law degree from Harvard Law School.

Jason Hernandez

Jason Hernandez was sentenced to life without parole plus 320 years for a nonviolent drug offense in 1998 at the age of 21. Fourteen years into his sentence, he started his own grass-roots organization in prison called Crack Open The Door, which advocated for crack cocaine offenders serving life without parole. In 2011, Jason prepared his own Petition for Commutation and sent it to President Obama, along with a letter, asking for his sentence to be reduced, becoming one of the first to receive clemency from President Obama. Since his release in 2015, Jason has assisted nearly a dozen individuals receive clemency through the Obama and Trump Administration, most of whom were serving life without parole.

Jason is considered an expert in the field of clemency and has appeared on media outlets such as The New York Times, MSNBC, and CNN. He also authored the Guidebook Get Clemency Now, which teaches people in prison and their families how to create robust clemency petitions. Jason has recently launched his own Leadership Initiative for Latino High School Students called ATLAST (Aspiring Texas Latinos Achieving Success Together), and is opening a nonprofit grocery store "La Tiendita" in his old neighborhood.

Marc M. Howard

Marc M. Howard is one of the country's leading voices and advocates for criminal justice and prison reform. He is a Professor of Government and Law, and the founding Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, at Georgetown University. He is also the Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, a non-profit organization that launched in 2020. Howard’s scholarly research addresses the deep challenges of contemporary democracy and the tragedy of criminal justice and prisons in America. He is the author of three books and dozens of academic articles; his work and teaching have received numerous awards. Howard received his B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from Georgetown University.

Cynthia Jones

Cynthia Jones is a professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law where she teaches courses in Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and a seminar on “Race, Crime and Politics.” Jones served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank E. Schwelb of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and worked as an associate at the law firm of Dickstein, Shapiro and Morin. In addition to serving as a public defender, she was also the Executive Director of the Public Defender Service and the Deputy Director of the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency. Jones received her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Ebony Underwood

Ebony Underwood is a social entrepreneur, content creator, and founder/CEO of WE GOT US NOW, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy organization amplifying the collateral consequences that children and young adults impacted by parental incarceration face. Founded in 2017, the organization has been instrumental in raising national attention to the issue of children with incarcerated parents, passing 5 pieces of legislation at the local, state and federal levels in 2021 and reunifying families separated by incarceration from all across the United States. This work is personal and pivotal for Ebony. As a daughter of an incarcerated parent, her advocacy efforts led to the compassionate release of her father after spending 33 years in federal prison with a life without parole sentence. Ebony's thought leadership has received numerous awards including, the Soros Justice Fellowship, ASPEN Institute Ascend Fellowship, Next Step to Justice Award, Galaxy Gives Fellow, Salute HER award, and Arizona State University Champion of Child Well Being Award. In 2022, she was a featured speaker and distinguished fellow of the 2022 ASPEN Ideas Festival.