Board of Trustees

Ellen Frede, Ph.D., Senior Co-Director
National Institute for Early Education Research

Janel George, Esq.
Georgetown University Law Center

Lindsay Heck, Esq.
U.S. Government

Jacqueline Jones, Ph.D., Former President & CEO
Foundation for Child Development

Kevin Kelleher, Executive Director
New Jersey Education Association

Gregory Little, Esq.
ELC Chief Trial Counsel

David Long, Esq.
Attorney

Janelle Scott, Ph.D., Professor & Chair
University of California at Berkeley

Rebecca Spar, Esq.
Special Education Attorney

Justice Gary Stein
Pashman Stein

Clifford G. Stewart, Esq.
The Law Office of C. Gregory Stewart

Jamal Watson, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Trinity Washington University, School of Professional and Graduate Studies

Kevin Welner, Ph.D., Professor
University of Colorado, School of Education

Staff

Executive Director

Robert (Bob) Kim oversees and directs ELC programs and activities. He has been engaged in civil and education rights law and policy for his entire 25+ year career.

Robert Kim, Esq. is the executive director of Education Law Center, a legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing and protecting public education and the rights of public school students nationwide. In 2020, he served as a member of the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team. From 2011 through 2016, he served in the Obama Administration as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, which enforces federal civil rights laws in K-12 and postsecondary institutions nationwide. Earlier in his career, Kim served as a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association and as a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. His most recent publications include Education and the Law, 6th ed. (West Academic Publishing, 2024) and Elevating Equity and Justice: Ten U.S. Supreme Court Cases Every Teacher Should Know (Heinemann, 2020).

Senior Attorney, Educational Equity

Elizabeth Athos’ law practice focuses on issues related to special education, residency, school discipline, bullying, and New Jersey school funding.

Elizabeth joined ELC in 1997, after working as a Legal Services attorney in New Jersey. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 1990, she was awarded the Ronald B. Atlas Outstanding Attorney Award by Legal Services of New Jersey, and in 2014, she received the CAP Legal Advocate Award from New Jersey Child Assault Prevention.

Research & Policy Associate

Nicole Ciullo tracks legislative, policy, and research developments impacting K-12 public schools nationwide, gathers and analyzes data and assists in the writing and production of reports and publications.

Prior to joining ELC, Nicole served as the Fundraising & Events Intern at One Simple Wish and as the Communication & Development Intern at Habitat for Humanity of Trenton. Nicole received a B.A., cum laude, in Spanish and Sociology from The College of New Jersey, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark.

Program Assistant

Kaitlyn Comesañas provides program and administrative support to ELC staff, assists with external communications and manages fundraising efforts and annual events.

Before joining ELC, Kaitlyn worked as a contractor for Customs and Border Protection in their Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Division. She also served as Senior Intern for a Newark-based non-profit, SHE Wins Inc., that is dedicated to creating a pipeline of college, career, and community-ready young women leaders from the city of Newark. In 2020, Kaitlyn received her B.A., cum laude, in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Montclair State University.

Director, Partnership for Equity & Education Rights (PEER)

Jennifer Doeren directs PEER, a state-driven network fighting for education equity, an end to the ongoing divestment of public education and racially-just public schools.

Prior to PEER, Jennifer was a senior program officer with Elev8, a national community schools initiative. She has worked in human rights with the Anti-Defamation League and has advocated on behalf of marginalized communities both in the United States and internationally with UJA-Federation and other partners. Jennifer has also been involved in electoral politics, including as a staff member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C.

Research Director

Danielle Farrie maintains an extensive education database and conducts analysis to support litigation and public policy for ELC and partner organizations.

Before joining ELC, Danielle conducted research in the field of urban education on such topics as school choice, racial and economic segregation, and reactions to racial integration, and coauthored peer reviewed articles on parental involvement among low-income families. Danielle has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Temple University.

Powell Legal Fellow

Meredith Kilburn works to address the school-to-prison pipeline through direct representation of students and systemic advocacy around school resource officers. Her practice, largely based in Newark, NJ, focuses on school discipline for students with and without disabilities and restorative justice.

Prior to law school, Meredith was an AmeriCorps volunteer with Legal Aid Chicago (formerly LAF), coordinating two federal court help desks for pro se litigants. She also taught English in Chile and China. Meredith received a B.A. in Political Science from Lipscomb University. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2022, receiving the Powell Fellowship in Legal Services.

Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications

Sharon Krengel oversees communications and legislative, press and community outreach for ELC. She also coordinates the statewide education advocacy network, Our Children/Our Schools.

Prior to joining ELC, Sharon served as Director of the Coalition to Preserve Public Education, an organization of NJ public school districts seeking to change the state’s charter school funding law. She also worked as a freelance journalist and an editorial and communications consultant to non-profit organizations and for-profit firms.

Senior Attorney, School Finance and Resource Equity

Wendy Lecker is responsible for developing, engaging, and managing ELC’s legal and litigation work to ensure fairness and adequacy in school funding and the equitable provision of resources essential to effectuate students’ constitutional and legal rights to public education.

She also assists on legal work and litigation for Public Funds, Public Schools, a national campaign to ensure that all public funds are used to support public schools.

Before joining ELC, Wendy was a staff attorney at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) in New York. She has also worked as a consultant in education finance and policy for The Rural School and Community Trust and Connecticut Voices for Children. Wendy has a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University. She is the former president of the Stamford Parent Teacher Council, and a former education columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Litigation Director/ Director, Public Funds Public Schools

Jessica Levin is the Director of Public Funds Public Schools, a national campaign to ensure that public funds for education are used to support public schools.

Prior to joining ELC, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University, an M.Phil. in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Chief Trial Counsel

Greg Little leads ELC’s efforts to enforce the education rights of public school children through legal advocacy and litigation throughout the nation.

Prior to joining ELC, Greg was a partner at the international law firm, White & Case. During his 35-year career as a trial lawyer he served as lead counsel in more than 50 trials in state and federal courts and achieved favorable outcomes in some of the most high profile commercial disputes in the country. At White & Case, he coordinated the firm’s substantial pro bono commitment to ELC. He has also served on the ELC Board of Trustees since 2013. Greg received his J.D. from University of Tennessee College of Law and his B.A. from Drew University.

Director of Finance, Operations & Development

Theresa Luhm is an Attorney and the Managing Director of the Education Law Center. Her work is focused on school funding equity, safe and adequate school facilities and accountability, and she is part of the ELC legal team responsible for representing the interests of the 300,000 plaintiff school children in the Abbott v. Burke litigation.

Theresa has a B.A. with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Rutgers-Newark School of Law. Prior to joining ELC, she worked as a research analyst at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Senior Researcher

Mary McKillip leads ELC’s research examining the fairness of state funding systems through analyses of resource equity within states.

Prior to joining the Education Law Center in 2018, Dr. McKillip managed school discipline and health survey data collection and analyses at the New Jersey Department of Education and conducted research on the high school to college transition at the College Board. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois and a M.Ed from Harvard University.

Intake Coordinator

Aimee Roche works directly with parents and guardians who contact ELC for legal assistance.

Prior to joining ELC, Aimee worked as a Community Organizer at La Casa de Don Pedro, where she was also responsible for implementing outreach and recruitment for the Abbott preschool program. Her efforts resulted in the enrollment of 2,182 preschoolers into Abbott Preschool programs in Essex County in 2002-2003.

Finance & Operations Manager

Ann Romero is responsible for overseeing ELC’s financial processes including payables, payroll, month-end close, grant reporting and the annual audit.  She also works with senior management on fiscal planning and forecasting.

Prior to joining ELC, she worked in finance at several other nonprofits including a special education school for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from James Madison University in Virginia and is a Certified Public Accountant.