Alexandra Smith is the Navigator for the Victim Legal Network of DC (VLNDC) at NVRDC. As an Attorney Navigator, she assists survivors of crime in accessing legal services throughout DC by issue spotting their diverse legal needs and connecting them to appropriate legal service providers within the VLNDC. Alexandra received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she worked with the Gender Violence Program, and her B.A. from the University of Florida.
Ashley Morse is a graduate of the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, and has interned at Legal Counsel for the Elderly in its landlord tenant housing clinic. Ashley's undergraduate experience was in Broadcast Journalism, and she has spent the past year as Regulatory Counsel at the FDA.
Audrey Meshulam serves the NVRDC advocacy team as a Bilingual Case Manager and Advocate. Her work at NVRDC builds on a previous career in case management and crisis intervention within the field of reproductive justice. Audrey earned a B.A. in Performance Studies with a minor in Spanish Language from the Northwestern University School of Communication.
Bridgette Stumpf, Esq. is Co-Executive Director of Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC), a position she has held since co-founding the organization in May 2012. As part of this role, Ms. Stumpf developed the Legal Services Programs at NVRDC, which offer assistance to victims of all crime types in asserting their rights throughout the criminal justice process, civil legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking in DC Superior Court, and representation to college campus survivors of gender-based violence navigating administrative proceedings under Title IX and the Clery Act. Additionally, she has developed a thriving Pro Bono Program at NVRDC—allowing for trained and supported volunteer attorneys to offer pro bono assistance to victims of crime in the District.
As one of the few victims' rights legal experts in the country, Ms. Stumpf is frequently called to participate in local and national policy conversations regarding issues impacting crime victims. In 2014, Bridgette served on the Department of Education's Negotiated Rule-making Committee to address Clery Act amendments under Campus SaVE through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She pushed for the passage of ground-breaking legislation for survivors of sexual assault in DC under the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act of 2014. In 2015, Ms. Stumpf provided consultation to the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime for the Department of Justice Canada and testified for the military’s Judicial Proceedings Panel for the consideration of compensation for victims of sexual assault. In 2013, she served on an advisory panel hosted by the Financial Crimes Resource Center to create “Assisting Victims of Financial Crimes,” a manual for victim service providers. In 2010, she served as a panelist at the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims Forum. Additionally, Ms. Stumpf has served as a national expert in crime victims’ issues at national conferences including those hosted by the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), the National Crime Victims' Law Institute (NCVLI), National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), and the Institute on Violence Abuse and Trauma (IVAT).
Ms. Stumpf has been recognized for her work in non-profit service and was honored in 2014 by the Women’s Information Network (WIN) Young Women Achievement Award (YWA) for her efforts in non-profit advocacy. Under her direction, NVRDC’s legal team was recognized by NCVLI’s Legal Advocacy Award—recognizing crime victims’ rights attorneys who have dedicated and committed their time to representing victims of crime in the criminal justice system.
A member of the Maryland and DC bars, Ms. Stumpf formerly worked as a crime victims’ rights attorney, representing victims of crime in issues such as being present in the court room, victim impact statements, protecting victims’ privacy, restitution and post-conviction proceedings. During that time, she also served as a Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime’s National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network, developing materials and providing training to victim service organizations across the country serving victims of identity theft. Additionally, Ms. Stumpf was active in the Protect Elders Against Crime and Exploitation (P.E.A.C.E.) coalition, serving as the Interagency Coordinating Committee chair and co-host of the Elder Abuse Conference for Prince George’s County Area Agency on Aging for the Department of Social Services.
As a certified Police Instructor, Ms. Stumpf has trained at several academy and in-service trainings on topics such as Trauma Responses, Instructor Liability, Victims’ Rights, Elder Abuse, Sexual Assault on Campuses, and Domestic Violence Awareness. Ms. Stumpf is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College, where she teaches the Study of Victimology.
Charlotte Keenan is a Staff Attorney, assisting victims of crime in civil and criminal matters, as well as in Title IX school administrative hearings. Formerly, Charlotte coordinated the Domestic Violence Pilot Project at the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois. She provided guidance and supervision to law students assisting domestic violence survivors seeking emergency protective orders. More recently, Charlotte worked at Break the Cycle as a Staff Attorney providing civil representation to 12-24 year old survivors of dating abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. Charlotte received her B.A. from Truman State University and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
Cierra Clark is a Case Manager for NVRDC's Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project responsible for providing hospital advocacy and support services. Formerly, Cierra worked as the Shelter House Coordinator at Doorways for Women and Families. She provided support and advocacy services to survivors of Domestic and Sexual assault and worked with the organization to provide immediate housing and employment assistance, 24 hour hotline and counseling services, and raise awareness about stalking, and interpersonal violence. Cierra received her B.A. from the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Liberal Studies with a Concentration in Women and Gender Studies.
Jabeen Adawi is the Victim Legal Network of DC (VLNDC) Project Coordinator at NVRDC. In this role, Jabeen manages a DC wide effort to plan and implement a legal network increasing crime victims’ access to DC’s diverse legal services community. Prior to joining NVRDC, Jabeen was a Staff Attorney at the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Therein, she provided a wide range of civil legal services - divorce, child custody, immigration, employment, and landlord tenant - to adult and child survivors of sexual assault. Previously, Jabeen was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Nestor F. Guzman, J.S.C. in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Division. Jabeen has a B.S. in Applied Physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.
Jess Sturges is a Case Manager working on NVRDC's Advocacy team, and as part of the District's Sexual Assault Response program, providing hospital advocacy and supportive services to individuals following an assault. Formerly, Jess worked with the DC Rape Crisis Center as a crisis intervention hotline advocate, where he assisted in providing trauma informed care, and client centered support services. Most recently, Jess worked as a member of the outreach and mobile services team member at HIPS in Northeast DC where he provided public/personal health advocacy, harm reduction counseling, and on-going support. Jess received his B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Inequality and Social Change from George Mason University in Virginia.
Kiera Bloore is a Staff Attorney and Intern Coordinator at NVRDC responsible for representing crime victims of all types in criminal cases, victims of gender-based violence in civil protection order hearings, and student survivors in Title IX proceedings. Formerly, Kiera worked as a Legal Fellow at the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) in Boston, where she assisted victims of sexual assault in VRLC's education and housing practices. Kiera received her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Kiera has been admitted to the Massachusetts, California and D.C. bars.
Kristin is Co-Director of Legal Programs with NVRDC where she, along with Matthew Ornstein, oversees NVRDC's legal programs, trains and supervises staff attorneys, and represents crime victims in criminal prosecutions, Civil Protection Order cases, and Title IX campus grievance procedures. Prior to joining NVRDC, Kristin worked as an attorney in Maryland's Montgomery and Prince George's Counties with House of Ruth Maryland's Protection Order Advocacy and Representation Project where she represented survivors of intimate partner violence in protection and peace order litigation and staffed walk-in legal clinics. Kristin also served as law clerk to Magistrate Judges Janet Albert and Mary Grace Rook with the DC Superior Court. Kristin received her B.A. from the the College of William and Mary and her juris doctorate at the Catholic University of Maryland's Columbus School of Law. She is licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Kris is a Case Manager for NVRDC's Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project, responsible for providing advocacy and support services. Prior to her work at NVRDC, Kris worked at the Pan American Development Foundation as a Program Coordinator providing training and technical assistance to civil society groups advocating for women's rights in Latin America. Most recently Kris was a Program Manager for the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) managing projects in Latin America, South East Asia and East Africa, to strengthen individuals and their communities through socioeconomic empowerment.
Kris formerly volunteered with the DC Rape Crisis Center as a Hotline Counselor. Kris also volunteers with the Collective Action for Safe Spaces in DC as a Workshop Trainer, where she co-facilitates anti-street harassment and bystander intervention trainings to share tools and resources for combating street harassment. Kris received her B.A. from American University.
Leise Gergely joined the NVRDC team in June of 2013 as a Case Manager and is now a Senior Case Manager for NVRDC’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Program providing hospital advocacy and support services. Previously, Leise was a volunteer with DC Survivors and Advocates For Empowerment where she answered calls on their 24-hour a day, 7 day a week crisis response line to provide emotional support and information about the legal system, social service programs, and emergency shelters. At DC SAFE she also participated in ride-alongs with the Metropolitan Police Department to provide direct, in-person services at crime scenes. Prior to coming to NVRDC, Leise worked as a Training Associate at the Young Women’s Project where she conducted high quality, effective trainings for youth around self-advocacy and reproductive health. She arranged for and provided support, peer counseling, advocacy, and social service referrals. Prior to moving to DC, Leise worked as a Youth Intervention Specialist in Palm Beach County, Florida where she reached thousands of youth in the community; helping them to understand the dynamics of various forms of violence through education, intervention, and empowerment through trainings and group sessions in schools, juvenile detention centers, and hospitals. Leise received her B.A. in Sociology and Women’s studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.
Lindsey Silverberg is the Director of Advocacy & Case Management with NVRDC, a holistic services organization that provides crisis intervention, case management, civil legal services, and crime victims’ rights representation to victims of all types of crime. She oversees NVRDC’s advocacy and case management program, runs the Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project, trains and supervises program staff, and manages the data collection and reporting for the organization. Prior to joining NVRDC, Lindsey worked as an Associate Project Director at Danya International where she managed several federal public health research grants, developed educational content, and designed and implemented research evaluations. Lindsey also worked as the Manager of Outreach and Student Services at the University of Maryland’s Office of the Victim Advocate. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland and her M.A. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Maggie Schmidt is a Staff Attorney at NVRDC responsible for representing crime victims’ rights in criminal cases, civil protection order hearings, and Title IX proceedings. Prior to coming to NVRDC she worked at the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice as a Research Associate/Contract Attorney writing and researching about emerging public health and health care issues. Maggie attended the University of New Hampshire School of Law and University of New Hampshire Graduate School at Manchester where she concurrently pursued a JD and Masters of Public Health (MPH). During her time in NH she worked at organizations providing direct services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, Have Justice—Will Travel in Vermont and the UNH Law Immigration Clinic, psychology labs researching domestic, sexual violence, and interpersonal violence, UNH Violence Resilience and Response Lab and Interpersonal Violence Lab, as well as completing a legal residency at the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women during her last semester of law school. Maggie worked for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts as an Outdoor Programs Facilitator on weekends in addition to her legal work. She received her undergraduate degree in government and history from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Maggie is admitted to the Massachusetts and DC Bars.
Matt Ornstein is Co-Director of Legal Programs at Network for Victim Recovery of DC. Matt has nearly 8 years of experience representing crime victims in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and in federal court. Before coming to NVRDC, Matt worked as a staff attorney at Maryland Crime Victim’s Resource Center, Inc. , where he represented clients related to privacy issues, the right to be present and heard and the right to request timely restitution. He has also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nancy Davis-Loomis and the Honorable Paul A. Hackner in Anne Arundel County.
Melanie Orhant is the Pro Bono & Volunteer Coordinator at NVRDC. Formerly, Melanie worked at Ayuda, where she was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and then the Director of the Trafficking Project. She provided direct legal services to individuals trafficked for forced labor in the DC area. Additionally, she established a pro bono network in the region to handle civil, criminal and immigration cases of trafficking survivors. As the Managing Attorney at Break the Chain Campaign she provided legal services to domestic workers who were exploited, abused and/or trafficked. Expanding their pro bono program to include new law firms and attorneys allowed this small organization to handle more legal cases. As the Director of Pro Bono Services at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty she placed all pro bono cases, while increasing the number of law firms that worked with NLCHP. She received her J.D. from The Washington College of Law, American University and her B.A. from Clark University. She has been admitted to the Washington, D.C. and Maryland Bars.
Merry O'Brien, MSW is NVRDC's Grants Administrator & Elder Justice Coordinator. For nearly a decade, she has served in the victims' rights and services field, and is experienced with the administration of grant awards, provision of fiscal and programmatic oversight and training to grantees, capacity development, coalition coordination, staff and volunteer training, grant writing and project management.
In addition to providing financial management of NVRDC's direct service grant awards, Merry provides coordination for several non-direct service grants at NVRDC which improve training, response, and promote coordinated community responses: www.nvrdc.org/projects. This includes DC TROV: The District's Collaborative Training & Response to Older Victims, which brings together victim service, law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and other allied professionals to increase awareness, training, and service to elder abuse victims in DC and NVRDC's Identity Theft Assistance Project (ITAP), which works to increase the community's ability to meet the needs of identity theft and fraud victims.
Previously, at at the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Ms. O'Brien served as Director of Special Grants, where she managed millions of dollars in pass-through funds to dozens of subrecipients around the country. This included the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network and the HOPE II Project, supported by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the U.S. Department of Justice. She also founded the PEACE Coalition, a multidisciplinary group in Maryland dedicated to preventing and responding to elder abuse victims. Prior to this role, Ms. O'Brien was involved with several projects at the nonprofit Elder Law of Michigan which strove to improve seniors' access to food, medical coverage, and safety from abuse. Merry earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan, where she received the Geriatric Scholars Award.
Naida Henao is a bilingual Staff Attorney at NVRDC responsible for representing crime victims of all types in criminal cases, victims of gender-based violence in civil protection order hearings, and student survivors in Title IX proceedings. Formerly, Naida worked as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Timothy Lydon at Mercer County Superior Court's Criminal Part in Trenton, New Jersey. Naida received her B.A. in International Studies at DePaul University, and received her J.D. at American University's Washington College of Law. Naida has been admitted to the New York, Illinois, and D.C. bars.
Nikki Charles is a co-founder and co-executive director at NVRDC. In this capacity, she oversees advocacy and case management for victims of all crime types, including the 24 on call sexual assault crisis response team. Prior to founding NVRDC, she was the Administrator of Victim Services for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in Maryland. She has received two Governor's Citations for Excellence in Victim Services. She is a master's level trained grief counselor, a victim compensation specialist, and a full time faculty member at the American Public University System.
Rochelle Kwan is a Case Manager for NVRDC's Sexual Assault Response Team, responsible for providing survivor-centered hospital advocacy and support services. Rochelle moved to Washington, DC from her hometown, San Francisco. Before then, Rochelle attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, Women's Studies, and Psychology. During her time back home in California, she worked with Freedom House in San Francisco to provide support services to survivors of human trafficking. In her second year here, Rochelle is continuing to make DC her new home and ready to start another year with NVRDC.
Ruth Perrin is a Staff Attorney at NVRDC, where she represents survivors of crime in civil protection order proceedings, on-campus Title IX hearings, and in criminal cases. Before becoming a Staff Attorney, Ruth was a Law Clerk at NVRDC. She is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School. As a law student, Ruth participated in the school's two domestic violence clinics, and interned at several DC-area organizations serving victims of violence. Ruth received her B.A. from Lawrence University in Classics and Government. She is a member of the Maryland bar.
Sara Melgarejo is the Case Manager Program Assistant for NVRDC’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project responsible for providing hospital advocacy and support services. She is doing a second year of voluntary service with the Mennonite Voluntary Service. Her first year she was placed at Bread for the City a non-profit in DC; representing low income clients in administrative hearing for Social Security benefits, making referrals for other services within and outside the organization, in addition to other administrative responsibilities. Before coming to the US, Sara has worked with other non-profits in Colombia, where she is from. Sara has a Law degree from the Rosario University in Bogotá.
Sarah Foster is a Case Manager at NVRDC. She originally joined the NVRDC team as a fellow with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and is now a full time staff member. Sarah has enjoyed a variety of work experiences ranging from fitness instructor to Orientation Team Leader for her university. Sarah enjoys traveling, cooking vegetables, eating cheese, camping, and watching DC United games. Sarah graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology and Health and Human Kinetics from Ohio Wesleyan University.