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Photo: new board members Carolyn Lerner, Prianka Sharma, Arusha Gordon

Meet Our New Board Members (2018)

We’re pleased to welcome two new members and one returning member to our Board of Directors.

Arusha Gordon serves as Counsel on the Voting Rights Project and the Stop Hate Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Her work largely focuses on ensuring equal voting rights and responding to hate crimes by working with local community leaders and using a wide range of tools. These can include public education, advocating for policy change, and litigation. Arusha joined the Lawyers’ Committee as a legal fellow in 2013, with a focus on employment, education and housing. Arusha was a 2009-2010 Fulbright scholar in Egypt and at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, where her research focused on gender issues and civic participation. Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, she worked at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU and served as the Early Vote Director for the 2012 Obama campaign in Ohio and New Media Director for the Obama campaign in Virginia in 2008. Arusha is a graduate of Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) and Wesleyan University. She writes and speaks on issues relating to implicit bias and the law. She has published in the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, the African Executive, The Root, and other publications. Arusha will teach a seminar on civil rights at Howard Law this fall. She grew up splitting her time between living in a log cabin in Vermont and living in Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa.

Carolyn Lerner was appointed Chief Circuit Mediator for the U.S. Courts of the D.C. Circuit in September 2017. Prior to her selection, she was nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate to head the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent investigative agency which provides a safe channel for federal employees to make whistleblower disclosures, and protects them from retaliation and other prohibited personnel actions. Carolyn served as the Special Counsel from 2011 until her term ended in 2017. Carolyn is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School. She was a founding partner of the civil rights and employment law firm Heller, Huron, Chertkof, Lerner, Simon & Salzman where she practiced from 1997 to 2011. While in private practice, she served as a special master for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a sexual harassment and retaliation class action against the D.C. Department of Corrections. Carolyn earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Honors College at the University of Michigan and her J.D. from New York University Law School, where she was a Root-Tilden public interest scholar. After law school, Carolyn clerked for Chief Judge Julian Cook, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Carolyn previously served on our Board and as Board President. During her term as President, she initiated our annual awards ceremony.

Prianka Sharma is an Assistant Chief Counsel at the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. Her portfolio includes agriculture, energy, and natural resources. Prianka engages in inter-agency federal rule-making with the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Interior, advocating for small business concerns in the regulatory process. Prianka is a Taskforce Co-chair on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force of Women in Government Relations, and serves as Co-Vice Chair for Electronic Communications with the ABA’s Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources Endangered Species Committee. She previously served as a judicial law clerk to Magistrate Judges Janet E. Albert and Mary Grace Rook at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and a Litigation Law Fellow with the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP). Prianka earned her J.D. at the American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. in International Studies and Spanish at Illinois Wesleyan University. Prianka resides in the District and in her spare time enjoys cooking, volunteering, and playing with her two cats, Champ and Millie.

These individuals are already making a big impact in our community. We look forward to working with them!

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