Josie Duffy Rice, President
Josie received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and her JD from Harvard Law School. Josie was previously a staff writer at Daily Kos, where she focused on prosecutorial accountability and criminal justice. Josie’s writing on race, gender, culture, and politics has been featured in the New York Times, Slate, Gawker, Ebony, Daily Kos, Rewire, Interactive One, and Spook Mag, among others. She has also been featured in The Nation, New York Magazine, and Scalawag. She is a former staff attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy.
Matt Ferner, Editor-in-Chief
Matt previously worked as a reporter for HuffPost where for nearly a decade he wrote about politics, policing, the incarceration crisis, gun violence, and the climate crisis on the enterprise, politics and breaking news teams. His reporting has been cited in legal briefs and academic research, has influenced policy, exposed misconduct, and helped lead to investigations of government corruption. Previously at HuffPost, Matt was also the chief editor of the Denver bureau where he lead a team that covered local news, culture, and politics of the region and the broader Rocky Mountain West. Before that Matt was an editor, writer, and reporter for various local and national digital magazines and literary journals, covering news, politics, culture, and art. Matt obtained a BA in English from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MFA in Film/Screenwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Rob Smith, Executive Director
Rob was previously an assistant professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Rob’s scholarship has appeared in the New York University Law Review, Cornell Law Review, and Boston University Law Review, among other journals; in the online editions of the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, and Northwestern Law Review; and in media outlets like The Guardian, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Slate. His work has been cited by courts including the United States Supreme Court, as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
Keisha Hudson, Managing Director
Keisha was most recently the deputy chief defender at the Montgomery County Public Defender Office in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Montgomery County Defenders, Ms. Hudson spent 10 years as an attorney with the Federal Defender, Capital Habeas Unit (Eastern District of Pennsylvania) where she represented clients sentenced to death row in their state post conviction and federal habeas appeals. In her last year at the CHU, she served as the Director of Training. She began her public defense career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Keisha received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell University.
Jake Sussman, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel
Jake graduated from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar. He then clerked for the Honorable Ellen B. Burns of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Jake previously practiced law in North Carolina, where he handled criminal and capital cases in state and federal courts. Jake also litigated scores of civil rights cases, including the successful challenge to North Carolina’s ban against marriage equality. Jake has been an invited speaker on topics including the death penalty, working with experts, litigating civil rights actions, and First Amendment issues.