PRDI Advisers, Directors & Staff

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PRDI Advisers, Directors & Staff

Charles D. Adler, Esq.

Charles D. Adler, Esq., of Goltzer & Adler, is a practicing criminal defense attorney, concentrating on federal and state criminal litigation, including trials and appeals. Noteworthy cases he has litigated include U. S. v. Monsanto, in which the United States Supreme Court rejected the right of criminal defendants to use restrained funds for attorney fees to defend the charges upon which the restraint and forfeiture rested.

Mr. Adler's positions include:

  • President of the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, a new organization of attorneys that seeks to promote honest and informed discussion of drug policy within the legal profession and encourages local bar associations to undertake research on drug policy
  • President of the Center for Community Alternatives. CCA is a not-for-profit agency which seeks to develop safe and effective alternatives to incarceration, especially for juveniles. CCA "serves kids in trouble - young people who face problems with drugs, guns and community violence."
  • Chair of the Committee of Criminal Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a member of the Criminal Justice Council and the current.
  • Member of the Board of the New York City Legal Aid Society Alumni Association
  • Faculty member in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Member of the Drug Policy Task Force of the New York County Lawyers Association.

Mr. Adler graduated with honors from New York Law School in 1970.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett was one of the founders of PRDI in 1994. From 1985-95, he was the co-owner of a small marketing research firm, and has extensive experience in small business management and media communications.

Jack Brown

Jack Brown is a journalist, writer and activist who lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He is a former businessman and a former songwriter for 'Captain Kangaroo.' He is also a former VISTA volunteer and worked with the Partnership of the Alliance in the Yucatan, Mexico. He received his BA in Philosophy from Knox College in 1968.

George Edward Bushnell Jr., Esq.

George E. Bushnell served as President of the American Bar Association from 1994-95. He has served on and presided over many legal organizations, including several ABA committees, the Detroit Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Trial Attorneys of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Law Institute, the American Arbitration Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, the Federal Bar Association, the International Society of Barristers, and many others.

Mr. Bushnell received a BA from Amherst College, and an LLB from the University of Michigan. He served in the US Air Reserves from 1943 to 1956, and was decorated with the Bronze Star. He is a life member of the NAACP.

Captain Peter Christ, Ret.

Peter Christ is a retired police captain. He holds lifetime memberships in the Police Conference of New York, the Western New York Association of Retired Police Officers, and the Police Captains and Lieutenants Association of Erie County.

After working for two decades as a policeman, he concluded that "the drug war as it is being currently waged can never be won." Following his retirement in 1989, Mr. Christ began speaking out against the current policy by engaging others in discussion on the topic, writing letters to the editor, and calling newspapers, radio, and television stations to challenge one-sided coverage of the drug war.

In 1993, he joined ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy, a grass-roots citizens' organization, and became the organization's leading spokesperson. He has represented ReconsiDer in public forums, debates, on over 100 radio and television shows, and at national and international drug policy conferences. Mr. Christ's public-speaking topics include: the drug war's impact on the judiciary, police activities in the drug war, the drug war's impact on prison populations and minority communities, sentencing issues, and the effectiveness of drug education programs in reducing drug use.

Kildare Clarke, MD, Esq.

Dr. Kildare Clarke has 20 years of experience in Patient Care, Medical Administration, and national and international drugs and health care policy. Prior to his current position as an Associate Medical Director at Kings County Hospital Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Clarke served as the Director of the Kings County Hospital Primary Care Center, Ambulatory Care Department; and as Vice-President of the Doctors Council, NYCHHC. He also currently serves as consultant to the Office of the Kings County District Attorney on Medical-Legal Affairs and to the Office of State Attorney General on Medical-Legal Affairs and Medicaid Fraud Control.

As a specialist in one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City, Dr. Clarke is particularly concerned with the violence engendered by illicit drug markets. He advocates taking a public health approach to controlling drugs and limiting violence. Dr. Clarke has also been active in the medical marijuana issue in New York State, working with several patients to obtain them legal access to the drug.

Dr. Clarke received his medical education at Downstate Medical School (1974) and his JD at Pace University Law School (1982).

Mary M. Cleveland, Ph.D.

Mary M. Cleveland ("Polly") received an AB in Physics from Harvard in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984, with a dissertation on Consequences and Causes of Unequal Distribution of Wealth. She has worked as the controller of small pharmaceutical company, taught accounting and computer systems at Rutgers University, and supervised the renovation of two apartment buildings in Manhattan. Dr. Cleveland is a member of the Board of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, which publishes the works of the great 19th century American economist and philosopher, Henry George.

Since 1994, she has been the Director of Research at The Partnership for Responsible Drug Information. In 1998, she published an article on "Downsizing the Drug War and Considering 'Legalization:' An Economic Perspective," in How to Legalize Drugs, by Jefferson M. Fish, Ed. (Aronson, 1998) The June/July 1999 issue of Foundation News & Commentary will publish her article entitled "So Why Don't You Go to Soros? That's what funders say about drug policy reform. Here's why more foundations should care about the war on drugs."

Samuel Dash, Esq.

Professor Samuel Dash has taught criminal law and trial procedure at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC since 1965.

A native of Philadelphia, he developed an early passion for the rights of criminal suspects and defendants, especially Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In 1949, while at Harvard Law School, he founded the Harvard Voluntary Defenders, and subsequently the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Later he served as a trial attorney with the Appellate Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Chief of the Appeals Division of the District Attorney's Office of Philadelphia, and as the First Assistant District Attorney of Philadelphia and the District Attorney of Philadelphia. Eight years of private practice included partnerships in the Philadelphia firms of Blank, Rudenko, Klaus & Rome and Dash & Levy, where he specialized in trial practice. He also served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, a pioneer Philadelphia poverty program.

In 1973-74, he gained national prominence as chief counsel and staff director of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, the Senate Watergate Committee.

Professor Dash has served as a consultant to various commissions and government entities both here and abroad. He belongs to the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. He has held positions on the Boards of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Common Cause, and membership in the American Law Institute. He has also chaired the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA and the ABA Special Committee on Criminal Justice in a Free Society. He belongs to the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

As a Board Member of the International League for the Rights of Man, a private organization associated with the United Nations, he traveled to Northern Ireland to investigate the "Bloody Sunday" incident, and to the Soviet Union to investigate the treatment of activists. His writings include law review articles on criminal justice topics and three books: Chief Counsel (1976), Justice Denied: A Challenge to Lord Widery's Report on "Bloody Sunday" (1972), and The Eavesdroppers (1959, revised, 1998). He is currently writing a book on Fourth Amendment issues.

Steven Donziger, Esq.

Steven R. Donziger is a leading national expert on crime policy and youth violence. He was the former Director of the National Criminal Justice Commission, a private body composed of 34 national and international leaders in the field of criminal justice. In 1996, the Commission produced the first comprehensive study of crime policy in America since the Kerner Commission in 1968. The results of their study were released as a book, The Real War on Crime (Harper Collins, 1996). Since its publication, Mr. Donziger has often appeared on national television and radio shows and has been quoted in many newspapers and magazines.

In the 1980's, Mr. Donziger worked as a journalist for United Press International and free-lance for four years, filing more than 150 stories from Central America. In 1991, he received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and then worked as a trial attorney for the District of Columbia Public Defender Service in Washington, DC, where he represented juveniles and adults in criminal court. He currently practices criminal defense law and international environmental law in New York City.

Nicolas Eyle

Alan Fischler, Esq.

Jefferson M. Fish, Ph.D.

Jefferson Fish, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at St. John's University, where he has served as Department Chair and also as director of the Ph.D. Program in clinical Psychology. He is a past Chair of the Psychology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences and past President of the Division of Academic Psychology of the New York State Psychological Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Responsible Drug Information. Dr. Fish is co-editor of Psychology, Perspectives and Practice and author of Placebo Therapy and Culture and Therapy: an Integrative Approach. He recently edited a large collection of expert contributions on How to Legalize Drugs (1998). He has written over seventy journal articles and book chapters.

Robert Ganer, CPA, Esq.

Robert Ganer is a co-founder and partner in the tax accounting firm of Ganer, Grossbach and Ganer. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Accounting in 1972. He received his MBA in Taxation from Baruch College in 1974, and his JD from Brooklyn Law School in 1978. Mr. Ganer is a winner of the American Jurisprudence Award in Contract Law.

Diana R. Gordon Ph.D, JD

Diana Gordon teaches political science and criminology at The City College of New York, City University of New York. In 1990, she published The Justice Juggernaut: Fighting Street Crime, Controlling Citizens. In 1994, she published The Return of the Dangerous Classes: Drug Prohibition and Policy Politics. She argues that, "A 'shadow agenda' sustains the war on drugs, giving politicians symbolic opportunities to express protectiveness and to manipulate racial fears. Both leaders and ordinary citizens use the drug problem to construct enemies-blacks, youths, aliens-who can be blamed for American social and economic ills."

Thomas H. Haines, Ph.D.

Thomas Haines is Director of Biochemistry at the City University of New York (CUNY) Medical School/Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and Professor in the doctoral Program of Biochemistry at the CUNY Graduate Center and in the Department of Chemistry at the City College of CUNY. He received his BS in 1957 and his MA in 1959, both from the City College of CUNY, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rutgers University in 1964. In 1973, Dr. Haines established the CUNY Medical School. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of California in Berkeley, as well as in Japan, the People's Republic of China, and France. He has specialized in the biophysics of membrane lipids, on which he has published extensively.

The Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. (1928-1998)

Judge Higginbotham, a legal scholar, author and historian, was an influential Federal judge for 29 years until he retired in 1993. From 1990 until his retirement, Judge Higginbotham was Chief Judge of the Federal appeals court in Philadelphia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was only the third black jurist to have directed any one of the country's circuit courts, the 12 Federal appeals panels that are second in importance only to the United States Supreme Court. After his retirement, he taught at Harvard University and served on various corporate boards, including that of the New York Times Company. Shortly before his death in December 1998, he testified at the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings along with Elliot Richardson and Nicholas Katzenbach.

Born into a poor Trenton New Jersey family, Judge Higginbotham called himself "a survivor of segregation." He graduated from Purdue University in 1948, and with honors from Yale Law School in 1952. He was named to the Federal District Court in Philadelphia in 1964, at age 36, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter elevated him to the United States Court of Appeals.

An outspoken liberal and civil rights advocate, Judge Higginbotham received many awards, including the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1995.

"I will make two requests of you," he said to graduating seniors at Wesleyan University in 1996. "They are that you always attempt to see those human beings who become invisible to most people, and that you always try to hear the pleas of those persons who, despite their pain and suffering, have become voiceless and forgotten."

(Excerpted from New York Times obituary, 12/15/98, p B14.)

The Honorable Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach served first as deputy US Attorney General under President John F. Kennedy, then as US Attorney General (1964-66) and then as under-Secretary of State under President Lyndon B. Johnson. From then until retirement he served as General Counsel to the I.B.M. Corporation.

Mr. Katzenbach served in the US Air Force from 1941 to 1945. He received a BA from Princeton in 1945 and an LLB from Yale in 1947, followed by a Rhodes scholarship in Oxford, England. He practiced law in New Jersey and New York, and taught law first at Yale Law School and then at the University of Chicago Law School.

He has published (with Morton A. Kaplan) The Political Foundations of International Law (1961), as well as many articles for professional journals. He is active in the American Bar Association and other legal organizations.

Dorothy Keller, Esq.

David Leven, Esq.

David C. Leven has been the Executive Director of the Prisoner's Legal Services of New York since 1979. From 1973 to 1979, Mr. Leven served as Executive Director of the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation. In both positions, he has litigated prisoner's rights cases and otherwise worked for a more humane criminal justice system. He has served as Chair of the New York State Coalition for Criminal Justice, and on the Steering Committee of the New York State Coalition Against the Death Penalty and is a member of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty. From 1993 to 1996, he was a member of the Drug Policy Task Force of the New York County Lawyers' Association.

A former Chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Legal Aid, Mr. Leven has received the Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section-Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Delivery of Legal Services and the Committee on Public Interest Law. He earned his A.B. at the University of Rochester (1965) and his J.D. at Syracuse University College of Law (1968).

Stanley Neustadter, Esq.

Stanley Neustadter is a Manhattan attorney. He specializes in state and federal criminal appeals and post-conviction remedies. He was deputy chief of the NYC Legal Aid Society's Criminal Appeals Bureau for several years before opening his private practice in 1978. He has argued numerous appeals, including many drug cases, in a wide variety of courts, include the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also taught in three different law schools, and is currently an adjunct professor at Cardozo School of Law, where he has directed the Criminal Appeals Clinic since 1985. Mr. Neustadter has been active in drug policy circles for twenty years. He earned his A.B. from Tufts University (1964) and his LL.B. from Boston University (1967).

Roger Pilon, Ph.D., JD

Since 1988, Roger Pilon has held the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and served as the founder and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies. Before joining the Institute, he held five senior posts in the Reagan Administration, in the Office of Personal Management, the Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, the U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission, and the Department of Justice.

Dr. Pilon has published and lectured widely on moral, political, and legal theory. He testifies often before Congress and appears on television and radio programs discussing legal issues of the day. In 1989, the National Press Foundation and the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution presented to him the Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in writing on the U.S. Constitution.

In 1971, Dr. Pilon earned a BA in philosophy from Columbia University. In 1979, he completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Chicago. In 1988 he earned a JD from the George Washington University School of Law. He has been a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, California.

The Honorable Elliot Lee Richardson

Elliot Richardson is best known as US Attorney General under President Richard Nixon in 1973-until he refused to cooperate with President Nixon's firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Prior to that he held federal positions as Under-Secretary of State, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, and Secretary of Defense. From 1974-75 he served as US Ambassador to Great Britain.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Richardson received an AB from Harvard University in 1941. From 1942-45, he served in the US Army, and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He received an LLB from Harvard Law School in 1947. From 1948-49, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter He practiced law in Boston before becoming Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor (1965-67) and Massachusetts Attorney General (1967-69).

Mr. Richardson has written two books, and contributed numerous articles to professional journals. He has been active in the American Bar Association and many other legal organizations, and has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School. He has received many prestigious awards.

Rodney Skager, Ph.D.

Rodney Skager has been a Professor of Education Psychology at UCLA since 1966. Now Professor Emeritus, he continues to teach graduate courses in educational psychology, personality theory, studies of at-risk youth, research design, and many other topics. He has published extensively on prevention policy, comparative studies of national drug policies, treatment and recovery from alcohol and illicit drug abuse. Since 1985, he has also been the Director of the California Attorney General's annual Survey of Student Substance Use in California Public Schools.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Phoenix House of California, a national therapeutic community treatment agency. He has evaluated school and community programs for at-risk youth, gang prevention, alcohol and drug use prevention for youth, and professional training in the addictions. He has worked in a variety of roles in community agencies serving alcohol and drug-addicted clients, dependency treatment facilities, and industrial employee assistance programs. He often is a speaker and instructor at workshops, institutes, and community forums on incidence, prevention, and intervention in adolescent substance use and abuse.

Professor Skager earned his MA (1959) and Ph.D. (1961) in Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Eric E. Sterling, Esq.

Since 1989, Eric E. Sterling has been president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a non-profit educational organization that assists public health, criminal justice, and other public officials in finding innovative solutions to criminal justice and drug policy problems.

Mr. Sterling was Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement. He was the principal aide in drafting criminal justice laws, including the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 and the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988.

Since 1990, Mr. Sterling has edited NewsBriefs, the monthly newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, covering drug issues around the world. Mr. Sterling helped found Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) and Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR). He has served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Drug Abuse in Washington, DC and the Baltimore Mayor's Task Force on Drug Policy. He serves as liaison to the Standing Committee on Substance Abuse of the American Bar Association, and as Co-Chair of the drug policy committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Mr. Sterling received a BA from Haverford College (1973), and his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law (1976).

Aaron D. Wilson, MA

Aaron Wilson has worked in the drug policy reform movement since 1991. He joined PRDI in 1995. He holds a BA in History/Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and has recently completed MA's in Education and in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University.


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