|Esther F. Lardent, Esq.
On April 4, 2016, Esther Lardent, Pro Bono Institute’s founder and first President and CEO, passed away after an extended illness. Esther’s passing is a tremendous loss for the legal profession and the fight for access to justice, but her legacy endures and PBI remains committed to advancing her work through its mission to promote, support, and enhance pro bono efforts around the world. Esther’s 45-year legal career was dedicated to fighting for civil rights and equal protection under the law, during which she directed pioneering and creative approaches to tackling serious access to justice issues. Highlights include founding the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar – the first program of its kind in the U.S., founding the Death Penalty Representation Project as a consultant at the ABA’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and launching the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, which has since become the gold standard for law firm pro bono among large firms and the legal media. Read more…
Project Assistant, Law Firm Pro Bono Project
Elysse DeRita is the project assistant for the Law Firm Pro Bono Project. Prior to joining PBI in June 2016, she was a Legal Assistant within the antitrust group at Arnold & Porter. While at Arnold & Porter, she worked on the mergers and acquisitions of Fortune 500 companies and subsequent compliance with DOJ and FTC investigations. She graduated from University of Massachusetts: Amherst with a B.A in Legal Studies and Psychology.
Communications and Development Associate
Misha Garrison joined PBI as the Communications and Development Associate in October 2016. Misha came to PBI from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County where she was a Development Manager. While in Santa Barbara she joined the Leading from Within “Emerging Leaders Program” 2016 cohort – a highly-selective, yearlong nonprofit professional development course. Misha graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Gender Studies and from American Jewish University in Los Angeles with an M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management.
Reena N. Glazer, Esq.
Assistant Director, Law Firm Pro Bono Project
Since October 2006, Reena Glazer has been the assistant director of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project at PBI. Glazer came to PBI from the Washington, D.C., office of Goodwin Procter LLP, where she was a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department. Glazer was a partner at Shea & Gardner prior to its merger with Goodwin Procter in 2004. Before joining Shea & Gardner in 1995, she clerked for the Hon. Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Glazer is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University; The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; and Duke University School of Law, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal and a member of the Moot Court Board. She has had the good fortune of being associated with law firms that emphasize pro bono and has been able to work on a variety of pro bono cases over the years with many different public interest and community organizations. She was even named “Litigator of the Month” by The National Law Journal for one such high-profile case.
Shannon A. Graving, Esq.
Assistant Director, Corporate Pro Bono
Shannon Graving is the assistant project director of Corporate Pro Bono. Before joining CPBO, Graving worked for more than nine years as a lawyer at Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw the firm’s partnership with The List Project, a nonprofit that works to help Iraqis imperiled due to their work with the U.S. In addition, she represented clients in mergers and acquisitions, D&O insurance, and general corporate matters. Graving graduated from Wellesley College and Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to being passionate about pro bono, Graving is also dedicated to women’s issues and serves on the advisory board for the National Women’s History Museum.
Director of Communications
Kim Kerker comes to PBI from a DC-based animal rights organization where she served as Director of Communications and Publications managing publications, web, social media, electronic communications, and internal communications. Previously, Kim consulted on strategic, organizational, and campaign-specific communications planning for small philanthropic organizations. She worked in communications at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards for 15 years. Kim is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelors in Photography, and from Ohio State University with a Masters in Journalism.
Project Assistant, Corporate Pro Bono
Virginia Lyon is the project assistant for Corporate Pro Bono. Prior to joining CPBO in April 2016, she was a development intern with the American Islamic Congress, a non-profit that works to promote civil and human rights. While at AIC, Lyon identified potential donors, drafted grant proposals, and wrote articles for the company blog. She graduated with honors from American University, where she studied Peace and Conflict Resolution and Arabic.
Chris Niebling joined PBI in June 2010 as the operations manager. Niebling manages human resources, office technology, accounts payable, and day-to-day operations. Previously, he was an IT Consultant for Mindspire Technologies, and the office services manager for Widmeyer Communications. He holds a B.A. in Theater and minor in History from Oberlin College. Niebling also moonlights as an actor, director, and fight choreographer at various theaters in the Washington/Baltimore region.
Chief Operating Officer
Kate Rice joined PBI in April 2013 as the chief operating officer, responsible for PBI’s daily operations and financial management, strategic direction and goals, and human resource administration. Kate has extensive leadership and non-profit management experience with over 20 years in the alternative investment industry, most extensively at Managed Funds Association where she served as the Executive Vice President for a decade. At MFA, she was responsible for all daily business operations, strategic planning, financial management, communications, membership, conferences, seminars, and human resources.
Previously, Kate was a member of the Futures Industry Association Senior Management Team as the Senior Vice President, Communications. Before FIA, Kate was President of Rice Consulting Group, a marketing and communications firm with institutional clients in the alternative investment industry. She also served as the Assistant Vice President, U.S. Business Development, of the London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange. At the beginning of her career, she worked at National Futures Association as the Senior Editor, Public Affairs & Education.
Kate served on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC, from 2004 to 2009, and from 2008 to 2011, she lived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she was personally and professionally involved with a number of local and international organizations.
Kate graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a B.A. in English.
Eve Runyon, Esq.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Eve Runyon is the president and CEO of Pro Bono Institute. Runyon first joined PBI in 2005 to lead Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), PBI’s partnerships project with the Association of Corporate Counsel. Under Runyon’s leadership, CPBO designed and implemented innovative initiatives to expand the commitment to pro bono across in-house law departments to include, among other things, the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative and support for broader multijurisdictional practice pro bono rules applicable to in-house pro bono. In connection with multijurisdictional practice, Runyon served on the Advisory Committee on Pro Bono Service by In-House Counsel in New York State and has spoken on the topic at numerous access to justice summits as well as before the Conference of Chief Justices and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Runyon has traveled throughout the U.S. discussing strategies for initiating and sustaining in-house pro bono and improving access to justice.
Before joining CPBO, Runyon worked for more than five years as a lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom in Washington, D.C., where she represented major U.S. electric, gas, and pipeline companies in matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and federal and state courts. While at Skadden, she participated in the Skadden Loaned Associate program, a seven-month externship program with Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. At Legal Aid, she served as lead counsel in child custody, child support, domestic violence, landlord tenant, housing, and public benefits cases.
Runyon graduated from the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.
Director of Development
Kelly Simon joined PBI in May 2015 as Director of Development. Prior to joining PBI, Simon served as the Director of Development & Communications for the National LGBT Bar Association. She has led several successful fundraising events which were featured in the New York Times, Miami Herald, and Los Angeles Times. She was also featured by the Washington Blade as one of the “30 Under 30: Future Movers and Shakers in Washington, D.C.” She is involved as a board member and volunteer for several area nonprofits, including organizations focused on animal welfare, the arts, safe boating, and clean river initiatives.
Simon has also held key development positions with Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders; People for the American Way Foundation; and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, all located in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Connecticut, Simon is a graduate of George Mason University and holds a Master of Science in Management degree from The Catholic University of America.
Tammy Sun, Esq.
Director, Corporate Pro Bono
Prior to joining PBI, Tammy Sun was the Senior Manager of Fellowships at Equal Justice Works where she worked with law firms and in-house departments sponsoring legal Fellows. Sun was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York before clerking for Judge Reginald Lindsay of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Following her clerkship, Sun was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, where she founded the Center’s Juvenile Justice Project, helping children incarcerated in juvenile detention centers and prisons. Sun served as a public defender in Oregon and Washington, D.C., for more than seven years.
She has taught criminal law and criminal procedure as a visiting professor at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Sun graduated from Stanford University and Yale Law School.
Tammy Taylor, Esq.
Director, Law Firm Pro Bono Project
Tammy Taylor is the director of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project and operations for PBI. In her role as director of the Law Firm Project, she administers the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, a unique, global aspirational pro bono standard for the world’s largest law firms to acknowledge their institutional, firm-wide commitment to provide pro bono legal services to low income and disadvantaged individuals and families and nonprofit groups. Taylor provides individualized consultation to law firms seeking to integrate pro bono into their practice, philosophy, and culture. She is also responsible for planning the PBI Annual Seminar which attracts 450 managing partners, pro bono partners, corporate general counsel, and other pro bono leaders from around the world. Before joining PBI, Taylor was the director of the American Bar Association’s Post conviction Death Penalty Representation Project. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from American University, Washington College of Law.