Our Staff & Board

CSAJ is composed of a small (but mighty!) team of dedicated advocates in the legal, social work, public health, and academic fields who are wholly committed to creative vision, open communication, and justice-minded social change work.

Erika A. Sussman

she/her – Founder and Executive Director

Erika Sussman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Survivor Agency and
Justice, a US-based national organization that enhances economic justice for survivors of
domestic violence and sexual assault by promoting advocacy approaches that remove systemic
barriers, enhance organizational responses, and improve professional practices to meet their
self-defined needs. During her tenure, CSAJ has launched the Consumer Rights for Domestic
and Sexual Assault Survivors Initiative, the Safe Economic Security Atlas Project, the Racial
and Economic Equity of Survivors Project, the Access to Justice for Survivors Project, and most
recently, the Mapping and Advancing Equity for Survivors Project. She leads CSAJ’s Coerced
Debt Working Group and engages in systems change and policy initiatives at the state and
national levels to advance economic equity for marginalized survivors.

Prior to her work with CSAJ, Ms. Sussman served as the Senior Attorney of the Legal
Assistance Providers’ Technical Outreach Project, a national project of the Pennsylvania
Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which offered technical assistance to civil attorneys and
advocates funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. For several years, Ms. Sussman
served as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she taught a seminar course on
Law and Violence Against Women. She also taught law students and litigated in Georgetown
University Law Center,  Domestic Violence Clinic. As a litigation associate at Swidler Berlin
Sherreff Friedman, LLP, she provided pro bono representation to domestic violence survivors
and co-counseled, with the ACLU, a class action lawsuit against the State of Maryland for the
practice of racial profiling by law enforcement. Immediately following law school, she served as
a Law Clerk to Justice Gregory Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Ms. Sussman earned her JD from Cornell Law School and her LLM in Advocacy from
Georgetown University Law Center. She has published numerous articles and chapters and
served as faculty for various academic and practitioner workshops related to violence against
women, with a particular emphasis on survivor-centered advocacy and economic justice.


Sara Wee

she/her – Director of Research and Programs

Sara Wee (she/her) is CSAJ’s Director of Research & Programs. In this role, she ensures all CSAJ’s projects are fueled by and fuel knowledge, are done in partnership, and work to build organizational capacity to identify and address critical economic issues facing survivors and their communities. Currently, this includes overseeing two national TA projects — Consumer Rights Initiative & Access to Justice Project — assisting demonstration site projects in conducting organizational and/or community needs assessments, and leading all research and learning (evaluation) efforts. She recently helped build a coalition of NYC economic justice advocates to create a survivor-centered economic policy platform — and the group has already pushed for city and state legislative change on coerced debt. And she is currently leading the build of a Survivor Economic Equity Data Dashboard, to put critical data on violence, economics, and indicators of social inequtiy in the hands of advocates working for systems and policy change. See other research projects, here.

Sara has a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, and came to this work first as a peer/community educator and primary prevention educator in rural California/Nevada. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner, dog, and is building a farm “commune” with close friends in the western catskills. She lives on land, but prefers to be in or underwater.


Nkeiruka Aduba

she/her – Capacity Building Manager

Nkeiruka Aduba (she/her) is CSAJ’s Capacity Building Manager. She leads CSAJ’s efforts to enhance economic advocacy within the field via training, technical assistance and partnership. She advances economic justice for survivors by driving efforts that enhance the capacity of the advocacy field to meet survivors’ needs and creates broad organizational, community and systems change. Nkeiruka’s varied professional experience has focused on working with women, low income populations, refugees and people whose rights have been violated. She is passionate about improving the lives of people through law and human rights. Nkeiruka has an LLM in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa from the University of Pretoria South Africa and a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law, Atlanta Georgia. She is licensed to practice law in Nigeria and New York.

Nkeiruka lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a water sign, she loves trying out new recipes and has a huge love for all things spicy and sweet. She loves to explore nature on her days off unless the weather is cold, then curling up with a good book and tea.

Mona Muro

she/her – Public Policy Manager

Mona Muro (she/her) is a public health and economic justice thought partner. During her career, she has championed anti-gender-based violence work with grassroots organizations, and community members, and fought to keep survivor voices at the heart of the movement. She is a recognized presenter, facilitator, and trainer in her field, having spoken for state and national audiences including the Center for Victims of Crime and The National Network to End Domestic Violence. Mona has spent over 17 years advancing policy for people impacted by gender-based violence as it intersects with immigration, consumer rights, economic security, and public benefits legislation. She spearheaded local, state, and national economic justice policy and has advanced system change for survivors, including city policy plans to preserve and develop housing, landmark Coerced Debt legislation in Texas, and she currently leads CSAJ’s Mapping and Advancing Equity work – a project that will develop the National Policy Platform for Survivor Economic Equity.

She believes reflection and growth are critical to human-centered policy initiatives and strives to center equity in policy making. Mona promotes and values the role of power-sharing models and racial and economic equity and has a growing passion for working with organizations, to reflect, evaluate, and create a healthy organizational culture. She volunteers with Awaaz San Antonio – a local domestic violence (DV) organization serving the South Asian community where she supports capacity building and organizational infrastructure.

Mona is a survivor advocate in the DV movement striving to uplift and honor the value and worth of the survivor advocate experience in the DV field. She is a member of the Futures Without Violence Inaugural Survivor Leadership Cohort where she worked to identify and improve health systems. A Tejana and San Antonio resident Mona is soaking up the opportunities that come along with living near her big family –  having breakfast tacos on Saturday mornings, walking Woodlawn Lake, and playing board games and learning TikTok dances with her nieces and nephews. She enjoys international hiking adventures and collecting and cooking with spices she finds. Mona is a Social Worker, an aspiring DIY home renovator, and a doggy mom to Missy.

Jasmine (Jazz) Murray

she/her – Project and Administrative Assistant

Jazz is CSAJ’s Project and Administrative Assistant. In her day to day responsibilities, Jazz manages CSAJ’s various systems and provides logistical support to execute CSAJ’s projects. From providing technical support for zoom calls to creating content for CSAJ’s social media accounts, Jazz provides a diverse range of support for the team. Jazz actively supports CSAJ’s Access to Justice and Consumer Rights Initiative, diving into the logistics, planning, and communications.

Jazz graduated from Hamilton College in 2019 majoring in Literature while also taking courses in Communications and African American studies. From her studies, Jazz determined that she was passionate about supporting marginalized communities and spaces. Following college, Jazz worked for the non-profit, Playworks, where she first began her experience supporting programs and administration. Jazz also comes for a reproductive justice background as she has served as an Organizer to mobilize individuals about reproductive access and legislation affecting those of birthing bodies.

When she is not working, Jazz enjoys listening to music and traveling to new places. She has a goal of traveling the world and has been to England, France, the Dominican Republic and more!

Nathalia Gibbs

(They/Them) Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator

Guided by principles of curiosity and collaboration, Nathalia has spent a decade in the fields of harm reduction and reproductive justice. They have worked from the ground up; starting with street outreach and gradually moving to training and program management. Nathalia has brought this diligence and expertise to the national level supporting base building for movement-theory based campaigns and providing technical assistance to medical providers, non-profits, and grassroots organizations.
Now Nathalia is joining CSAJ as the new Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator! They will be supporting CSAJ’s Access to Justice and Consumer Rights initiatives, supporting developing content for trainings and webinars, as well as leading TA support. Nathalia’s experience and background will bring new perspectives to CSAJ’s work supporting survivor advocacy.

When they are not working, Nathalia enjoys listening to music and making ice cream.They love learning handicrafts and are currently learning how to crochet. As a true aries, we’ll see how long before their next hobby.

Kathleen Bjerknes

she/her – Finance Director

Kathleen (she/her) is a financial consultant with Administrative and Consulting Solutions and has been handling the financial needs of the CSAJ for five years.

As a consultant, Kathleen works with a number of not for profit agencies in the Washington metropolitan area. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. She has over 20 years of financial and management experience. She has extensive experience with federal grants and has been trained by DOJ on Grants Financial Management. Kathleen’s focus is targeted financial review and oversight providing value-added services that support sustainability and growth.

Debra BenAvram

Board of Directors

Debra BenAvram joined CSAJ’s Board of Directors in 2014. She is the Chief Executive Officer of AABB (formerly called the American Association of Blood Banks), headquartered in Bethesda, MD. AABB is an international organization focused on advancing transfusion medicine and cellular therapy worldwide. Debra has a strong passion for the cultivation of staff and volunteer models and cultures to support connections and integration among team members and elimination of silos.

Enid-Mai Jones

Board of Directors

Enid-Mai Jones is CEO of EMJ Consulting, LLC. Ms. Jones is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) and brings more than 20 years of association management experience to the Board. She is a 2007 scholar in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) and is an active member of the association community. EMJ Consulting is an association management, diversity, equity and Inclusion (DEI) consulting firm. Enid-Mai is passionate about DEI, interpersonal communication, and the influence of cultural competence in human interaction and relationships.

Gary Simson

Board of Directors

Gary J. Simson is the Macon Chair in Law and Former Dean at Mercer University School of Law and Professor Emeritus at Cornell Law School. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. After a year clerking for a federal appeals court judge, he began his law teaching career at The University of Texas. A few years later he moved to Cornell, where he taught for many years, including several when he was also Associate Dean. He left Cornell to become Dean at Case Western Reserve Law School, and he remained there until taking on the Mercer law deanship. After four years at Mercer as Dean and then four more as Senior University Vice Provost, he returned to full-time teaching. His principal areas of teaching and scholarship have been Constitutional Law, Conflict of Laws, and Freedom of Religion. He has served on the boards of several nonprofits, most notably Strategies for Youth.

Nancy Hay, JD

Chair of the Board of Directors

Nancy Hay is currently a Vice President and Counsel at AllianceBernstein L.P., a leading global investment management firm. She is based in the firm’s New York office and part of the Mutual Fund Legal Group, which is responsible for coordinating and supervising the legal aspects of the firm’s domestic, U.S. registered mutual funds. Prior to joining AllianceBernstein L.P., she was a corporate associate at Clifford Chance LLP. She earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School and her B.A. from Tufts University.

Shelby Settles Harper

Board of Directors

Shelby Settles Harper is a civil rights lawyer and fiction writer with previous work, including legal services on Indian reservations, policy work regarding violence against women, and advocacy at the federal level. Shelby is currently a Policy Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In addition, she is the founder and director of Cahkeydonee Literary Project, a non-profit that partners with tribes to put books and other reading materials in the hands of young people from reservation communities where public libraries are not readily accessible. Vices include Twitter, Tex Mex, and country music. Shelby is a citizen of the Caddo Nation and is proudly from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Her published writing can be found at www.shelbysettlesharper.com.

Vicki Loise

Board of Directors

Vicki Loise is chief executive officer for SLAS, the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing life sciences discovery and technology. In this role, she directs the planning, development, and implementation of Society programs, interacts with the Board of Directors, leads planning efforts for the global growth and sustainability of the Society, and supervises staff team members. Vicki is currently a member of the Association Forum of Chicagoland Board of Directors and the American Society of Association Executives. Her previous positions include Vice President of Association Management at Kellen, Executive Director of the Association of University Technology Managers, and Director of Development at the National Parent Teacher Association.

Julie Goldscheid

Board of Directors

Julie Goldscheid is a Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law, where she has served as Senior
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. She teaches subjects including civil procedure, advanced
civil procedure, legislation, lawyering, and courses on gender violence and gender and law, and
helped develop the Family Law Practice Clinic. Her scholarship focuses on gender equality, with
a particular focus on gender violence and economic equality, and on mechanisms of
accountability for gender-based violence. Her work has been published widely, including in the
Washington Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Gender & Law, Cornell International Law
Journal, Oregon Law Review, and the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. She has taught at
Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU School of Law, Penn State Law School and
Brooklyn Law School.

Before joining the CUNY Law School faculty, she held positions including senior staff attorney
and acting legal director at Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education
Fund), where her litigation and policy work included defending the constitutionality of the civil
rights remedy of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act in courts nationwide, and before the
U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Morrison. She was also general counsel at Safe Horizon,
a leading victim services organization. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for
Survivor Agency and Justice and has served on the Board of Directors of the Stonewall
Community Foundation, the NYC LGBT Center and other NGO’s, and has been active in bar
association committees and task forces.