Fellows

Cornell William Brooks

Senior Fellow

Cornell William Brooks is a fourth-generation ordained minister, widely experienced civil rights attorney, and national activist committed to prophetic social justice. Mr. Brooks serves as Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center, addressing both criminal justice and voting rights. He was recently named Visiting Professor of Social Ethics, Law and Justice Movements at Boston University, hosted by both the School of Theology and the School of Law.  Mr. Brooks also serves as Visiting Fellow with the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, directing the program on campaigns and advocacy (Fall 2017) and Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School (Spring 2018).  He is a regular Contributor for CNN, providing analysis of public affairs, as well as social justice and ethics.

Wilfred U. Codrington

Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow

Wilfred Codrington is the Bernard and Anne Spitzer fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. He works in the Democracy program, including on related areas of constitutional law.Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Wilfred was an associate in the New York office of the global law firm, DLA Piper, LLP. There, he focused on commercial litigation, government investigations & white collar defense, and administrative law & regulatory policy. He also maintained a very active pro bono caseload. 

Andrew Cohen

Fellow

Andrew Cohen is a Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic, legal analyst for 60 Minutes, and chief analyst and legal editor for CBS Radio News. He has won a Murrow Award as one of the nation's leading legal analysts and commentators. He is the winner of the American Bar Association’s 2012 Silver Gavel Award for his Atlantic commentary about the death penalty in America. Follow Cohen on Twitter at @JustADCohen.

 

Michael Crowley

Senior Fellow 

 

Michael F. Crowley is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Mr. Crowley has been a criminal justice consultant and a Senior Justice Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he has worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations.
 

 

Peter Egziabher

Counsel & Fellow
 

Peter Egziabher is counsel & fellow in the Democracy Program, advocating for Automatic Voter Registration while building security protocols for sensitive data. Prior to law school Peter was a security analyst at Google where he worked on automated systems to recover Google accounts, and a business consultant for technology projects in Nairobi. As a law student he focused on technology and public policy, researching sanctions for cyber attacks and the use of quantitative data in human rights. He was also a student advocate for NYU's Reproductive Justice Clinic. Peter is a graduate of NYU School of Law (2017) and Harvard College (2009).

Bryan Furst

George A. Katz Fellow

Bryan Furst is the George A. Katz Fellow in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. He coordinates state legislative advocacy for the Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.

 

Bryan recently graduated from N.Y.U School of Law magna cum laude. While in law school, Bryan interned with Brooklyn Defender Services, Bronx Defenders Family Practice, and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Prior to law school, he helped newly arrived refugees reach self-sufficiency at the International Rescue Committee. Bryan holds a B.A. in Public Health from University of Washington. 

Mike German

Fellow

Mike German is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program where his work focuses on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Mr. German served as the policy counsel for national security and privacy for the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. Mr. German also served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. Mr. German left the FBI in 2004 after reporting continuing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations to Congress.

Senior Fellow
 
Jim Johnson is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, he was a partner at the global law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, from which he retired to become a candidate in the Democratic primary for Governor of the state of New Jersey. He remains Of Counsel to the firm.Jim is a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and, for more than a decade, served as a member of the Board of the Brennan Center. His time on the board included seven years as chair. He also engaged in the work of the Brennan Center, serving as co-counsel in Johnson v. Bush, an effort to restore full voting rights to a class of more than 600,000 African American men who had been disenfranchised because of their felony convictions. He also served as co-counsel in three challenges to voter purges in Florida and Colorado. Jim is a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School. 
 

Theodore Johnson

Senior Fellow
 

Theodore R. Johnson is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Dr. Johnson was a national fellow at the New America Foundation, where he undertook projects on black voting behavior and the role of national solidarity in addressing racial inequality. Previously, he was a Commander in the United States Navy and, most recently, a research manager at Deloitte. From 1994-2016 Johnson was a career military officer whose service included humanitarian assistance operations in Southeast Asia, as a military professor at the US Naval War College, and as a cyber operations and intelligence expert. Since 2013, Dr. Johnson’s research and writing has explored the interaction of policy and politics with race and racial disparities. In 2016, his examination of African American voting behavior won the Dean’s Medal for most outstanding doctoral work and serves as the basis for first book project on race and solidarity in the United States. Dr. Johnson holds a B.S. in mathematics from Hampton University, an A.L.M. with a concentration in International Relations from Harvard University, and a Doctorate of Law and Policy from Northeastern University. 

Johanna Kalb

Jurisprudence Fellow
 

Johanna Kalb is a Fellow in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, working on issues related to money in politics and fair courts.  She also serves as Associate Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.  She is a co-author, with Martha F. Davis and Risa Kaufman, of Human Rights Advocacy in the United States (West Academic Publishing 2014).  Her scholarship focuses on domestic human rights, democracy, and detention, and appears in the Yale Journal of International Law, the Yale Law and Policy Review, and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, as well as the Washington Law Review Online, the NYU Law Review Online, and the Yale Law Journal Forum.  From 2014 to 2016, Kalb served as Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School. She was named to the Gambit’s “40 under 40” in New Orleans in 2012.  

Rudy Mehrbani

Spitzer Fellow and Senior Counsel 

Rudy Mehrbani is Spitzer Fellow and Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice. Mr. Mehrbani most recently served as Assistant to the President and Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House, where he advised President Obama, Cabinet members, and senior staff on human capital issues arising across the executive branch of the Federal government. He was responsible for recruiting, retaining, and professionally developing political appointees in the executive branch. Mr. Mehrbani also held a number of other positions in President Obama’s Administration. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Mehrbani was General Counsel of the Peace Corps, serving as the principal legal officer and a senior advisor to the Director of the Peace Corps. Mr. Mehrbani’s leadership and creativity at the Peace Corps were critical to facilitating innovative partnerships with public and private institutions in support of the agency's development priorities and integral to the First Lady's Let Girls Learn initiative, which is a government-wide effort to expand access to education for women and girls around the globe. 

Harsha Panduranga

Fellow

Harsha Panduranga is a fellow in the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security program. Before joining the Brennan Center, he was a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City. Harsha received a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan. 

 

 

Eric Ruben 

Fellow

Eric Ruben is a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, where his work focuses on Second Amendment jurisprudence. Before joining the Brennan Center, Eric was an associate at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, P.C., where he represented individuals in criminal and civil matters at the trial and appellate levels.  Prior to his time at Morvillo Abramowitz, Eric served as a law clerk for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.Eric received a J.D. degree, cum laude, from New York University School of Law in 2007.  While at NYU, Eric was an Articles Editor for the NYU Law Review, a member of the steering committee for Law Students for Human Rights, and a member of the Federal Defender Clinic.  He received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 2003.  Between college and law school, Eric served as a Dartmouth College Lombard Fellow doing social work in Quito, Ecuador. 

 

Dorothy Samuels

Senior Fellow

Dorothy Samuels is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Ms. Samuels served, for a record 30 years, as a member of The New York Times editorial board, writing on a wide array of legal and social policy issues, with a particular focus on the justice system and civil rights and civil liberties.  

 

 

Walter Shapiro

Fellow

Walter Shapiro has covered the last nine presidential elections. Along the way, he has worked for two newspapers (USA Today and the Washington Post), two news weeklies (Time and Newsweek), two monthlies (Esquire and the Washington Monthly), and   two online magazines (Salon and Slate). He is also the author of "One-Car Caravan: On the Road with the 2004 Democrats Before America Tunes In," a chronicle of the early skirmishing for the presidential nomination, published by PublicAffairs in November 2003. A current columnist for Yahoo News, Shapiro teaches a political science seminar on the news media and the 2012 campaign at Yale. And he is working on a book about his con-man great uncle who cheated Hitler.

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Fellow

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a Brennan Center Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law. She is the author of Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics. In 2013, Professor Torres-Spelliscy was named as a member of the Lawyers of Color's "50 Under 50" list of minority law professors  making an impact in legal education.

 

 

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Women & Democracy Fellow

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is Women & Democracy Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. She is a frequent writer on issues of gender, feminism, and politics in America and the author of Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity (Arcade, Oct. 2017). Lauded by Gloria Steinem as “the beginning of liberation for us all,” Periods Gone Public earned starred reviews by Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, which credited its “thorough research and detailed history.” Jen’s writing and work have appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Salon, Bloomberg, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Ms., Bustle, Rewire, Vice, and NPR among others. She also serves as the Center’s vice president for Development.

 

Read more about our Fellowship Opportunities.