The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is a nonpartisan, non-profit membership organization that defends, promotes and preserves individual rights and liberties under the U.S.
Margie Adler, President*
Margie Adler is the Executive Director of the Ludwig Program in Public Sector Leadership at Yale Law School. Margie graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb where she worked on domestic and international financial transactions with a focus on securities regulation and corporate governance. Margie lived in London and Singapore, each for several years. Margie most recently served as Managing Director of Alumni Relations at the Yale School of Management, where she also served on the Council on Anti-Racism and Equity.
Nichole Berklas, Vice President*
Nichole Berklas, of West Hartford, is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and NYU School of Law. Nichole is a partner with her firm and has practiced affordable housing law for over 20 years representing clients developing low income and/or special needs housing in urban areas. Nichole is further the chair and founding partner of her law firm’s pro bono practice. Since moving to Connecticut from California, she has been active with local nonprofit organizations, including Hands on Hartford, volunteered with local and state campaigns and on local town committees.
Ned Farman, Vice President*
Ned Farman, of Old Lyme, taught history for 40 years in independent schools and conducted field research in Asian, Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. He has participated in antiwar, human rights, and peace/justice campaigns since the early 1960s. He also serves as a trustee of the Connecticut Fulbright Association and the Old Lyme Historical Society.
Zafar Rashid, Treasurer*
Zafar Rashid, of Avon, grew up in Pakistan and graduated from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, before moving to the U.S., where he became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He has held senior executive roles with large insurance companies, including positions as a chief financial officer, chief risk officer, and chief actuary. He heads Enterprise Risk and Value Management, a consulting practice providing risk advisory services. In addition to the ACLU-CT, he serves on the board of First Choice Health Center.
Zachary Kohl, Secretary*
Zachary Kohl, of New London, the secretary of the ACLU-CT Board, is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was co-president of the UConn Law School chapter of ACLU-CT and served as the chapter’s representative on the board. While in law school, he interned with the National ACLU for two summers, with Greater Hartford Legal Aid in their Education Unit, and with a private law firm on a pro bono prisoner civil rights matter. Mr. Kohl is in solo practice at Kohl Law Firm, PLLC in New London.
David Addams is Executive Director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. He is the ACLU-CT Affiliate Equity Officer. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Oliver Scholars Program. He spent his early career as an attorney and a specialist in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution. Over the last 20 years, he has served in various nonprofit management positions including Executive Director of Associated Black Charities and Vice President of the New York Urban League. He was also Deputy Manhattan Borough President and Chief of Staff at the Manhattan Borough President's Office, Deputy Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Director of Affiliate Diversity and Strategic Initiatives for the American Civil Liberties Union. He served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Brooklyn College and an adjunct professor of public policy and law at Brooklyn College Graduate Center, City College of New York's Center for Legal Education and City University of New York Law School at Queens College. Mr. Addams received his BA magna cum laude from Princeton University, his MSJ from Columbia University School of Journalism and his JD from Columbia University School of Law. Addams was admitted to the bar in the state of Michigan.
Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman
Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman, of Sandy Hook, is an SEIU Labor Organizer, educator, and political activist. Eva was the youngest plaintiff for the landmark school desegregation case Sheff v. O’Neill and volunteered for Presidential candidate Al Gore when she was twelve years old, sparking a lifetime commitment to organizing and activism. The polyglot Boricua used her time away from Hartford to help in humanitarian efforts in Brazil, participate in a student strike in Puerto Rico, and conducted legislative research for Congressman Rangel’s office in Capitol Hill. Eva was a Newtown Councilwoman and was awarded Latina of the Year by LPRAC of the Connecticut State Legislature for her role as an Assister in Connecticut Access Health Exchange, where she enrolled 7,000 people during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act. She also served as the first Latina Secretary for the State Democratic Party and is most recently recognized for acquiring 40% in the Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut.
Akia S. Callum
Akia S. Callum serves as the Director of People & Culture at Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership & is a John P. Burke Professor at Post University. An avid community organizer, fierce political strategist, and social justice advocate, Akia has devoted her life to implementing transformational policies from the ground level. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and is a product of the New York City Public School system. With nearly a decade of experience in working with & for cross-sector entities, she is committed to advocacy for students of color through the lens of civil rights and education. Her knack for effective and personalized communication tactics enhances her ability to connect with others. She developed a love for community, advocacy, and social justice at a young age through her work in the New York City Council. Since then, Akia founded the Black Student Union at Post University in 2015 and served in various leadership roles at premier organizations, including the NAACP on the state and national level. Akia was selected in 2020 as one of 20 inaugural Yale Law School – ‘Access to Law’ fellows. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies and a Master's of Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from Post University.
Ginne-Rae Clay currently serves as President of the Greater Waterbury NAACP. Ms. Clay is an accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of expertise in government, organizational management, education, community action and community engagement. Ms. Clay has held several key executive positions, including Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut; State Director of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center; and Assist Executive Director at the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. Ms. Clay has been an adjunct professor at Central Connecticut State University, School of Business and at Tunxis Community College, School of Continuing Education. Ms. Clay received an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of Hartford, Barney School of Business, West Hartford, CT, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication with a focus on media and marketing from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Ms. Clay holds national certifications in Economic Development Finance and Housing Finance from the National Development Council. Additionally, Ms. Clay is a board member of Capital for Change (C4C); a member of Waterbury Mayor O’Leary’s Diversity Committee and Waterbury Voices, a Waterbury Public School District, education think tank. Ms. Clay and her family reside in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Jeffrey Daniels, of West Hartford, is a consultant to nonprofit organizations and state and local governments on public policy, strategic planning, and board governance, with a career that has spanned journalism, public service, and small business ownership. He served more than one decade in the Connecticut government in various roles, including senior policy advisor in the Governor’s Office, as a healthcare regulator, and as a program director for the UConn Health Center. He has worked extensively with foundations on early childhood, justice reform, and health prevention. He is a post-graduate National Endowment for the Arts Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan and has a BS from Miami University (Ohio).
Ren Davidson is a senior at Wesleyan University, where they study Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They came to the ACLU-CT board as the representative from the Wesleyan ACLU chapter but have stayed on long term. They are involved in the Middletown Mutual Aid Collective, working primarily on fundraising for the cash assistance initiatives. They have also worked with Unidad Latina en Accion in New Haven and Norwalk. In addition to their work in CT, They are also involved in the abolitionist movement spaces in New York City.
Andrew Giering, of New Haven, has served as an attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the last four years, representing people facing federal criminal charges in Connecticut who cannot afford to pay for counsel. Following the passage of the First Step Act, Andrew advocated successfully under that law for sentence reductions and compassionate release for people experiencing incarceration, including many serving life sentences. Prior to this role, Andrew worked as a litigation associate at Wiggin and Dana in New Haven and Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, and clerked for a federal district court judge in Hartford. In addition to ACLU-CT, Andrew currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, CT Folk, Artspace, the New Haven Free Public Library, and Canal Dock Boathouse. Andrew is a graduate of Yale Law School, Columbia College, Hopkins School, and West Haven public schools.
Aigné Goldsby is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was UConn Law’s representative on the ACLU-CT board. During her last year in law school, she was an intern in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice assisting attorneys with juvenile justice cases and police misconduct investigations. She is currently working as a Staff Attorney for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority within the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She is active in the Connecticut Bar Association and served as President of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association for the 2019 - 2020 term. She is also the founder of Black Esquire LLC, an organization that provides opportunities and resources for current and future BIPOC legal professionals. She has been an ACLU-CT board member since 2016 and has served as the National Board representative since 2022.
Allan Hillman, of Hamden, is a lawyer who specializes in franchise, antitrust, and intellectual property law. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Law School. In 2006, he moved to Connecticut from Maryland and helped form a revived Greater New Haven chapter in 2008 , which he served as its president throughout. He is co-Chair of J Street CT (a Middle East peace group), and has served as President of his synagogue and Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, an outreach group fostering racial and religious cooperation and social and political reform.
Patrick Johnson, of Meriden, is a Senior Financial Analyst at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated from Bryant University, where he earned an Accounting degree and has 15 years of professional experience in public accounting and healthcare finance. An ardent advocate for civic engagement, Patrick believes that everyone can have a meaningful impact in their local communities. He is a servant leader who volunteers his time to multiple organizations.
Erik Kolstad, of West Hartford, is a designated actuary and Vice President of Actuarial in the healthcare advocacy space, where his organization leverages technology to help empower people to live their healthiest lives. Erik's experience includes financial planning, cost projections, and budgeting. He earned his B.S. in economics and mathematics from the University of Iowa and his MBA from Central Connecticut State University.
Andrew Lu is a student at Wesleyan University, where he studies in the College of Social Studies and the College of Film and the Moving Image. He serves as the representative for his college’s ACLU chapter on the ACLU board. Previously, he has been engaged in organizing events surrounding topics of digital privacy and immigration policy on the national and local levels.
Bradford (Brad) Martins is a psychiatry resident at Yale University. He received an M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he studied the neural mechanisms underlying substance use disorders co-occurring with other psychiatric illnesses. His current research is on finding novel treatments for alcohol use disorder as well as ensuring equal access and opportunities to historically excluded groups. Brad has previously served as board president of NAMI Arkansas and additionally founded the MIND Coalition, a nonprofit aimed at promoting and fostering collaboration to improve mental health in Arkansas. He was given the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence for his work.
Zachary Phillipps, of Trumbull, is an attorney at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, LLP in Stamford, where he focuses on civil litigation in personal injury, civil rights, commercial litigation, and landlord-tenant matters. He earned his J.D., with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his B.A. from Hamline University. He has authored legal articles on the First Amendment, police accountability, and other civil rights issues, as well as on the Freedom of Information Act and Connecticut landlord-tenant law. He chairs the Appellate Section of his local bar association, and he has served as an editor for the ABA Section of Litigation Appellate Practice Journal and the ABA Young Lawyers Division Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee Newsletter.
Robert Post is the Sterling Professor of Law at the Yale Law School. He served as the Dean of Yale Law School from 2009-2017. He is a First Amendment scholar whose books include Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution (Harvard University Press 2014); Democracy, Expertise, Academic Freedom: A First Amendment Jurisprudence for the Modern State (Yale University Press 2012); Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law (Duke University Press 2001); and Constitutional Domains: Democracy, Community, Management (Robert C. Post, Harvard University Press 1995). Prior to Yale, he taught law at the University of California/Berkeley and was a First Amendment litigator in Washington, D.C. He is the affiliate's legal advisor.
[* Executive Committee member]