Holly O’Donnell


Megan Schuller, Director

Ira Burnim, Senior Counsel

Lewis Bossing, Senior Staff Attorney

Monica Porter Gilbert, Policy & Legal Advocacy Attorney

Brit Vanneman, Staff Attorney

Anashua Dutta, David & Mickey Bazelon Fellow

Rebecca Raftery, Equal Justice Works Fellow


Kathy Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Development & Special Projects


Eve Hill, Esq., Chair
Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP

Maria Rodriguez, Past Chair
Vanguard Communications

Christopher Fregiato, Esq., Treasurer

Jill Bazelon, Ph.D, Director of Bridges to Wealth, University of Pennsylvania

Eileen A. Bazelon, M.D.
Drexel University College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Joyce Bender
Bender Consulting Services

Myesha Braden, Esq.
U.S. Department of Justice

Juliet K. Choi, Esq.
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)

Allison Drutchas

Mark Goldstein, Esq.
Reed Smith LLP.

Deepa Goraya
DC Office of the Attorney General

Rachel Molly Joseph, Esq.
DC Housing Authority

Sara Kenigsberg,
Video Producer & Photographer

Elizabeth B. McCallum, Esq.
Baker & Hostetler LLP

Vesper Moore
Kiva Centers

Harvey Rosenthal
The Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS, Inc.)

Prof. Elyn R. Saks, Esq.
University of Southern California Law School,                                      Gould School of Law

Joshua Verdi, Esq.
Matthews International

Sarah Vinson, MD.,
Lorio Psych Group


Holly O’Donnell – CEO

Holly O'Donnell, Bazelon Center, CEOHolly O’Donnell  joins the Bazelon Center from America SCORES, a national youth development organization operating in urban public schools, where she served as the National Executive Director. Prior to America SCORES, O’Donnell served as the first leader of the After School Department for Pittsburgh Public Schools, overseeing all after school and mentoring programs and partnerships. Before that, she was Director of Career Learning at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA, where she helped launch the organization’s Center for Career Learning, a national K-12 career education reform effort.

As Executive Director of DC SCORES, one of DC’s largest after school programs for 700 public school children, O’Donnell was honored by President George W. Bush for “Outstanding Service-Learning Opportunities,” the Washington Business Journal for “Exceptional Involvement of Corporate Volunteers,” Meyer Foundation for “Innovative Fundraising by an Executive Director,” and the DC Public Schools and Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers as a “Community Based Organization Partner of the Year.” Previous to DC SCORES, she was a Presidential Appointee to the Department of Education’s White House America Reads Challenge under President Clinton.

Holly’s commitment to the mission of the Bazelon Center is deeply personal.  Her lifelong advocacy for people with disabilities is inspired by her brother Brendan who has an intellectual disability. Her parents worked tirelessly and creatively to give him the same opportunities as Holly and other children. As often as possible, Brendan was taught in the same setting as his non-disabled peers.  He received a high school diploma, served in AmeriCorps, and completed coursework at Bunker Hill Community College. Following the early deaths of their parents, Holly and Brendan became a co-dependent sibling team supporting each other.  Brendan lives an independent, fulfilling, and fun life in Boston, his favorite city.  On March 23, 1999, then-Senator John Kerry delivered a speech on the Senate Floor that Brendan wrote describing what it’s like to have a learning disability.  Download Storm in My Mind (PDF).

O’Donnell received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. She is a native Washingtonian and currently resides in the city with her husband and daughter.


Megan Schuller – Legal Director

Megan Schuller joins the Bazelon Center as Legal Director.  She spent over a decade at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) working on disability rights, reforming public service systems, and other important litigation. The majority of her work challenged discrimination against people with mental disabilities. She negotiated landmark agreements with state and local governments and large corporations. She served on White House panels and interagency working groups that addressed a wide array of civil rights issues. She received numerous DOJ awards for her work.

Schuller has also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and worked at an international law firm with a robust civil rights practice, where she first found her means for fighting injustice. She has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  She lives in Washington, DC with her spouse and two children, who remind her daily to keep fighting for the world to be more fair.

IRA BURNIM – Senior Counsel

Ira Burnim, Bazelon Legal DirectorIra A. Burnim is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, who joined the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law legal staff in 1988 and became the legal director in 1989. Formerly, Burnim served as legal director of the Children’s Defense Fund, senior attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and law clerk to the Hon. Frank M. Johnson, Jr.

He is recognized for his expertise in policy and legal issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, community mental health care, Medicaid, and children’s issues. He consults with federal agencies, state policy makers, and advocates. Burnim has served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland,  Disability Rights Maryland, and the Disability Rights Bar Association, and been a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. He is currently on the board of National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.  On missions with Mental Disability Rights International, Burnim has helped to investigate human rights abuses in psychiatric facilities and also provided training and technical assistance to advocates and policy makers in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Albania, Romania, Ukraine, and Japan.

LEWIS BOSSING – Senior Staff Attorney

Lewis Bossing, Senior Staff AttorneyLewis Bossing works on a broad array of issues affecting adults and children with mental disabilities, including community integration, special education, and criminal justice.

Before joining the Bazelon Center in October 2007, Bossing worked as a staff attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice, and at the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center in San Francisco, where he represented clients in Americans with Disabilities Act litigation in employment and education settings.

A former modern dancer, Bossing holds a B.S. in performance studies from Northwestern University and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

MONICA PORTER GILBERT – Policy & Legal Advocacy Attorney

Monica Porter a white woman with brown straight hair, smiles at the camera while wearing a black blazer with a red blouse. The background is a white and grey gradient, as this photo is a headshot.Monica Porter Gilbert joined the Bazelon Center in 2022 as the Policy & Legal Advocacy Attorney, bringing experience working with communities on disability rights, housing and homelessness, and access to justice.

Monica’s previous work includes advocating with and on behalf of higher education students with mental health disabilities at Disability Rights Advocates, including issues related to leaves of absence, reasonable accommodations, and access to education and housing. At Homebase: The Center for Common Concerns, Monica worked with communities to increase capacity to end homelessness, including responding to COVID-19, increasing Census 2020 participation, and building cross-sector work through the Criminal Legal System Initiative.

Monica holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, and a B.A. in Social Welfare from U.C. Berkeley. During law school, Monica worked with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, GW Law Public Justice Advocacy Clinic, and clerked for the Honorable Cynthia McKnight at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Monica is also a proud AmeriCorps Alum, having launched her career in public service as a Bay Area JusticeCorps Fellow.

BRIT VANNEMAN – Staff Attorney

Brit Vanneman, Staff AttorneyBrit Vanneman is the David and Mickey Bazelon Fellow. She works on a variety of policy and litigation initiatives to increase community integration and access to services for people with mental disabilities. She also works on criminal justice reform and to expand the educational opportunities available to children and higher education students with mental disabilities.

Brit graduated from Georgetown University Law Center as a Public Interest Fellow*. While completing her J.D., Brit interned with The National Health Law Program, Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), National Women’s Law Center, Children’s Law Center of D.C., and the National Center for Youth Law. She also assisted public interest clients through Georgetown’s Civil Litigation Clinic, served on Georgetown Youth Advocates’ leadership team, and was a research assistant to Peter Edelman, Faculty Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and Katie Keith, Faculty Professor with the Georgetown Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

Before law school, Brit worked at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There, she led the Dance Marathon program, a student-driven fundraising program supporting 170 children’s hospitals across North America. She was later appointed to Senior Director of Market Research. Her time with CMN Hospitals ignited her commitment to expand and reform health care access. An Indiana native, Brit graduated from Purdue University with a B.A. in Communication.

ANASHUA DUTTA – David & Mickey Bazelon Fellow

Anashua Dutta, David & Mickey Bazelon FellowAnashua Dutta is the David and Mickey Bazelon Fellow. Anashua graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2022. During law school, Anashua participated in Lawyers in Balance, a mindfulness program for law students, and led mindfulness and meditation sessions for first years. She was a student attorney with the Center for Applied Legal Studies, where she successfully represented an individual seeking asylum during their proceedings in immigration court. She also interned at Democracy Forward and the Immigrant and Employee Rights and Disability Rights Sections of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and was a research assistant for Georgetown University Law Center’s Human Rights Institute.

Before law school, Anashua pursued her passion for human rights through her work for Amnesty International USA. While there, she supported the organization’s campaigns for refugee rights and human rights defenders. A double Georgetown grad, Anashua graduated with honors from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

REBECCA RAFTERY – Equal Justice Works Fellow

Rebecca Raftery is an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Latham & Watkins. Through her fellowship project, Rebecca advocates for D.C. students with behavior-related disabilities who have been excluded from the classroom, seeking to secure access to education in the most integrated setting appropriate.

Prior to joining the Bazelon Center, Rebecca served as a law clerk to the Honorable Roy W. McLeese III of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Before clerking, Rebecca completed a one-year fellowship with the Education Law Center, where she represented students and families in school discipline and special education cases in Newark, New Jersey.

Rebecca received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2021. While in law school, she served as a student attorney with the Tenant Advocacy Project and the Education Law Clinic. She also interned at the Disability Law Center, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the League of Women Voters.

Rebecca began her career as a high school special education teacher in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which sparked her passion for and commitment to disability rights. She holds an A.B. in Psychology and Educational Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.Ed. from Boston University.


KATHY CHAMBERLAIN – Deputy Director of Development & Special Projects

Kathy Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Development & Special ProjectsKathy Chamberlain is the Deputy Director of Development & Special Projects for the Bazelon Center, using her background in organization development, knowledge management, and communications to promote and connect the work of the Bazelon Center to funders, donors, and the public.

Before joining the Bazelon Center, Kathy was a communications and organizational strategy consultant and mentor to nonprofits, social enterprises, and small businesses. She was also a communications and data specialist at the Social Innovation Fund of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and spent nine years at Mental Health America (MHA), first as the manager of its public awareness initiative, Campaign for America’s Mental Health, and then as the Director of Affiliate Services, providing peer networking opportunities, organizational capacity trainings and technical assistance for its more than 200 member non-profit organizations. Her years at MHA kindled her passion and commitment to furthering the goals of the mental health movement.

A long-time Northern Virginia resident, Kathy graduated with a BA in Liberal Studies from American University and an MS in Organization Development and Knowledge Management from George Mason University. She is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network and was the managing director of the volunteer organization, UnSectored, which facilitated online and offline conversations, training and experiences related to social innovation and social enterprise.

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