Neena Chaudhry

This page is for research pertaining to Neena Chaudhry, Senior Counsel for Education and Employment of the National Women's Law Center.

National Women's Law Center

Neena Chaudhry

The National Women's Law Center Blog:

Adrienne Ammerman
is the Communications Manager for Health and Reproductive Rights issues. Prior to joining NWLC, Adrienne was responsible for marketing and communications at Bread for the City, a DC-based direct service non-profit; was a fellow at a women’s health non-profit in New Delhi, India; and was an advocate for domestic violence survivors at the Brooklyn Criminal Court. Adrienne graduated with a BA in gender & sexuality from the New School in New York City, and is currently an MA candidate at Johns Hopkins University. Among other things, Adrienne appreciates large mugs, baking muffins, recreational bicycling, pick-your-own farms, and all things vintage.

Helen Blank is Director of Leadership and Public Policy. She works to expand support for positive child care and early education experiences for children, especially low-income children. Throughout her career, Helen has been a leading advocate on behalf of children and families and has authored numerous major studies, articles, and papers on state pre-k and child care policies. Prior to joining NWLC, Helen served 24 years as the director of the Child Care and Development Division at the Children's Defense Fund, spearheading a variety of efforts for improved early learning and child care legislation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College of the City University of New York. In her spare time, Helen likes to cook, read, hike, and travel.

Gretchen Borchelt is Senior Counsel for Health and Reproductive Rights. She analyzes legislation and court decisions affecting reproductive rights and promotes access to contraception, including fighting against pharmacist refusals. Before joining the Center, Gretchen worked at Physicians for Human Rights and was a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow at the National Partnership for Women and Families. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and the University of Virginia. When not delving into the intricacies of reproductive rights law, Gretchen obsesses over her Netflix queue (currently at 492 movies), fights seasickness on her parent’s sailboat, and debates the aesthetic merits of celebrity fashion with her art historian husband.

Arlene Brens is a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She works in NWLC's Family Economic Security section focusing on issues relating to child care and tax and budget policies. Arlene also works on judicial nominations. Prior to joining NWLC, Arlene clerked for Chief Judge Fernando J. Gaitan Jr. in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri. Arlene is a graduate of Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington and Syracuse University. She enjoys reading non-fiction books, traveling to different countries, cooking, and watching plays.

Neena Chaudhry is Senior Counsel for Education and Employment. Her work centers on litigation and advocacy to enforce and protect Title IX, primarily in the areas of athletics and sexual harassment. Prior to joining NWLC in 1997 as a Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow, Ms. Chaudhry clerked for the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Maryland at College Park. In her free time, Neena loves to watch basketball, go out to eat (she thinks she missed her calling as a food critic), and fuel her obsession with all things penguin and panda.

Lisa Codispoti is Senior Advisor with the Health and Reproductive Rights Team, where she advocates on behalf of low-income women and families in the fight to achieve comprehensive, affordable health care for all. Before joining the Center, she worked with the Service Employees International Union for nearly 10 years. She earned her law degree from Albany Law School, a Master of Public Administration from SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland. She is the proud aunt of seven nieces (no nephews). Together with her husband, she enjoys spending time with their dog, trying their best not to seem so much like a scene straight out of the movie Best in Show. (think: the argument in the hotel over the squeak toy).

Brigette Courtot is a Policy Analyst for Health and Reproductive Rights. She spends her days studying how health policies impact American women and advocating for improvements in the health care delivery system. Before joining NWLC, she conducted maternal and child health policy research at the Urban Institute. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and is currently pursuing an M.P.H. at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. When not consumed by the health care crisis, Brigette enjoys visiting new places, spending quality kitchen time with her partner, and curling up with a few good books.

Joan Entmacher is Vice President for Family Economic Security. She works to increase the economic security of low-income women and their families by promoting fair tax and budget policies, a strong Social Security system, expanded access to high-quality child care, and improvements in child support enforcement and income support programs. Before joining the Center, Joan worked at the National Partnership for Women & Families, headed the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, litigated cases for the U.S. Department of Labor, and taught political science at Wellesley College. Joan graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School. In her spare time, Joan enjoys birding, hiking, gardening — and a good mystery.

Kolbe Franklin is the program assistant for the Education and Employment team. She received a BA from Middlebury College in Vermont where she majored in International Studies with a concentration in Sociology/Anthropology and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies. She previously interned with the Feminist Majority Foundation as well as with the women’s rights department of the Argentinean government. When she’s not missing those gorgeous Vermont winters, she enjoys exploring DC, debating gender theory with her friends, and watching trashy reality television.

Fatima Goss Graves is Senior Counsel for Education and Employment. She focuses on gender equity in education, including the advancement of women and girls in fields that are nontraditional for their gender, affirmative action, sexual harassment and athletics. Prior to joining NWLC, she worked as an appellate and trial litigator at Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw LLP. She began her career as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of California at Los Angeles. When not fighting for equal opportunities in education, Fatima is typically reading, watching reality television or playing tennis.

Lara Kaufmann is Senior Counsel for Education and Employment. Prior to joining the Center, Lara was a Staff Attorney with the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, and before that, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago. She also was a litigator with the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, and law clerk to then-Chief Judge Marvin Aspen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Lara is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University School of Law. When she’s not working, Lara enjoys hiking and all things outdoors, jogging, reading, going to movies, and watching HGTV (gasp!).

Julia Kaye is a Health Policy Associate on the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She works primarily on issues relating to Medicaid and health care reform, but is technically responsible for "a little o' this, a little o’ that." She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Barnard College and formerly worked as a consultant for the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Adolescent Health Care Communication Program. She enjoys playing capoeira, drawing, making exceptionally delicious salads, and proclaiming the merits of New Jersey as often as possible.

Dina Lassow is Senior Counsel for Education and Employment, but she also works on other issues at the Center such as contraceptive coverage and reproductive rights, especially when they involve litigation. She spends a lot of her time working on amicus briefs in the Supreme Court, which is hearing several employment discrimination cases this term. She has two daughters who love sports, and were actually interested in the Title IX work she does when she wears her education hat. Before coming to the Center, Dina worked for a couple of small firms, other non-profits, and was a trial lawyer in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. She went to Harvard/Radcliffe College and Yale Law School. If she’s not in the office, she may be out running — a habit she developed at DOJ, which, unlike the Center, is conveniently located on the Mall.

Melanie Ross Levin is an Outreach Manager for the National Women’s Law Center. She spends her time working in two departments — Family and Economic Security and Education and Employment. Before joining the Center, Melanie worked in Delaware for Planned Parenthood, the State Senate and Senator Tom Carper’s 2006 reelection campaign. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s MPA program and after 6 years of living in the small state, has a good appreciation for chicken farms, blue hens and everything DuPont. Good thing our office is on DuPont Circle!

Amy Matsui is Senior Counsel. She focuses on economic security issues, including tax credits that benefit women and families and women’s retirement security. She also works on judicial nominations. Before joining NWLC, Amy had a commercial litigation and appellate practice at Farella Braun & Martel LLP in San Francisco, and clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She attended Stanford Law School and the University of California at Berkeley. Amy taught middle-school and high-school French in the Cajun Triangle in southeastern Louisiana and 4th grade ESL in Dallas, Texas, before attending law school, and has a lifelong appreciation for accordion music.

Natalie Monkou is the Communications Intern at the National Women's Law Center. As a senior English major at the University of Maryland, she is both excited and nervous about her upcoming graduation in May. When she isn’t attending classes, working, or applying to graduate school, Natalie enjoys experimenting with new recipes, catching up on political news, and spending time with family and friends.

Jill Morrison, Senior Counsel with Health and Reproductive Rights, works on religious restrictions in health care, including hospital mergers, and religiously based refusals to provide health care services. She is the adoring aunt of two nieces, who will one day appreciate her work on reproductive rights, but for now wonder why she doesn’t do "that cool Title IX stuff."

Ellen Newcomb is the program assistant for Health and Reproductive Rights. She provides administrative and research support to the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She holds a BA in Government from Colby College and previously interned for Congresswoman Lois Capps. While she loves DC and its restaurants and nightlife, she very much misses her friends in Boston and her family in Santa Barbara. Also, she loves pancakes. And waffles.

Thao Nguyen is the Outreach Manager for Health and Reproductive Rights. She manages the outreach efforts for the Center’s work on women and health care. Previously, Thao managed the policy and advocacy work at different HIV/AIDS and environmental organizations. Her education has mainly come from her random traveling experiences, which includes sharing a truck with ducks around Vietnam and getting caught playing hide-and-seek in the House of Lords during off hours. She also received a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine and an MA in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Thao spends her free time espousing the marvels of Ebay.

Valerie Norton is a Public Policy Fellow, dividing her time between the Family Economic Security Department and the Education and Employment Department. Originally from the Bay Area, she received her BA in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a senior thesis on the political travails of the 1996 welfare reform legislation. Prior to joining NLWC, Valerie worked on housing policy and legislative affairs for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a DC think tank focused on research and advocacy on behalf of low income families, and interned for Senator Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill. An avid West Wing fan, she loves living and working in the political hub that is DC. When not working, she enjoys spending time with friends, exploring the East Coast, reading, cooking, playing sports, and rooting for her Golden Bears.

Reggie Oldak is Senior Counsel for Family Economic Security, with particular focus on taxes and the federal budget. Before joining NWLC, she worked for the IRS and then in private practice on issues affecting the taxation of nonprofit organizations. She is the president of the Montgomery County (MD) Commission for Women and has worked extensively with local and state government representatives and community leaders in Maryland to advocate for issues central to the concerns of women and families. A graduate of Smith College and the Georgetown University Law Center, Reggie has been active in politics and in 2006 won the endorsement of The Washington Post when she ran for (and almost won!) a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Nicole Oxendine, Director of Outreach, joined the Center in July 2007, to direct the Center’s outreach activities. Prior to joining the Center, Nicole ran a strategic planning and outreach consulting firm. For the Smithsonian Museum’s National Museum of the American Indian, she managed strategic planning and creative content for the museum’s Public Programs with museum directors, senior curators, and expert advisors. For nine years, Nicole was a Senior Policy Associate for the Children’s Defense Fund’s Child Care Division, where she conducted research on key early learning issues, organized grassroots constituency advocacy and outreach efforts, and designed the Emerging Leaders Project, a selective fellowship for early education professionals. She has a B.A. from Hunter College in Urban Policy and Planning.

Rose O'Malley is the program assistant for the Family Economic Security team, which means doing whatever for whomever whenever they need it. She has a BA in politics from the Catholic University of America, where she also studied German, English, Philosphy and Religion. Obviously, she is a huge nerd. When she’s not working she enjoys reading comic books, obsessively analyzing television shows, and indulging in all things science fiction.

Golda Philip is a Health Fellow on the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She works on a variety of issues involving women in health care reform. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology, she worked on immigration policy at the National Immigration Project in Boston. She then completed a dual law degree and Masters in Public Health from Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts School of Medicine. As a law student, Golda worked at the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Refugee and Immigrant Health Program. She loves to make art (photos, films, food) and explore new things (people, places, ideas).

Robin Reed, NWLC’s Online Outreach Manager, works on the organization’s blog and other online communications. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., Robin has previously worked at the Human Rights Campaign and the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights. In her off time, Robin enjoys reading, writing, and consuming pop culture.

Mary Robbins is the program assistant for Communications. She keeps track of news coverage with mentions of NWLC and provides administrative support to the Communications team. She graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and is a self-proclaimed “news junkie.” When she isn’t working, she enjoys being outside and making her three favorite foods: baked ziti, Denver chocolate pudding cake, and macaroni and cheese.

Jocelyn Samuels is Vice President for Education and Employment. She focuses on barriers to the advancement of women and girls at school and in the workplace. Prior to joining NWLC, Jocelyn was Labor Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and she also worked for a decade as a senior policy attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she specialized in issues of sex and race discrimination. Jocelyn is confident that with the help of Title IX and a little athletic talent, she could have been a star in a wholly different realm of courts.

Karen Schulman is a Senior Policy Analyst in NWLC’s Family Economic Security division. She researches and writes about child care and early education policies. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Williams College and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University. Prior to joining NWLC, she worked at the Children’s Defense Fund. She enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews and is glad they will grow up thinking there is nothing unusual about a woman being Speaker of the House or running for President.

Steph Sterling is the Senior Advisor for Health and Reproductive Rights and the Director of Government Relations. She focuses on federal legislative efforts to protect and expand women’s access to reproductive health care. Prior to joining the Center, Steph worked as federal lobbyist for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as Director of Policy and Communications for a Congressional candidate, and as professional staff on a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee subcommittee. She is a graduate of Brown University and a J.D. candidate at Georgetown. Steph and her husband live in Washington, D.C.

Jen Swedish is a Health Law Fellow on the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She has worked on federal legislation related to reproductive rights and now focuses on health care reform, examining how state insurance policies affect women and advocating for comprehensive, affordable health care for all. Before joining the Center, Jen clerked for Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nashville, TN. She attended Northwestern University School of Law and Brown University. Before law school, Jen worked in the Research Division at The Guttmacher Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring DC, running, and rock-climbing.

Megan Tackney is the program assistant for the Outreach team, providing programmatic, technical, and administrative support. She has formerly served as a consultant for the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), in addition to being an advocate in her local women’s crisis center. She touts activism and unbounded passion as essential parts of her life. That and chocolate after every meal. Megan holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from George Washington University.

Christie Turner is the MARGARET Fund Fellow with the Education and Employment team, where she works on issues related to employment discrimination and Title IX. Originally from the great state of New Hampshire, Christie recently graduated from law school at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to law school, Christie worked at the Federal Trade Commission for three years. Although it’s good to be back on the east coast, Christie misses Texas barbeque and the great Austin music scene.

Judy Waxman is Vice President and Director of Health and Reproductive Rights. She pioneers advocacy, policy and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care, including reproductive choice, for American women. Prior to joining NWLC, Judy served for over a decade as Deputy Executive Director at Families USA, where she worked to achieve high quality, affordable health and long-term care for all Americans and was a leader on grassroots and activities on Medicaid, Medicare and other health care access legislative issues. She holds a law degree from American University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, in Florida. Even though Judy never actually burned her lingerie, she was dubbed “Judy Waxperson” by her law school friends and professors in the 1970’s anyway.

Candace Webb is an Outreach Manager for Health and Reproductive Rights. She manages the Center’s outreach, advocacy, partnership development, and grassroots/grasstops mobilization around policy, legislative issues, and court decisions related to women's health and reproductive rights. Before joining the Center, she was a program associate at AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth, and Families; conducted women’s health research at the University of South Florida; and served on the Advocates for Youth National Young Women of Color Leadership Council. Candace received her Master of Public Health degree in maternal and child health from the University of South Florida and a BS in health education and anthropology from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). She enjoys exploring new places, people and ideas; salsa dancing; movie-watching; musical theater; and as a Floridian living in the D.C. area –- experiencing all four seasons.

Former Womenstake Contributors:

Cristina Begoña Martin Firvida was Director of Government Affairs and Senior Counsel at NWLC. Prior to joining NWLC in 1997, Cristina clerked for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and was a Georgetown Law School Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She is a graduate of Cornell Law School and Yale University. When not watching C-SPAN, Cristina watches college basketball. Cristina is a proud but disenfrachised resident of Washington D.C., where she lives with her husband and young son.

Kristina Gupta was a Policy Fellow, and divided her time between the Family Economic Security Department and the Education and Employment Department. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her BA from Georgetown University and her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. Kristina and her husband spend their free time planning their next trip and blogging about Indian restaurants. Kristina is grateful to Imus for raising the profile of Rutgers, an excellent and affordable state university. Go Scarlet Knights!

Paige Herwig was a Liman Fellow on the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She did legal research and advocacy on pharmacy refusals, insurance coverage for contraception, and other issues affecting women’s reproductive rights. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and Yale College. She likes living in Washington but misses her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, very much.

Andrea Irwin was a Law Fellow for Health and Reproductive Rights. She advocated for improved access to health care for low-income women and conducts research on a vast array of reproductive health issues. During law school, Andrea was a student attorney in the Women and the Law Clinic and worked at the Alliance for Justice and NARAL Pro-Choice America on federal judicial nominations. She graduated from the American University Washington College of Law and Bates College. She devotes her spare time to reading for her feminist book club and attending country music concerts, but admits that it takes two very different sets of friends to keep up with both.

Jessica Lauredan was an intern with NWLC's Outreach Department. A senior at Rutgers University in New Jersey, she hopes to enter law school in the D.C. area after receiving a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies. A self-proclaimed fashionista, she spends her free time (and entirely too much money) shopping and traveling the world.

Dina Morad was the Outreach Manager, Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NWLC she consulted on adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues, advocated for human rights, and has remained committed to reproductive rights. Dina is originally from Pakistan and continues to be dedicated to sexual health issues surrounding the Asian Subcontinent. She has an MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.

Chad Newcomb was an Analyst in NWLC's Family Economic Security Program. As his title suggests, he analyzed data on a variety of issues that affect the ability of women and their families to make ends meet, with particular emphasis on taxes, retirement security, and the federal budget. Prior to joining NWLC, Chad worked at the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Policy of the Social Security Administration. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota. When not blogging or crunching numbers, Chad enjoys a good scone and an Anthony Trollope novel.

Rachel Rebouche was a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She worked on judicial nominations and in the Family Economic Security section. Before joining NWLC, Rachel clerked for Justice Kate O’Regan on the Constitutional Court of South Africa and worked for Ibis Reproductive Health, Johannesburg. She attended Harvard Law School and Trinity University. Rachel worked for the Human Rights Commission in Northern Ireland and Queen’s University, Belfast before law school. She likes rock and/or roll.

Diana Santos was a law clerk for the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She conducted research on a broad range of issues affecting women’s access to reproductive health services including pharmacy refusals and health care provider mergers. She is a law student at American University, the Washington College of Law and a graduate of the University of Rochester. As a second year law student she worked as a student attorney in the Women and the Law Clinic and as an intern for Judge Beck of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She enjoys traveling, learning foreign languages, and bike-riding through Rock Creek Park.

Darsana Srinivasan was a Fellow on the Health and Reproductive Rights team. She worked primarily on issues affecting women’s reproductive rights, including legal research on increasing access to emergency contraception and insurance coverage of prescription contraceptives. She graduated with a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, and from Yale Law School. Darsana loves knitting and is grateful that Washington in winter is still cold enough to wear warm things made with sticks and string — unlike her hometown in Southern California.

Becca Stanger was an intern in the Outreach Department. She was a junior at Stanford University majoring in American Studies and Human Biology. Like any idealistic college student, she aspires to save the world after graduation. How exactly she will go about accomplishing this, however, remains to be determined. (Law school will most likely be involved.) In the meantime, she enjoys pretending to be an indie snob, procrastinating homework with crosswords, and writing horrible email poetry.

Taryn Wilgus Null was a MARGARET Fund Fellow with the Education and Employment team. She worked on issues related to Title IX and employment discrimination against women. Taryn is a graduate of Stanford University, where she studied History, and the University of Michigan Law School. Before law school, she worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In her spare time, Taryn enjoys reading fiction, bicycling, cooking, and spending time with her husband and their cats, Moses and Arthur.

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