Greg Lukianoff is the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and has been with FIRE since 2001, when he was hired to be the organization's first director of legal and public advocacy. Greg is a member of the State Bar of California and the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Greg is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate and has published articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, the New York Post, The Stanford Technology Law Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reason, Congressional Quarterly, The Charleston Law Review, and numerous other publications. He is a blogger for the Huffington Post and authored a chapter in Templeton Press's anthology New Threats to Freedom, edited by Adam Bellow. Greg is a frequent guest on local and national syndicated radio programs, has represented FIRE on national television shows, including CBS Evening News, The O'Reilly Factor, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy, The Abrams Report, Hannity and Colmes, Stossel, Scarborough Country, and Buchanan and Press, and has testified before the U.S. Senate about free speech issues on America's campuses. In 2008 he became the first ever recipient of the Playboy Foundation Freedom of Expression Award and in 2010 he received Ford Hall Forum's Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award on behalf of FIRE.
Greg is a graduate of American University and of Stanford Law School, where he focused on First Amendment and constitutional law. Before joining FIRE, Greg practiced law in Northern California, interned at the ACLU of Northern California and the Organization for Aid to Refugees in Prague, Czech Republic, and was the development manager of the EnvironMentors Project in Washington, D.C. Greg, along with Harvey A. Silverglate and David French, is a co-author of FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Greg is also a proud member of the board of directors of Philadelphia's Theatre Exile.
Senior Vice President
Robert L. Shibley, FIRE's Senior Vice President, is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and a graduate of Duke University and Duke University School of Law. Robert's undergraduate experience serving as the managing editor of the Duke Review newspaper, which frequently decried (and faced) administrative censorship and bias, led him to a career defending the rights of college and university students and faculty members. Since starting at FIRE in 2003, Robert has aided students and faculty members at dozens of colleges and universities. He is also a member of the bar in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida. As Senior Vice President, along with traveling to various campuses to speak about First Amendment issues, Robert has represented FIRE publicly on Stossel, Fox and Friends, and Lou Dobbs Tonight, in national and international radio and TV interviews, and in published editorials in the New York Post, Boston Globe, National Review, Providence Journal, Daily Oklahoman, and other newspapers. He also writes columns for The Daily Caller, Forbes.com, and Pajamas Media. Robert and his wife Araz live in Apex, North Carolina, with their two daughters, Grace and Cecily.
Director of Legal and Public Advocacy
Vice President of Operations
Sean Clark graduated from Penn State University in 2003 where he earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History. As an undergraduate, he presided over Undergraduate Student Government Senate as its president, chaired the Student Organization Appeals Board, and served as vice-chairman and later as chairman of Penn State Young Americans for Freedom. In 2001, Sean became involved with FIRE when the foundation intervened on the behalf of YAF in a religious liberty dispute with the university. Sean first started with FIRE in 2005 as a Program Associate, later serving as a Program Officer and Assistant to the President and now manages the day-to-day operations of the FIRE office.
Director of Development
Alisha is a Philadelphia native who graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Business Marketing. While in school, she was a member of Chi Omega sorority and played an active role on the chapter's Philanthropy committee. Alisha leads FIRE's development activities including donor relations, foundation grants, and fundraising events. Before joining FIRE, Alisha held a public affairs internship at Planned Parenthood. Alisha is a member of the Junior League of Philadelphia and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philadelphia Chapter. She currently volunteers as a birth doula and lives in the Northern Liberties section of the city with her husband, two Boston terriers Murphy and Millie, and one naughty kitten Georgie.
Director, Speech Code Research
Samantha K. Harris, a Philadelphia native, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and from Princeton University, where she earned an A.B. magna cum laude in politics. As an undergraduate, Samantha completed a senior thesis that analyzed the constitutional implications of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s quality-of-life initiative in New York City. During law school, she served on the editorial board of the Journal of Constitutional Law. Before joining FIRE, Samantha clerked for the late Honorable Jay C. Waldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and most recently was an associate at the law firm of Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia.
Ashley is a proud Philadelphia native who first came to FIRE in 2011 through Drexel University’s cooperative education program. While studying communications with a concentration in public and corporate relations, Ashley started working as a Program Assistant and was recently promoted to the position of Development Associate. Before coming to FIRE, Ashley interned at Greater Media Philadelphia in the sales and marketing department of WMGK radio. Ashley is also passionate about animal rights and can be found all over the city with her dog Iggy Pop.
Program Associate and Assistant to the President
Pierce Babirak, a proud native of Maine, holds a Bachelors of Arts in History and Political Science from Grove City College and a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. During his undergraduate studies, Pierce served as the president of his class for the Student Government Association and actively participated and competed in the theater arts as a director and actor. In 2009, he was specially recognized with an award for ‘Excellence in Performance’ by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining FIRE, Pierce interned for the president of The Heritage Foundation, and he completed the Teach For America program, teaching 7th and 8th grade mathematics in the School District of Philadelphia. Pierce’s passion for the essential role free speech plays in education and social discourse is what led him to FIRE.
Associate Director, Individual Rights Defense Program
Peter Bonilla has been with FIRE since 2008 and worked with FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program since 2009, becoming Associate Director in 2012. As Associate Director he manages FIRE's significant caseload, writes frequently for FIRE's blog, The Torch, and has lectured to student groups and at student conferences around the country. Since January 2011, Peter has also been a contributor for the political commentary website PolicyMic, covering issues in American higher education. Prior to joining FIRE, Peter was Literary Manager of Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company, one of the country's top theatres for the development and production of new politically and socially-themed plays. He is also a past recipient of a fellowship in playwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and his first play was produced to critical acclaim in Arizona in September 2011. In 2009, Peter was a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy! His undergraduate degree, with a double major in theater arts and economics, is from the University of Pennsylvania.
Emily graduated from James Madison University in 2011 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in studio art. As an undergraduate, Emily served as chairman of the JMU College Republicans and interned for the United States Senate in addition to interning for Regnery Publishing. Prior to joining FIRE, Emily worked at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, promoting the conservative intellectual movement on America's college campuses. Emily's belief in the importance of the free and open exchange of ideas, especially at universities, is just one reason she is happy to be at FIRE.
Legislative and Policy Director
Joseph Cohn, FIRE’s Legislative and Policy Director, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Fels Institute of Government Administration, where he earned his Juris Doctor and Masters in Government Administration. Prior to law school, Joe attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV), where he graduated cum laude and co-founded the university’s ACLU chapter. A former staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and law clerk in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Joe joins FIRE having demonstrated a career-long dedication to advancing the cause of civil liberties. He has served as a staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, where his work earned him accolades from The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly (“2007 Lawyer on the Fast Track”) in 2007 and from Super Lawyers magazine (“Rising Star”) in 2008. In 2010, Joe taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as an adjunct professor, where he lectured on good trial practices and supervised law students as they represented real clients in both state and federal courts. Just prior to joining FIRE, Joe served as the interim legal director for ACLU affiliates in Nevada and Utah.
Program Associate, Finance and Operations
Peyton graduated from Drexel University in 2011 with a B.A. in communications, concentrating in global journalism. Through Drexel's cooperative education program, Peyton began working for FIRE in the spring of 2008 as a Program Assistant. After being on FIRE's staff for three years while finishing her undergraduate degree, she took on a full-time position as Assistant to the Vice President after her graduation. As part of her work at FIRE, Peyton will also supervise students from the same program that brought her to FIRE. Throughout her time at Drexel, Peyton was a member of the women's crew team. Outside of her involvement at FIRE, Peyton is a proud New Yorker and is passionate about the music and culture of the 1960s.
Associate Director, Campus Freedom Network
Jaclyn Hall graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in history. While at Penn, she advocated for undergraduate research opportunities (and learned a lot about university bureaucracy) as a member of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. She also taught public speaking and helped fellow students improve their research presentations as the Senior Advisor to the Communication Within the Curriculum program and as a board member for the Emerging Scholar Talk. She is a life-long lover of theater, most recently performing with the Underground Shakespeare Company at Penn. Jaclyn was inspired by her experience as a 2008 summer intern, and she is excited to share FIRE's message with students through the Campus Freedom Network.
Program Officer, Individual Rights Defense Program
Susan Kruth earned her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2003, with a concentration in music and film. After a handful of short film and documentary gigs, Susan wanted to study the ways that the Constitution protects filmmakers, so she decided to go to law school. While attending the University of Virginia School of Law, she served as musical director of the law school's a cappella group, the A Cappellate Opinions, and performed in UVA Law's spring musical comedy program, the Libel Show. Susan earned her J.D. in 2011 and is now a member of the Virginia State Bar. She got her start working to protect free speech through a fellowship with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also completed civil rights internships with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT & AIDS Project. Susan is happy to have finally landed at FIRE, where she can continue to focus on defending freedom of expression and the right to due process.
Program Associate, Public Awareness Project
Gina graduated cum laude from Georgia's Agnes Scott College in 2011, receiving a B.A. in philosophy and political science. Gina is an alumna of the Koch Summer Fellowship Program, and she completed internships at the Goldwater Institute and the Sam Adams Alliance before her passion for discourse ultimately led her to FIRE.
Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy
Azhar Majeed, a native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History from the University of Michigan in 2004. He is also a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. As an undergraduate, his academic interests included comparative constitutional law and political philosophy, particularly from the time period of the Enlightenment. During law school, Azhar represented the University of Michigan at the 2006 Tulane International Moot Court competition. Azhar was one of FIRE's inaugural Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellows and was also a FIRE legal intern in 2005.
Senior Program Officer
Bridget Glackin graduated cum laude from Fordham University with a B.A. in History and Political Science in 2007. After earning her undergraduate degree, Bridget worked as a press officer at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in New York City, focusing on issues such as culture, immigration, and higher education. In 2009, she returned to Fordham University to pursue an M.A. in Modern European History, completing her Master's thesis on the intersection of socialist and feminist ideologies in late 19th century Britain. This passion for the study of competing ideologies and her belief in the value of open scholarship drives her commitment to the preservation of liberty on America's college campuses.
Communications & Media Relations Coordinator
Nico graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2012 with a B.A. in journalism and history. While in school, Nico was a member of the track and field team and served as president of the campus' chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. He also served as Editor-in-Chief for the Indiana Standard and as a reporter and columnist for the Indiana Daily Student. After spending the summer at FIRE in 2010 as an intern, Nico became active in the fight to protect student rights on campus through a position in the student government as Co-Executive Director of Legal Affairs and in his capacity as a journalist. He has been recognized for these efforts with a second-place finish in FIRE's Campus Freedom Network (CFN) 2011 Incentive Program, induction into the CFN's Prometheus Society, and also as a winner of 1 for All and the Knight Foundation's 2011 "Free to Tweet" contest. Nico's experience defending student rights on campus, coupled with his internship experiences at ESPN, Indiana University Press, Hirons & Company, and as a member of FIRE's 2010 internship class, make him a natural fit to defend these rights full time.
Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow
Catherine Sevcenko graduated magna cum laude from George Mason School of Law after a career as a Foreign Service Officer. Postings in Budapest, Munich, and Moscow before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall gave her a deep appreciation for the power of free speech. After law school, Catherine clerked on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals before starting work as an associate at Steptoe & Johnson, LLC. After leaving Steptoe, Catherine joined the appellate group at the U.S. Trustees Program at the Department of Justice. Most recently, she was interim Executive Director for the U.S. Chess Center, a non-profit in Washington, D.C. that teaches chess to children.Catherine is an adjunct professor of appellate writing at George Mason School of Law. She lives outside of Washington D.C. with her husband and two children, one of whom attends a green light school. She also works with raptors and other wild birds as an apprentice wildlife rehabilitator.