GRISEL RUIZ, Chair
Grisel is a first generation-immigrant, born in Mexico. Grisel is an attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Prior to joining the ILRC, Grisel was a litigation association at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Before Pillsbury, Grisel received the Stimson Fellowship to head a project jointly housed at the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis School of Law and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, through which she co-founded “Know Your Rights” programs at two ICE-contracted facilities. Grisel graduated from the University of Chicago Law School where she received the Tony Patiño Fellowship, and she currently lives in San Francisco, California. She received a 2014 Fun, Fearless Latina Award from Cosmo Magazine for her work with CIVIC.
MICHAEL KAUFMAN, Vice Chair
Michael Kaufman is a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California. He joined the ACLU SoCal in 2010 as a SPILF Fellow in the Immigrants’ Rights and National Security Project. He is counsel in Rodriguez v. Robbins, a long-standing class action suit that challenges the government’s authority to detain immigrants for prolonged periods without a bond hearing. He also was the primary ACLU attorney working with CIVIC during the government’s suspension of CIVIC-affiliated visitation programs in 2013. He also worked on Ali v. Clinton, a federal lawsuit challenging the revocation of Mr. Ali’s wife’s visa in retaliation for his invocation of his right to counsel during FBI questioning. From 2008 to 2010, he was a Skadden Fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, where he directed a project to empower and advance the rights of domestic workers in the Bay Area through direct legal services, education, and policy advocacy. Michael clerked for Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He graduated from Stanford University and earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he graduated with distinction and was a Senior Public Interest Fellow.
SARA WEISS, Secretary
“As an editor at a major publishing company, my job is to bring new voices into the public sphere and I believe wholeheartedly in the power of story to change the world. CIVIC’s work is crucial because it aims to give a voice to those who have been silenced and to tell the stories of the millions of men and women who have been detained and subjected to a broken and inhumane system.”
Sara Weiss is a Senior Editor at Ballantine Books, Random House, where she edits a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles. Previously, she was an Editor at Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. Sara holds a BA in English Language and Literature with a minor in Art History from the University of Chicago. She is a member of Echoing Green’s Social Investment Council, and she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
JON GODBOUT, Treasurer
Jon is the Director of Programs & International Development at Builders of Hope. Prior to Builders of Hope, he served as a Senior Managing Consultant at IBM within their Public Sector Strategy and Analytics department where he specialized in project management, strategic planning, data analytics, and process improvement. He worked with diverse clients, including the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, and various other governments helping them to overcome logistics challenges. He graduated from Colby College in 2008 with a BA in International Economics. He has a high degree of enthusiasm for addressing problems associated with social inequality, economic sustainability, and extreme poverty. He is a member of Echoing Green’s Social Investment Council, and he currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science. Previously, he taught at Duke Law School for four years, during which he won the Duke University Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award in 2006. Before that, he taught for 21 years at the University of Southern California School of Law. He also has taught at UCLA School of Law and DePaul University College of Law.
His areas of expertise are constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights and civil liberties, and appellate litigation. He is the author of eight books, including The Case Against the Supreme Court published in 2014, and more than 200 articles in top law reviews. He frequently argues cases before the nation’s highest courts, including the United States Supreme Court, and also serves as a commentator on legal issues for national and local media. He writes a weekly column for the Orange County Register, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. In January 2014, National Jurist magazine named him as the most influential person in legal education in the United States.
Erwin holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. He serves on CIVIC’s Board of Directors as an honorary member.
BILL ONG HING
Bill Ong Hing is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and Professor Emeritus, U.C. California, Davis School of Law. He teaches Immigration Policy, Rebellious Lawyering, Negotiation, and Evidence. Throughout his career, he has pursued social justice by combining community work, litigation, and scholarship. He is the author of numerous academic and practice-oriented books and articles on immigration policy and community lawyering. His books include Ethical Borders—NAFTA, Globalization and Mexican Migration (Temple Univ. Press 2010); Deporting Our Souls—Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy (Cambridge Univ. Press 2006), Defining America Through Immigration Policy (Temple Univ. Press 2004), Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy (Stanford Press 1993), Handling Immigration Cases (Aspen Publishers 1995), and Immigration and the Law—a Dictionary (ABC-CLIO 1999). His book To Be An American, Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation (NYU Press 1997) received the award for Outstanding Academic Book in 1997 by the librarians’ journal Choice. He also was co-counsel in the precedent-setting Supreme Court asylum case, INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca (1987). Professor Hing is the founder of, and continues to volunteer as General Counsel for, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, D.C. He serves on CIVIC’s Board of Directors as an honorary member.
“Twenty years ago, a friend of mine was incarcerated for a minor crime. As I remained in contact with him throughout his sentence, I became aware of the gross injustices wrought against those in the prison population. In more recent years, I also have become committed to ending the unfair detention of migrants searching for a better life. When I first heard CIVIC’s mission, I knew I wanted to get involved to support the rights of the incarcerated and detained.”
Richard Grosbard lives in Manhattan with his wife, Ronnie. He serves on the boards of the Center for Book Arts and 115 Central Park West. Richard is a Trustee of George Eastman House and is on the Photography Collectors Committee at the Morgan Library. He previously served on the Washington University Libraries National Council. Richard with his son, Joshua Grosbard, manages a family fund, Chancellor Street Management LLC. He is presently enrolled as a student at Columbia University.