News 04.03.18

Innocence Project Welcomes Change in Leadership to Its Board and Three New Directors

By Innocence Staff

The Innocence Project’s Board of Directors has new leadership and is welcoming three new directors to the board.  Founding board member Jack Taylor, Global Head of Commercial Real Estate, Pine River Capital Management, L. P., has become the new board chair, and long-serving board member and former Cardozo Law School clinic intern Vered Rabia, Partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, is the new vice chair.  In addition, the board welcomes new directors:  Cedric Alexander, Greg O’Hara and Yusef Salaam.

Taylor and Rabia are taking over the roles previously held by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Founding Partner of Schulte, Roth and Zabel, LLP Stephen Schulte.  Ellis and Schulte, who served on the board since its inception in 2004, will continue to serve the board in an advisory capacity as members of the Innocence Project’s Founder’s Circle.

“We are grateful to the long service of Rodney Ellis and Stephen Schulte whose leadership saw the Innocence Project grow from a small clinic at Cardozo Law School into a national and important criminal justice reform organization,” said Maddy deLone, Executive Director of the Innocence Project, which remains affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.  “And we couldn’t be more pleased that Jack Taylor and Vered Rabia will be stepping into these roles as we take on ever more work to improve the criminal justice system.”

The three new board members bring new skills and experience to the board.

Deputy Mayor of Rochester Cedric Alexander was a member of President Obama’s Commission on Policing in the 21st Century and National President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).  He previously served as the Chief of Police for DeKalb County Police Department and the Rochester Police Department.

Greg O’Hara is Chairman of the Board of American Express Global Business Travel.  He founded Certares and is currently its chairman and chief executive officer.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group and has previously served on the boards of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Travelport, Worldspan Technologies and other companies.

Yusef Salaam is one of five men wrongly convicted of the rape of a female jogger in Central Park known as the Central Park Five.  He spent nearly seven years in prison and was eventually exonerated in 2002.  Since his exoneration, Salaam has been a strong advocate for reforms to prevent wrongful convictions and address the fundamental problems with the criminal justice system.

“As we look to address more of the systemic problems in the criminal justice system, we will need to rely on a broad spectrum of experience and creative thinking that these men bring with them,” said deLone.  “After spending our 25th anniversary year looking back at the accomplishments and challenges we faced, we are energized for the critical work ahead and have assembled an amazing team to make real progress in creating a more fair, just, equal and humane criminal justice system.”

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