Civics Learning Project’s efforts are guided by a committed Board of Directors that meets six times per year. Each board member serves a three-year, renewable term.
Marjorie Elken - Board Chair
Marjorie Elken is an attorney at Dunn Carney LLP. She joined the CLP board in 2017, bringing a commitment to ensuring civic engagement programs reach all students. Margie is currently the Board Chair and volunteers for the We the People and mock trial competitions.
Darin Sands - Vice Chair
Darin Sands is a co-founder of Bradley Bernstein Sands LLP, a litigation boutique serving the West Coast. He joined the CLP board in 2014 and is currently Vice Chair after three years chairing the Legal Citizen Committee. Darin has been a coach on the Lincoln High School Constitution Team since 2011.
Richard Josephson retired as SVP and General Counsel at Schnitzer Steel in 2015; before that he practiced law at Stoel Rives LLP. He joined the CLP board in 2014 and currently serves as Secretary / Treasurer, bringing his passion for civic engagement and community service. Rich volunteers regularly in CLP programs, judging mock trial and We the People competitions. He also serves on the finance committee.
Hon. Steffan Alexander
Steffan Alexander is a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. He was appointed to the bench by Governor Kate Brown in 2019. Before joining the court, he was a shareholder at Markowitz Herbold PC. Judge Alexander joined the CLP board in 2015. In addition to his regular board duties, he serves on the annual scholarship committee, board development committee, and coaches the Jefferson High School Mock Trial team.
David Anderson is a shareholder at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. Dave helps clients throughout Oregon’s diverse industries to litigate business disputes and resolve succession issues. A third-generation Oregonian, Dave has a deep appreciation for the role his clients play in the state’s economy and growth. He has volunteered to judge the Mock Trial competitions and joined the Board in 2021.
Amber Bevacqua-Lynott is a Senior Counsel and an Associate General Counsel at Buchalter. Working all along the west coast (Portland, Seattle, San Diego), Amber specializes in legal ethics and professional responsibility, assisting lawyers and licensed professionals in navigating ethical issues, in complying with their regulatory obligations, and in defending licensing complaints (including at trial and on appeal). She joined the Board in 2023.
Bruce Cahn is a shareholder at Lane Powell PC, specializing in commercial and real estate litigation. He joined the CLP Board in 2020. Bruce has been the Unit 3 coach for the Central Catholic High School Constitution We the People Team since it was founded in 2011, where he actively works with students to understand the legal and political issues of the day so that they can work to build a brighter future as engaged citizens. Bruce was previously on the board of LifeWorks NW and the Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar Business Litigation Section, serving as the committee chair in 2008.
Jim Carter retired from Nike, Inc. as VP and General Counsel in 2010. He joined the CLP board in 1999 bringing a passion for civic engagement that he demonstrated in his time at Nike and as Chair of the Port of Portland Commission. Jim is chair of the board development committee and a regular volunteer for CLP programs; he also served two years as Board Chair. In 2018, he was named CLP’s Legal Citizen of the Year.
Monica Cerda Ortiz
CAPACES Leadership Institute
A proud daughter of immigrants, Monica became passionate about advocating for the immigrant community. She earned a B.A in Spanish with a leadership certificate from Western Oregon University in 2020. Monica is currently in the M.S.Ed program at Western. Through her role at CAPACES, a non profit in Woodburn Oregon, she hopes to engage community leaders in civic leadership development. The participants graduate from yearly cohorts and become part of community networks that help them step into their power to serve in elected or appointed positions and represent their communities. Monica joined the CLP Board in 2022 and hopes to use her background and experience with curriculum development to support committees within CLP.
Crystal Chase is an assitant general counsel at the Port of Portland. She joined the CLP board in 2019. Crystal has been a coach for the Central Catholic High School We The People Team since 2012, where she encourages students of all backgrounds to become active citizens.
Hilltop Public Solutions
Colin Cochran leads the Oregon practice at Hilltop Public Solutions. For the past ten years, Colin has been at the leading edge of grassroots advocacy in the Pacific Northwest delivering high impact service on a wide variety of issues. Over the course of dozens of issue advocacy projects in Oregon and Washington, Colin has designed campaigns and constructed coalitions from the ground up that have harnessed public support to achieve victories for his clients on a wide variety of issues at the local, state and federal levels. Colin also has experience in communications and political campaign management and brings both to bear when helping move the policy/public opinion needle for clients.
Colin graduated with a B.A. in History/Political Science from the University of Oregon and earned his master’s degree in Irish Politics from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. He joined the Board in 2022.
Chad Colton is a trial attorney and partner at Markowitz Herbold PC. He joined the CLP board in 2019. Chad is a member of CLP’s resource development committee and serves a judge in CLP’s mock trial and We The People competitions. In addition to serving on the CLP Board, Chad is a board member of two other non-profit organizations, Quechua Benefit and Up & Out Inc.
Chris Costantino is a Partner and Chair of the Family Law Practice Group at Samuels Yoelin Kantor. A leader in our legal community, she was President of the Oregon State Bar in 2019 and served as Past President of the OSB in 2020. Chris was a member of the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors from 2016 through 2020 and currently serves on the American Bar Association Standing Committee for Bar Services. Her trademark philosophy is “love your children, protect your assets, and preserve your legacy”. Chris joined the Board in 2022.
Sarah Crooks is a partner in Perkins Coie’s Business Litigation practice, with a focus on navigating clients through complex business litigation, class action lawsuits and attorney general investigations across a variety of industry sectors, including the telecommunications, food and restaurant, childcare and education and real estate sectors. Sarah also has extensive experience representing clients in the areas of consumer protection, securities litigation, fraudulent transfer litigation and will contests.
Sarah dedicates a significant portion of her time to pro bono work and volunteer efforts to serve the legal community. Since 2002, Sarah has served as a volunteer attorney for Legal Aid Services of Oregon representing victims of domestic violence in obtaining restraining orders. Sarah is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, involved with the American Bar Association, the Multnomah Bar Association (past President), and Oregon Women Lawyers (past President). In 2012, the Oregon Bench & Bar Commission on Professionalism recognized Sarah with the Justice Edwin J. Peterson Professionalism Award for consistently demonstrating the highest standards of conduct to the bench, bar and public. In 2010, Sarah was recognized for her unrelenting commitment to the promotion of women in the legal profession as a recipient of the Oregon Women Lawyers Justice Betty Roberts Award. She joined the CLP Board in 2023.
Laura Dominic is a senior consultant at Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc. She joined the CLP board in 2017 after many years as a community judge for both mock trial and We the People competitions. She also regularly volunteers as a guide for the court tour program.
Hon. Meagan Flynn
Meagan Flynn is the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, which she joined in 2017. Prior to joining the Court she served on the Oregon Court of Appeals and practiced law in the areas of products liability, personal injury, state workers compensation and federal longshore compensation. Justice Flynn has coached the Franklin High School We the People Constitution Team for many years and has volunteered to judge Project Citizen showcases. She joined the Board in 2021.
Eric Foster is a partner at Foster Denman LLP in Medford, where he concentrates on Business and Corporate Law, Nonprofit Organizations, Partnership, and Estates and Trusts. He is active in the community as a member of the Medford Rogue Rotary and serving on a number of boards. He joined the Civics Learning Project Board in 2021.
Immigration Counseling Services
Frank Garcia is the Executive Director of Immigration Counseling Services. A change leader who has been championing immigrant rights and progressive public policies for over 20 years, he served as a senior policy advisor to former Gov. John Kitzhaber where he advised on affirmative action and immigration issues and introduced diversity, equity, and inclusion frameworks to address the state service delivery system, decision-making about the state workforce, and policy-making.
As the son of migrant workers who settled in Dayton, OR, where he was raised, Frank brings personal experience and passion to the work of Civics Learning Project. He joined the Board in 2022.
Noah Glusman is the Managing Director of Legal Studies at the University of Oregon School of Law. He taught social studies at Churchill High School (Eugene, OR) before attending the University of Oregon School of Law. Noah joined the CLP board in 2019, bringing first-hand experience as a classroom teacher, a passion for supporting students and educators throughout the state, and a desire to increase access to careers in law for individuals from underrepresented groups. Noah is excited to support CLP’s growth in the Eugene/Springfield community.
Hon. Karin Immergut
Hon. Karin Immergut is a US District Court Judge for Oregon. Previously, she was appointed to the Multnomah County Circuit Court by Gov. Kulongoski after having served as United States Attorney for the District of Oregon for six years. Judge Immergut joined the CLP board in 2016 and serves on the Legal Citizen and board development committee. She has also volunteered as a judge for We the People competitions.
Misha Isaak is a trial and appellate litigator at Perkins Coie LLP. He was previously General Counsel in the Office of Governor Kate Brown. He joined the CLP board in 2022, after many years of participating in and supporting CLP programs, including coaching Lincoln High School’s Constitution Team.
Olivier Jamin is an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine where he focuses on environmental and land use work, with an emphasis on water and renewable energy. He joined the Board in January 2022 and has volunteered with the We the People program.
Steve Johansen is a Professor of Law and Director of the Lawyering Program at Lewis and Clark Law School. He joined the CLP board in 2013 and serves as co-chair of the golf tournament committee. Steve has volunteered extensively in CLP programs including judging at We the People and Project Citizen days at the state Capitol and We the People Con team coaching. He was the 2009 recipient of the Thomas F. Blackwell award.
Sid Khanijou is Senior Associate General Counsel at Cambia Health Solutions where he negotiates complex commercial contracts, provides cutting-edge strategic counseling, and advises clients on risk management and business strategy with an eye towards the healthcare industry’s evolving regulatory landscape. He joined the CLP Board in 2018 bringing a commitment to address responsible civic engagement and improve education, and is an active volunteer in various CLP programs and board committees.
Margaret Kirkpatrick is Of Counsel at Pearl Legal Group. Before she joined the Pearl Legal Group, Margaret was a partner at Stoel Rives, LLP, followed by ten years as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for NW Natural.She joined the CLP board in 2010 and has served as board chair. Throughout her career, Margaret has been committed to community service; she is currently Chair of the Oregon Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees and also serves on the PSU Board of Trustees and the Children’s Institute Board.
Josephine Kovacs is an associate at Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP. Her practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation including product liability, personal injury, legal malpractice defense, and business litigation. Prior to joining Cosgrave, Josephine worked as a student attorney for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, where she represented prisoners in administrative hearings for alleged misconduct. As a student, she participated on a high school We the People Constitution Team, and continued her connection with the program as a judge and coach. Josi joined the Board in 2021.
Katherine Lam is President and Co-Owner of Bambuza Hospitality Group, a growing group of community-focused restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. She puts her entrepreneurial expertise to work mentoring and creating opportunities for young leaders through partnerships with local schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. In 2017, she was appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Business Oregon Commission, which oversees Business Oregon’s policy direction and approach to economic development. She joined the CLP board in 2019.
Crystal Lindquist is Assistant General Counsel at Portland General Electric. She joined the CLP board in 2015, bringing a passion for education and civic engagement. Crystal serves on the resource development and scholarship committees.
Gene Matson has worked in the financial services industry for thirty-seven years. He is a Regional Manager for Columbia Bank’s Metro Portland Region.
Gene has been a champion for non-profit organizations with a focus on affordable housing, children’s services, and financial education. He joined the CLP board in 2022.
Mike McLane lives in central Oregon and is a partner with Lynch Murphy McLane, LLC. His area of practice is civil litigation and business growth. Mike is a former circuit court judge and was elected to five terms to the Oregon House of Representatives, serving six years as the Minority Leader. Mike has been a volunteer for CLP as a judge for moot court and has taught free speech law to teachers. He joined the Board in 2022.
Layla McLean is an attorney and shareholder at Buckley Law, P.C. in the Business and Estate Planning and Trust and Administration Group. Along with participation in the Civics Learning Project, Layla actively participates in the Association of Special Needs Planners, Oregon Women Lawyers Association, and is a huge supporter of Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp, personally, and as a member of the Board of Directors. She is also involved in the AVID and Imprint Programs, both of which focus on mentoring high school students from disadvantaged schools and low income and minority households. Layla is also a founding member of Ideal Business Transition Solutions, a strategic business group focused on succession planning. Layla joined the CLP Board in 2023.
Beth Merrill is a civics and history teacher at Sunset High School in Beaverton. She regularly uses CLP materials in her classroom. Her Project Citizen students have presented their projects before the Beaverton City Council, advocating for real policy change. Beth joined the CLP board in 2018, following a long family tradition of public service and leadership.
Jay Nusbaum is Vice President and General Counsel at Vestas – American Wind Technology, Inc. He joined the CLP board in 2017 and has volunteered as a We the People and mock trial competition judge and civics conference facilitator. Jay has also served on the board of the Oregon chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Teresa Squires Osborne has been an educator in Oregon since 1984, and has participated in CLP programs most of that time. She was a long-time social studies/Advanced Placement teacher at Reynolds High School, and also taught at Central Catholic High School, Concordia University, Portland Community College and Mt. Hood Community College. Teresa has been a coach for the Central Catholic We The People team since 2019. She was a Reese Teacher Fellow at George Washington’s Mount Vernon 2017-2018, and has been a workshop presenter at educator conferences. She currently works at Mt. Hood Community College as a Learning Specialist.
Jollee Patterson is a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP. Prior to joining the firm, she served as General Counsel for Portland Public Schools for 16 years. She joined the CLP board in 2015 and regularly volunteers as a We the People competition judge; she also serves on the reach and inclusion committee. Jollee serves on the Oregon State Bar Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the Multnomah Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.
Kat Rosenbaum is Chief Litigation Counsel and Claims Manager for NW Natural, where she focuses on risk and liability issues, safety, operations support and compliance, and labor and employment law. Kat joined the Board of the Civics Learning Project in 2020. She believes all students have a fundamental right to a strong civics educational curriculum to help foster active engagement in our democracy, and is honored to help CLP in its mission.
Hon. Michael Simon
Hon. Michael H. Simon is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. He was appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2011. Prior to that he was a partner at Perkins Coie LLP. Judge Simon joined the CLP board in 2001 and has been an active volunteer in many programs. He regularly judges for We the People competitions and presides over the Mock Trial state championship. He also served as board Chair.
Dunn Carney LLP
Brian Talcott is a partner at Dunn Carney, LLP and is a member of their Litigation Team. He is the firm’s lead appellate attorney, and has briefed and argued numerous appeals in the state and federal appellate courts. Brian also specializes in insurance coverage, professional liability defense and complex civil litigation. Brian served previously served a 7 year term on the CLP Board, and returned to serve another term in 2022.
Jason began working in the Oregon House of Representatives in January 2019. He currently serves as the Democratic Caucus Legislative Director for House Majority Leader Julie Fahey. Jason is an alumnus of the Lincoln HS “We the People” team and coached the Lincoln team from 2006 to 2020. He also serves as board chair for Mission: Citizen, an organization founded by Portland-area “We the People” alumni in 2010 (and managed by current high school students) focused on helping immigrants become U.S. citizens and engaged citizens. He joined the Civics Learning Project Board in 2020 and serves on the Reach and Inclusion Task Force.
Hon. Martha Walters
Hon. Martha L. Walters has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and equal access to the law. She was elected by her colleagues as Oregon’s 44th Chief Justice – the first woman to hold the position – and began service on July 1, 2018. Before joining the court as an Associate Justice in 2006, Chief Justice Walters practiced law for almost 30 years, emphasizing employment law and civil litigation as well as general civil practice. In 2007, she was elected to a two-year term as the first woman president of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. A member of the Oregon State Bar since 1977, Chief Justice Walters has served in leadership positions and on many bar committees and task forces. She is a regular speaker, instructor, and author on the law and law improvement, along with teaching law school classes, speaking at continuing legal education programs, and teaching for the Sakhalin/Oregon Rule of Law partnership.
Justice Walters retired from the Court on December 31, 2022 and now serves as a Senior Judge. She was selected as CLP’s 2020 Legal Citizen of the Year honoree, and joined our Board in 2023.
Steven Wilker is a partner at Tonkon Torp LLP. He joined the CLP board in 2014 and served as Board Chair 2020-22. He has also served as co-chair of the Legal Citizen committee. Steven has been active in other community organizations including serving on the Board of Directors and Lawyers Committee for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Inc. and the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Family Service.
Kate Wilkinson is Assistant General Counsel at Portland Public Schools. She previously served at The Standard Insurance Company and as the Director of Litigation Services at the Oregon School Boards Association. Ms. Wilkinson has also been an adjunct law professor at both University of Oregon School of Law and Willamette College of Law. She joined the CLP board in 2018 and is active as a mock trial coach and judge.