Speakers Bureau

We connect wrongful conviction experts with schools, colleges, companies, and organizations around the world. Our team of inspiring speakers includes people who were incarcerated for crimes they did not commit and staff members each working to correct wrongful convictions and prevent future injustices. Want to book a speaker? Please fill out our online form.

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Speakers Bureau

Featured Speaker

Staff Alicia Cepeda Maule

Alicia is the Innocence Project’s first Digital Engagement Director.

Alicia has led the Innocence Project’s digital team, growing exponential audience growth, revenue, and advocacy since 2015. Her team has won over 10 awards for the Innocence Project including Webbys, Tellys, Shortys, and Comnet’s Clarence B. Jones Impact Award.

Alicia is passionate about ending the death penalty and led the digital strategy campaigns that supported the litigation and communications efforts of death row clients Rodney Reed, Pervis Payne, and Melissa Lucio.

Previously, she was a social media and community editor at msnbc.com and a digital organizer on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

Alicia graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a B.A. in Africana Studies.

Carlos Sanchez spent nearly 25 years—more than half of his life— in prison for a murder he and his attorneys maintain he did not commit before he was granted parole in January 2017 and released in May 2017.

Sanchez was only 17 when, after an eight-hour interrogation by police without a lawyer or guardian present, he signed a confession taking responsibility for the 1992 murder of his girlfriend. The confession was the only evidence linking him to the crime, and it was taken under circumstances now known to be associated with false confessions. The statement was also at odds with physical evidence collected in the case.

Staff Christina Swarns

Christina Swarns is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project.

She previously served as the president and attorney-in-charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender, Inc. , one of New York City’s oldest institutional providers of indigent appellate defense representation; as the litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice; as a supervising assistant federal defender in the capital habeas corpus unit of the Philadelphia Community Defender Office; and as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s criminal defense division in New York. Christina argued, and won, Buck v. Davis, a challenge to the introduction of explicitly racially biased evidence in a Texas death penalty case, in the United States Supreme Court. Christina was the only Black woman to argue in the 2016 Supreme Court term, and is one of the few Black women to have argued before the nation’s highest court. Christina earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Howard University.

Staff Justin Chan

Justin Chan is the Assistant Director of Editorial Content for the Innocence Project.

Justin comes with more than a decade of experience in journalism, having written for Law.com, Mic, Forbes, HuffPost, Time Out New York, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo. Chan’s work has frequently touched on issues impacting marginalized communities, including racism, immigration, and economic disparities. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School and has volunteered at Reading Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk youth improve their literacy.

After the Virginia Supreme Court granted a writ of actual innocence, Keith Allen Harward walked out of a Virginia prison on April 8, 2016, after spending more than 33 years of a life sentence for a rape and murder he did not commit.

Despite testifying in his own defense and presenting evidence he didn’t match the victim’s description, Harward was wrongfully convicted of capital murder but was spared the death penalty by the jury. Harward, was convicted primarily on the testimony of two forensic dentists who said that Harward’s teeth matched marks left on the rape victim. During the course of his prosecution six forensic dentists falsely claimed that Harward’s teeth matched a bite mark on one of the victims. New DNA evidence definitively proved Harward’s innocence and pointed to another man as the real assailant. Harward is one of eight people whose story is in the Innocence Project-inspired Netflix docuseries The Innocence Files now available for streaming.

Staff M. Chris Fabricant

M. Chris Fabricant is the Director of Strategic Litigation for the Innocence Project.

Chris leads the Innocence Project’s Strategic Litigation Department, whose attorneys develop and execute national litigation and public policy strategies to address the leading causes of wrongful conviction, including eyewitness misidentification, the misapplication of forensic sciences, and false confessions. Over the course of a 20-year career in criminal justice, Fabricant has served as a clinical law professor, trial attorney, and appellate counsel. His writing, scholarship, and frequent public speaking focuses on the intersection of science, law reform, and social justice.

Staff Ngozi Ndulue

Ngozi Ndulue is the Special Advisor on Race and Wrongful Conviction for the Innocence Project.

Ngozi provides leadership and expertise on racial justice, equity, bias and discrimination and their impact on the functioning of the criminal legal system and, particularly, wrongful conviction. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Ngozi was the Deputy Director of the Death Penalty Information Center where she conducted original research, supervised data collection and analysis, and led organizational development initiatives. Throughout her legal career, Ngozi has focused on the intersection of racial justice and the criminal legal system, engaging in litigation, policy research, coalition building, and advocacy. From 2016 to 2018, Ngozi served as Senior Director of Criminal Justice Programs at the national NAACP. She also worked at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC) in Cincinnati and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Arizona Capital Habeas Unit. Ngozi has a law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Staff Robyn Trent Jefferson

Robyn Trent Jefferson is a Paralegal in the Innocence Project’s Post Conviction Litigation Fellow program, advocate, and mentor.

Robyn enjoyed a diverse career as a litigation and real estate paralegal for more than 34 years before joining the Innocence Project. A born advocate, she has always been passionate about effecting change for those who are, and have been, wronged and, in the last 10 years, has had more opportunities to dedicate more of her time in pursuit of much-needed reform.

Staff Simran Sohal

Simran Sohal is a Senior Case Analyst for the Innocence Project.

Simran returned to the organization after interning in the Intake Department the previous year. Graduating from Williams College in June 2020, she received a double B.A. in Psychology and English with a concentration in Justice and Law Studies. While at Williams, Simran conducted independent research on the relationship between procedural justice and jury nullification. Outside of the academic sphere, she volunteered as a responder to a hotline service for survivors of sexual violence and their allies and organized initiatives to prevent future instances of such harm.

Staff Stacey Anderson

Stacey Anderson is the State Policy Legal Fellow for the Innocence Project.

Stacey is responsible for in-depth legal research, including 50-state comparisons of key provisions in criminal justice statutes and case law. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Stacey was a Marciano Legal Fellow with the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (“RAINN”) where she did legal research and legislation drafting focused on sexual violence response, Title IX, and constitutional law. Stacey is a proud graduate of Northeastern University, in Boston, and earned her J.D. from Widener University Delaware Law School. While in law school, Stacey served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chair of the National Black Law Students Association. Stacey is passionate about the Innocence Project’s mission and believes public policy is the root to manifest change.

Staff Tebah Browne

Tebah Browne is the Forensic Science Policy Specialist for the Innocence Project.

Tebah assists the Policy Department with policy work that focuses on the reliability, validity, and regulation of forensic science techniques and technology. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Tebah worked at the Legal Aid Society in its DNA unit as the in-house scientist and DNA analyst. Tebah graduated from John Jay College with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Forensic Science with concentrations in Molecular Biology and Toxicology. Tebah is currently pursuing a PhD. in forensic investigative sciences at Oklahoma State University, where her dissertation focuses on the implementation, regulation, and education of forensic science in developing nations.

Staff Vanessa Meterko

Vanessa Meterko is the Research Manager at the Innocence Project.

She earned her M.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has spent her career using data for good. She has conducted research on health care, microaggressions, and the criminal legal system, and has published dozens of influential articles in scholarly and popular outlets. Vanessa is an expert in wrongful convictions research and spearheaded the Innocence Project’s first social science convening on the subject in 2022. She has spoken about the role of research in the innocence movement as well as the science of cognitive bias to a wide range of audiences including NASA, University College London, and global investment management firm Bridgewater Associates. Vanessa also served as an advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in New York City for over a decade.

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