Patricia Harrington, Intake Coordinator
Patricia is a native New Yorker. After graduating from Queens College with a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics, she had a twenty year career as a programmer and medical physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She entered Pace Law School in 2006. During the summer of her first year she interned with the Westchester County Law Department assisting child abuse and neglect attorneys in Family Court. At Pace, she was active in the Public Interest Scholarship Organization, Lambda Law Students, and the Women’s Association of Law Students. Prior to entering law school, Patricia spent a year as a volunteer tutor at the Hetrick-Martin Institute. She is committed to eliminating the discriminatory obstacles facing transgender people in daily life. In her spare time she works on her personal animation projects.
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Noah E. Lewis, Staff Attorney
Noah is a Pittsburgh native and a graduate of Harvard Law School. There he received the Dean's Award for Community Service for his work with the Harvard Transgender Task Force, Lambda, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. His work included assisting with the campaign that added gender identity to Harvard's nondiscrimination policy and achieving improvements in insurance coverage for transgender health care. Noah also graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in the history and philosophy of science. While at Pitt he helped lead a successful campaign to get domestic partner health benefits at the university. Prior to joining TLDEF, Noah worked in animal advocacy. He is a long-time vegan.
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Rita Petite, Bookkeeper
Rita is TLDEF’s bookkeeper. She also works as a bookkeeper for other non-profit organizations and teaches QuickBooks. Prior to joining TLDEF, she was in charge of accounts payable and payroll for the town of Darien, CT and then used her masters degree in music education to teach. She taught band and orchestra for over ten years before playing the trombone for national Broadway tours and on cruise ships. Rita settled in New York City in 2000 and has been performing as both an instrumentalist and actor. She is a past president of Crossdressers International and is an avid supporter of TLDEF.
Michael D. Silverman, Executive Director
Michael has been a member of TLDEF’s Board of Directors, as well as its Executive Director, since it was founded. He has worked as an attorney in the LGBT civil rights movement since 1994. In addition to his work at TLDEF, Michael is Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches courses on gender, sexuality and the law.
As a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal, Michael worked on a number of groundbreaking cases, including Baehr v. Miike, one of the earliest challenges to restrictions on the freedom to marry, and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. In that case, Michael represented a coalition of religious organizations opposed to the Scouts’ exclusionary policy, and his brief (cover, tables, brief) submitted to the United States Supreme Court on their behalf was cited in the opinion of the dissenting justices. While on a Georgetown University Law Center Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship, Michael taught in the law school’s domestic violence clinic and worked in the legal department at NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Immediately prior to joining TLDEF, Michael worked for four years in New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Access to Health Care Program and Disability Law Center. In that capacity, he provided technical assistance to numerous community groups seeking to end discrimination in access to health care on the basis of race and ethnicity. He also successfully prosecuted large scale litigation in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice against hospitals for violations of, among other things, the Americans With Disabilities Act. He is thrilled to be back in the movement for transgender equality.
Michael is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Michigan Law School.
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