Cathy Costanzo became the Center’s Executive Director in September 2011. She has worked in the mental disability law field since 1977 and has extensive experience in providing representation to institutionalized persons throughout the country and for litigating ADA/Olmstead cases. She is the former director of the Massachusetts PAIMI Project and the former chair of National Disability Rights Network’s Legal Committee. Ms. Costanzo is co-counsel in a number of class action cases in New Mexico, Massachusetts, Oregon and Ohio which seek to promote the integration and to expand the rights of persons with psychiatric and developmental disabilities.
Ms. Costanzo is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with B.A. in Psychology and earned law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Steven J. Schwartz
Steven J. Schwartz is the Center’s Litigation Director. He began practicing mental disability law in 1971 after graduating from Harvard Law School and served as the Center’s Executive Director for 38 years, until September 2011. He has extensive experience litigating class action cases challenging issues related to the institutional confinement and community integration of persons with disabilities and has successfully resolved a number of damage cases for individuals with disabilities. Mr. Schwartz has authored a number of law review articles, testified before Congress on P&A authorizing legislation and abuse and neglect issues, and served on the faculty of the Harvard and Western New England Law Schools.
Alison Barkoff is Director of Advocacy at the Center’s Washington, D.C. office. She works on policy and litigation related to community integration and inclusion, including Olmstead, Medicaid, employment, housing, and education. She was appointed to serve on the federal Advisory Committee for Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities and is a co-chair of the Long Term Services and Supports Task Force of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities. She has testified before Congress and the U.S. Commimssion on Civil Rights regarding disability rights. From 2010 to 2014, she served as Special Counsel for Olmstead Enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, leading efforts to enforce the right of individuals with disabilities to live, work and receive services in the community. Ms. Barkoff also worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and with the Department of Labor. Prior to her time with the government, she worked at the Bazelon Center and other public interest organizations on Olmstead enforcement, disability discrimination, Medicaid, employment, and special education cases. She has an adult brother with an intellectual disability and has been involved in disability advocacy most of her life.
Jennifer Kaplan joined the Center as a senior attorney in 2020 after ten years in the federal courts. She clerked for three federal judges, including serving as chief of staff to the Honorable Michael A. Ponsor, United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts. Ms. Kaplan has served on the boards of Camp Howe, a 4-H camp in Goshen dedicated to providing a summer camp experience for all youth, and MotherWoman (now known as Women of Color Health Equity Collective), a nonprofit organization providing community-based perinatal support to mothers experiencing postpartum depression. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Western New England University School of Law.
Michael Kendrick is the director of initiatives on supported decision-making for CPR. These currently consist of five demonstration projects on supported decision-making in Massachusetts and one in Georgia in cooperation with the Georgia Advocacy Office, as well as a technical assistance center for Massachusetts. He has spent the last twenty years in international consulting and prior to that was the Assistant Commissioner for the Massachusetts Developmental Services Department, Director of the Institute for Leadership and Community Development and consultant to the International Initiative On Disability Leadership.
Anna Krieger came to the Center in 2015 from Disability Rights California, where she was a Civil Rights Litigation Fellow and worked on statewide mental health and discrimination cases. Previously, she was a Senior Patients’ Rights Attorney at the Mental Health Advocacy Project of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, representing thousands of individuals who were involuntarily detained in psychiatric hospitals. Ms. Krieger also served on the board of the California Association of Mental Health Patients’ Rights Advocates. Before becoming an attorney, she worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as an Emerson Fellow for the Congressional Hunger Center, where she worked as a community organizer in Montana. Ms. Krieger is a graduate of Haverford College and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).
Mark Murphy is a Senior Attorney with the Center for Public Representation. He has represented people with disabilities and disability rights organizations in a wide range of legal matters for more than 30 years, including cases involving the right to integrated, community-based services and the enforcement of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act, and Title XIX (Medicaid).
Prior to joining CPR, Mr. Murphy was the Managing Attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. He also has held senior positions in both the New York and Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy Systems, including serving as the Legal Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania and as the Executive Director of the Disabilities Law Project, based in Philadelphia. For several years he also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he taught the Law of Disability Discrimination and Mental Health Law.
Mr. Murphy is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Kathryn Rucker began her legal career with the Center in August of 1999. Ms. Rucker’s individual representation and system reform work focus on serving adults and children with serious mental illness, as well as individuals with Acquired Brain Injury. She is co-counsel in several of the Center’s class action lawsuits, advocating for the development and expansion of integrated community service systems. Ms. Rucker received her undergraduate education from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and went on to participate in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, where she volunteered in the domestic violence clinic and worked in co-op positions with Greater Boston Legal Services, the Department of Justice, and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
Santina Sciaba-Douglas joined the Center in 2003 and provides representation to western Massachusetts residents appealing Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) denials. She is a 2000 graduate of Western New England College School of Law. She was a law clerk to the justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In addition to her social security law expertise, she is an experienced mental health and education law advocate. Ms. Sciaba-Douglas is fluent in Spanish.
Erin Shea is Policy Associate with the Center for Public Representation. She works on a range of policy issues centered around community integration, including health care and employment. Prior to joining CPR, Erin was a policy and legal advocacy fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and interned at the Bazelon Center and the ACLU Disability Rights Program. Erin graduated from the New York University School of Law in 2018 and while in law school, founded the Disability Allied Law Students Association and co-chaired the Mental Health Law and Justice Association. She also completed a fellowship with NYU’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and was the Community Education and Accessibility Coordinator for her journal, NYU’s Review of Law & Social Change, where she drafted a language and style guide for the journal and was responsible for implementing its accommodations policy.
David Waldfogel joined CPR in April, 2012 and represents individuals in Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income cases. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Boston University School of Law. He was the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Justice Project, a federally funded Legal Aid program serving all of central and western Massachusetts, an organization he ran from 1997-2002. Prior to that Mr. Waldfogel worked at Queens Legal Services, New York and Western Massachusetts Legal Services where he specialized in Social Security/SSI and Elder law. He has conducted numerous trainings on Social Security/SSI law and in the delivery of legal services to low-income clients, and has served as an instructor at Greenfield Community College.
Karen joined the Center in 2007 after serving many years as a litigation paralegal at a Connecticut law firm specializing in disability discrimination in the workplace. Prior to entering the legal field, she worked in marketing at a southern Vermont ski area. At CPR, Karen provides legal and general office support, assists with website maintenance and fundraising, and also is the administrative assistant to the executive director. Karen holds degrees from Mount Ida College and UMass Amherst, and resides with her family in western Massachusetts.
Pam joined CPR in November of 1991. She completed her undergraduate degree work at Boston College and Marymount Fordham University. Her interest in disability rights was influenced by a sister with both physical and developmental disabilities. Her prior work experience includes teaching 3rd grade, running a family owned business and raising four children. She is a certified American Bar Association paralegal. Her current duties at the Center include office operations, client intake and referral, and litigation support.