Staff and Board

David Melton
Interim Executive Director
David Melton served as Executive Director of Reform for Illinois from 2013-2014, after which he joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer and Senior Advisor to the organization. David was an attorney in private practice, most recently with Mayer Brown and Foley & Lardner. He was part of the pro bono team of attorneys that sued the State of Illinois to compel compliance with federal statutes requiring “Motor Voter” registrations. David has extensive experience in Illinois state and local politics with a focus on campaign finance, civil liberties, and election reform.
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Alisa Kaplan
Policy Director
Alisa leads RFI's policy development, advocacy, and research initiatives. A Yale graduate with a law degree and Ph.D in Political Science from Northwestern University, Alisa brings expertise in law and the political process as well as a background in community organizing and grassroots activism. Alisa also teaches classes at Northwestern in Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties and is co-president of the Board of Open Communities, a Chicago-area civil rights and housing justice organization.

Members of the media or public with inquiries about policy issues can contact Alisa at 312-436-1274 or Alisa@ReformforIllnois.org.

Board of Directors

Hon. Daniel Biss
Director
Daniel Biss began his career as a mathematics professor at the University of Chicago before becoming an organizer and then elected official. He served as a member of the Illinois House and Illinois Senate and ran an insurgent grassroots campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor, coming in second in a crowded field. His campaigns and legislative service have all featured a strong commitment to public engagement, political reform, and clean funding of elections.
William Fehrman
President of the Board
Bill Fehrman is the Assistant Vice President of Development for Catholic Extension. He has an undergraduate degree in Philanthropy from DePaul University and is working towards a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies, also at DePaul. Bill lives in Park Ridge with his wife and three children.
Oren Jacobson
Director
Oren Jacobson currently works as a multi-sector consultant helping to develop effective strategies for the businesses and non-profits across the country. He holds an MBA and is currently working on his Master’s in Economics and Policy Analysis at DePaul University.
Carl Johnson
Director
Carl Johnson is an associate at the litigation boutique, Novack and Macey LLP. He earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Yale University and his J.D. from Columbia University. In the 2016 election cycle, Carl was a Deputy Voter Protection Director in Wisconsin, and in the fall of 2014, he was a Legal Research Fellow at ICPR.
Michelle K. Jordan
Director
Michelle is on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Judicial Reform Issues Specialist for the League of Women Voters of Illinois. She works as General Counsel to Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.
Mark Levy
Director
Mark Levy was Vice President – Tax at Henry Crown and Company where he led the Tax Department until his retirement. Previously Mark was a Tax Partner with Arthur Young and Company. Mark’s volunteer activities include serving on the Board of the Jewish Children’s Bureau of Chicago, where he was President at the time of its 100th Anniversary, Jewish Child and Family Services, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Mark received his BBA degree from the University of Michigan and his JD degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
Hon. Karen McConnaughay
Director
Karen began her career in public service as a Kane County Board of Commissioner in 1992 and became Chairman in 2004. On the Board, she served on the Executive, Transportation, and Community Development Committees. In 2012, she took office as an Illinois state senator for the 33rd District, where she focused on issues like education, appropriations, and pension investments. Following her retirement from the Senate in 2018, Karen became national government affairs advisor for the Boys and Girls Club in America. Karen joined the Reform for Illinois board in December 2018.
David Melton
Director
David Melton was elected to the Board of Directors in May, 2013 and resigned that position in July to assume the duties of Executive Director. In January of 2016, he resumed his position on the Board as Treasurer and Senior Advisor to the organization. Melton was an attorney in private practice, most recently with Mayer Brown and Foley & Lardner, with extensive experience in intellectual property matters. Melton was part of the pro bono team of attorneys that sued the State of Illinois to compel compliance with federal statutes requiring “Motor Voter” registration. A former Board member (including a term as President of the Board) of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, Melton has devoted significant time and expertise to improving judicial selection and protecting civil liberties.
Dana Pownall
Director
Dana Pownall received her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2014. During her studies, Dana focused on public interest law, access to justice issues, legislative advocacy, and civic engagement within the law school community. She served as Vice President and President of her law school’s student chapter of the American Constitution Society, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the lawyers chapter of ACS. Prior to receiving her degree, Dana worked extensively in marketing and fundraising in both the private and public sector.

 

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