Board of Directors

Stephanie Battaglino

Stephanie is a Corporate Vice President at New York Life insurance Company. She successfully transitioned on the job in October of 2005, and in so doing, worked collaboratively with the company’s human resources executives to establish a process for successful workplace transitions for transgender employees and championed the modification of both the Company’s EEO and non-discrimination policies to include gender identity. She spearheaded the formation of the first-ever LGBT employee network group in the history of the company – NYLPride – in May of 2007. Stephanie’s professional career spans over 30 years in marketing, communications and strategic planning.

Outside of her professional life, Stephanie is a tireless activist and advocate for transgender rights – both in and out of the workplace. Stephanie is on the Board of Directors of PFLAG National, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City, as well as the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). In addition, she is a former Communications Director and Board member for the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), and is the past Chair of the organization’s endowment fund, the Winslow Street Fund. She is a past commissioner for the Oasis Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, whose mission it is to foster a greater awareness and understanding of the LGBT community throughout its 120 congregations.

She is also active in the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates organization as a certified LGBT Diversity national trainer as well as being an active member of their Transgender Advisory Committee. She is also a past member of the organization’s New York Metro Area regional affiliate’s Leadership Council.

She has been a member of New Jersey’s trans-activist organization, the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey (GRAANJ), which, along with Garden State Equality, led the fight for passage of an amendment to the law against discrimination in New Jersey that extended a broad spectrum of protections to the transgender community on the basis of gender identity and expression. She is also the past facilitator of the transgender support group, TrueSelves, conducted in cooperation with the Pride Center of New Jersey.

As the founder and owner of Follow Your Heart, LLC she is an internationally recognized speaker, workshop presenter and trainer, who delivers motivational keynote speeches and educates through customized interactive workshop presentations focused on how to create transgender inclusive workplaces. These include information about workplace inclusive policy development for transgender workers - be they transition guidelines and/or trans-inclusive health benefits and basic education on the transgender community in general.

Her speeches and talks center on personal empowerment from the inside out - told through the lens of her own personal story of transition and continuing life's journey. Her mission is “to change hearts and minds by creating a more diverse world through education, inspiration and motivation.”

She speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies, colleges, churches and community groups throughout the New York metropolitan area, nationally and internationally.

David Brown

David Brown is a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. He earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. in international relations and Latin American studies from Pomona College. David has been a grantmaker to human rights groups in Central America and provided legal and translation assistance to a number of LGBT rights organizations both there and in the United States. He has authored a number of publications, including a study of anti-LGBT hate crimes in Honduras, a Practitioners Guide to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and International Human Rights Law, and an article in the Michigan Journal of International Law on the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. David was one of TLDEF's first interns.

Katherine Cooper

Kathy has served as the Chief Regulatory Officer of NYSE Liffe US, a futures exchange operated by the New York Stock Exchange, since it was launched in 2008.  In that role, she has advised the exchange’s Board and senior management on legal and regulatory issues and been responsible for the exchange’s self-regulatory obligation to police market participants’ compliance with applicable law and the exchange’s rules.  Kathy is the first employee to transition at the New York Stock Exchange.

Prior to her role at NYSE, she held senior compliance positions at two large investment banks, prosecuted commodity frauds as an enforcement attorney at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and in private practice represented clients in anti-trust, securities and commodities investigations run by the Securities Exchange Commission, the United States Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. While in private practice, her pro bono work included the representation of a prisoner in a prisoner rights case, homeless plaintiffs seeking to exercise their free speech rights in the New York City subway system, and tenants in eviction proceedings.

Kathy is a graduate of the University of Virginia School Law, the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Columbia College.

Michael Flynn

Mike is a partner in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright.  Mike heads the firm’s Technology Business Group in the United States and co-chairs the global Technology International Business Group.  He focuses his practice on corporate law, private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Mike has been recognized by Chambers USA as a nationwide expert in the field of venture capital and by New York Metro “Super Lawyers” as an expert in corporate law.

Mike is on the firm’s national Pro Bono Committee and co-chairs the Pro Bono Committee in the New York office.  In addition to his work on behalf of the transgender community, Mike regularly provides legal assistance to non-profit and community healthcare organizations in the greater New York area.

Mike received his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School and his B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  He lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York with his wife Mary-Claire and their three children.

Robyn Gigl

Robyn is the managing partner of the law firm of Stein, McGuire, Pantages & Gigl, LLP, in Livingston, New Jersey.  Robyn has been a partner in the firm for more than 25 years and in 2007 became managing partner. Robyn practices primarily in the areas of employment law, commercial litigation and criminal defense.

Robyn is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of New Jersey as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Robyn is the Chair of the LGBT Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is also a member of Labor and Employment Law Section, Women in the Profession Section and the Business & Commercial Litigation Committee.

Robyn is co-author of the chapter on Title VII in Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace published by BNA (2014). She has contributed articles to New Jersey Lawyer and LGBT Rights Section’s Newsletter. She is a frequent speaker on LGBT employment and discrimination issues, including programs sponsored by the New Jersey Judicial College, EEOC, NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education, NJ State Bar Association, Rutgers University and the Bar of the City of New York. Since 2010, Robyn has been selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyer.

Robyn is a graduate of Stonehill College, and Villanova University School of Law where she was a Member and Associate Editor of the Villanova Law Review.

Elise Gordon

Elise Gordon is Founder and CEO of Purple Genie Inc., a New York City information technology goods and services supplier.  Purple Genie’s clients include noted LGBT organizations such as The Stonewall Community Foundation, The Trevor Project and the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.  Purple Genie has also provided technology equipment and services pro bono for the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Ms. Gordon garnered her vast experience over the past 25+ years working in the IT industry for two international technology giants - Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and Sun Microsystems.   

As a trailblazing transgender businesswoman, Ms. Gordon has been invited to both The White House and Capitol Hill to discuss diversity issues and how top government officials can better form policy and assist LGBT small businesses.  Elise has also been a panelist at the United Nations during the World Diversity Leadership Summit.

A former Broadway theater critic, Ms. Gordon holds both a B.A. and M.F.A. in Theater and Arts Management respectively, from Brooklyn College.  She is also a former doctoral candidate at New York University in Educational Drama.  Elise served proudly in the military and is a service disabled U.S. Naval veteran.

Paul C. Madden

Paul is Counsel in the Philadelphia office of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney.  Paul’s practice focuses on complex commercial, appellate and Constitutional litigation, including first Amendment issues.  Paul has appeared in cases in at least in fifteen states, as well as in international and domestic arbitrations, and has been lead counsel in several Multi-District Litigations.   Paul has served as Chair of a Sub-Committee of the Federal Procedure Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.

Paul is a coordinator of his Firm’s participation in TLDEF’s Name Change Project, is a member of the Firm’s Non-Traditional Couples Practice Group and was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Reading Terminal Market (appointed by the Reading Terminal Market Merchants Association) as well as Chair of Annual Fundraising at Friends Select School.  While on the Reading Terminal Market Board, Paul was instrumental in obtaining dedicated parking for this urban public market and in qualifying Market merchants under the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, making the benefits of that food subsidy program available to inner-city needy women, infant and children for the first time.  

Paul earned his JD at Duke University School of Law, with Honors, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal and the National Moot Court team. Paul was previously a Shareholder or Partner at the Buchanan firm, as well as at Saul Ewing LLP and Rawle & Henderson, the nation’s oldest law firm.

Michael D. Silverman

(hi-res photo)

Michael has been TLDEF's 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.

Click to contact Michael.

Mike Stafford

Mike has been producing and directing television shows for over 18 years for a variety of networks including, ABC, Bravo, Comedy Central, Columbia Tri-Star, Direct TV, Discovery, DIY, ESPN, MLB Network, NBC, TLC, The Style Channel, Telepictures, TrueTV, Twentieth Century Television and WE.

Every phase of production requires some legal involvement and Mike decided to pursue a law degree.  While producing full time, he attended St. John’s University Law School at night.  It was during his time at St. John’s that Mike discovered TLDEF and started volunteering.

After passing the bar exam, Mike was admitted to practice in New York State.  He is currently a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Producers Guild of America.

Susan Zachman

Sue is the Director of Corporate Partnerships for ScriptEd - a start up non-profit that uses the power of corporate engagement to equip students in under-resourced New York City high schools with the fundamental coding skills and professional experiences that together create access to careers in technology.

Before joining ScriptEd, Sue served as Deputy Policy Director for Christine C. Quinn’s campaign for Mayor of New York City, working on policy proposals for economic development, technology, transportation, education, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, women, and senior citizens.

Prior to that, Sue was a private equity transactions partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she led deals ranging from start-up phase to highly-complex cross-border transactions of over $1 billion. At Kirkland, Sue also led the firm’s diversity and pro bono initiatives, developing groundbreaking collaborative programs that brought together the firm’s Fortune 500 clients and its not-for-profit organization pro bono clients.

Prior to Kirkland, Sue was a founding employee at Biosense, a Haifa, Israel based high-tech medical device company later acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Sue has a JD/MBA from Columbia University, a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from UC San Diego.