Board of Directors

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 is the principal of the Law Office of Katherine Cooper where she is involved in advising clients on issues arising from financial services law and regulations as well as representing clients in commercial litigation. Prior to launching her firm, Kathy served as the Chief Regulatory Officer of NYSE Liffe US, a futures exchange operated by the New York Stock Exchange, from its launch in 2008 through its closure in a merger-related reorganization in December 2014. In that role, she advised the exchange’s Board and senior management on legal and regulatory issues and was responsible for the exchange’s self-regulatory function policing market participants’ compliance with applicable law and rules. Kathy was 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 she was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, her pro bono work included the representation of an inmate 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 of Law, the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Columbia College.

Joseph Hall, Co-Chair

Joe is a member of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Corporate Department and head of the firm’s corporate governance practice. He works on the full range of capital markets transactions, and advises public companies and regulated entities on corporate governance and financial regulatory compliance. He is a frequent speaker on topics of corporate governance and SEC compliance.

Joe began his career at Davis Polk in 1989. Between 2003 and 2005 he served at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, ultimately as Managing Executive for Policy under Chairman William H. Donaldson. As a member of Chairman Donaldson’s senior management team, Joe assisted in directing the Commission’s policy-making and enforcement activities.

Alaina Kupec, Co-Chair

Alaina leads a team of highly talented field sales colleagues for Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.  Previously, she led Pfizer’s primary care communications team in the U.S.  Her responsibilities included the strategic and day-to-day communications needs of 5 U.S. regional Presidents, and all other senior leaders within Pfizer’s primary care business. 

Before her role in communications, Alaina was a Director, Public Affairs, where she was responsible for Pfizer’s legislative grassroots programs. She worked closely with the federal and state lobbying teams, in addition to also helping shape policy issues related to field sales and marketing.  She also served as the Government Relations liaison to senior sales leadership and was a frequent guest presenter at Pfizer’s U.S. facilities, educating colleagues on legislative and policy issues concerning Pfizer.

Alaina’s professional career began after graduating cum laude from NC State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science, where she was also honored as the 1992 Naval ROTC Honor Graduate.  After graduation, Alaina served in the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence Officer in a FA-18 squadron, where she was recognized as the 1994 Ground Officer of the Year and also received two Navy Achievement Medals for her leadership.

Alaina currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC with her partner Kathy, and has three teenage sons.

Maryellen Madden

Maryellen is Counsel in the Philadelphia office of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. Maryellen’s practice focuses on complex commercial, appellate and Constitutional litigation, including first Amendment issues. Maryellen 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. Maryellen has served as Chair of a Sub-Committee of the Federal Procedure Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.

Maryellen is a coordinator of her 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, Maryellen 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. An award for outstanding service to the Market is given in Maryellen’s name by the Market’s Merchant Association.

Maryellen earned her JD at Duke University School of Law, with Honors, where she was a member of the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal and the National Moot Court team. Maryellen 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.

Susan Zachman

Sue joined the TLDEF board when she 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.

Most recently Sue has been involved in the New York City start-up ecosystem as an angel investor and advisor, and worked with ScriptEd, a start-up organization that uses volunteer software developers to teach coding in low-income New York City high schools, to develop strategic plans and corporate partnerships, and as Deputy Policy Director for Christine Quinn’s campaign for Mayor of New York City.