Chair: Jan Konesey was formerly a lobbyist for Common Cause/Delaware, and more recently is retired as a Senior Vice President at Bank of America in Human Resources where she supported Consumer Real Estate and Insurance Services, a division of Global Consumer & Small Business Banking. Prior to this role, she held a number of positions in Card Services and Community Investment. In the community, she has served both as an elected and appointed official in the city of Rehoboth Beach and on numerous non-profit boards. Currently she is a member of the Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission and chairperson of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts Film Society.
Vice Chair 1: Jeffrey A. Raffel retired as the Charles P. Messick Professor of Public Administration at the University of Delaware. Dr. Raffel served as the Director of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Raffel’s research focuses on educational policy issues including school desegregation as well as public administration issues. He is the lead editor of the book Public Sector Leadership: International Challenges and Perspectives published in 2009. Raffel, who began as a professor at the University of Delaware in 1971, serves as a board member and was vice-president of ACLU-Delaware, served as President of the Delaware Association for Public Administration, was a co-founder of the Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL) and founder of the Civil Liberties Union at the UD. Dr. Raffel served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) in 2009-2010 and has chaired the national accreditation commission for programs in public affairs, public policy, and public administration. He served as chair of Common Cause Delaware from 2009-2015.
Vice Chair 2: Jeff Goddess has been a trial attorney in Delaware throughout his career. This has all been in private practice except for a period (1977-81) when he was the City Solicitor for the City of Wilmington in the administration of Mayor William T. McLaughlin. At Rosenthal, Monhait since 1991, his practice is almost exclusively trial work, involving both jury and bench trials over contract, business and intra-entity disputes, as well as casualty matters and occasional related insurance coverage disputes. Jeff also serves as local liaison counsel in both individual and class action proceedings where his extensive trial experience can be of benefit to out-of-town lead counsel.
Treasurer: John D. Baker, CFRE, MPA, is currently the Executive Vice President for Policy & Programs of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA). John has worked with DANA for over four years supporting their regeneration and the introduction of the Standards for Excellence®, organizational best practices. John is a Standard for Excellence® Licensed Consultant & Trainer. John has served in many nonprofit leadership positions on Boards and committees and also achieved and maintained his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) status since 2003. Nearly 17 years ago, John focused his commercial banking, non-profit volunteer experience, and Business Administration & Public Policy and Administration education on AIDS Delaware, now one of Delaware’s premier agencies. As Executive Director, John more than doubled the revenues and programs of the agency as well as earning statewide visibility and respect. John has been the President of the Community Service Building (CSB) Tenant Council (3 terms), a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Brandywine Chapter (AFP), Philanthropy Day Education Committee Chair, Hearts and Minds Community Advisory Board, Serviam Media Board Treasurer, was a founding board member of the Delaware Liberty Fund and You’re Not Alone Youth Program. He has formerly served as Co-Chair of the United Way of Delaware's Campaign Cabinet for the Agency Sector and as a member of the Steering Committee of the United Way of Delaware COAE. John obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rider University and a Master of Public Policy & Administration from Rutgers University.
Secretary: Erin Daly is Professor of Law at Widener Law Delaware and formerly Interim Dean. She received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1983, and a J.D. from University of Michigan in 1989, cum laude. Daly has written extensively on comparative constitutional law and transitional justice issues throughout the world. Most recently, she published (with James R. May) Global Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge 2014), which surveys the trend in constitutional protection for environmental rights around the world and examines the challenges to and opportunities for judicial enforcement of those rights. She is also the author of Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the Human Person (U. Penn 2012) and co-author of Reconciliation in Divided Societies: Finding Common Ground (U. Penn 2006, 2010). Prof. Daly teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Administrative Law, and Human Rights and has been on the Widener faculty since 1993.
Karl Agne (CCDE Legislative and Public Policy Committee Chair) is a founding partner of GBA Strategies, providing strategic planning, communications, and research services to a wide range of non-profit organizations, small and large businesses, and candidates for elected office. Agne specializes in the use of focus groups and in-depth interviews, as well as media testing and traditional survey research, to gain greater insight into consumers’ and voters’ decision-making processes. Agne has conducted research for hundreds of political campaigns at every level, from municipal elections to congressional and gubernatorial contests to directing national research and message development for the Gore-Lieberman campaign. He began his research career as a Senior Associate with Greenberg Quinlan Research, then founded Democracy Corps and served as its first Executive Director before launching his own firm in 2001. Agne’s analysis and commentary have been featured on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, and NPR; in progressive blogs including DailyKos, TPMCafe, and The Democratic Strategist; and in numerous print outlets, including The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Business Week, The Nation, American Prospect, and The Boston Globe. Agne received his Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and earned a Master of Arts in campaign management from the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University.
The Hon. Steven H. Amick served as the chairman of Conaty Curran Amick and Farmer & Smith. He has been a member of the Delaware Bar for 40 years as a lawyer for DuPont and in private practice. He was first elected to the Delaware General Assembly in 1986 as a member of the State House of Representatives from the 25th Representative District. In 1994 he was elected to the State Senate from the 10th District. As a member of the General Assembly he worked with four Governors and Republicans and Democrats alike to improve the quality of life for Delawareans in a wide variety of ways, and gained a reputation as a careful, thoughtful, articulate legislator more concerned with getting the most out of government rather than partisan bickering. He retired from the legislature in 2008.
Reverend Elizabeth (Beth) Doty was Common Cause Delaware’s Executive Director from 1982-1988. In addition, she has done work as a pastor, and as a social worker in public welfare and children’s services, as Executive Director of the Christian Council of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland as well as the Pencader Hundred Community Center. Beth has also been a consultant for many nonprofits for coaching, grant writing, and strategic planning. Her community service includes board service with the Food Conservers of Delaware (food bank); Leadership Delaware; Friendship House Board (services and shelter for the homeless); New Castle Presbytery Speer Trust Commission (administers grants to organizations working with poor on issues of community development); Meeting Ground Council (shelter, services and advocacy for the homeless); University of Delaware’s African American History Project; Diversity Facilitator, New Castle Presbytery; Mission Development Unit of New Castle Presbyter; Delaware State Hospital; Community Committee on Diversity Planning; Cecil County Men’s Shelter; Connections CSP (comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment and housing provider); West Rehoboth Community Land Trust; Coalition for West Rehoboth Board; and the Lewes Rehoboth Association of Churches Homeless Task Force. Beth received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina in Sociology/ Anthropology, and a Masters of Divinity from the Lancaster Theological Seminary.
Matthew Lynch, Esq. has been a Delaware attorney and member of the Delaware Bar Association for more than 30 years. Matt began his career representing numerous Delaware state agencies as a Deputy Attorney General with the Department of Justice. Since leaving the Department of Justice, he has worked as counsel and chief compliance officer for several banks and financial services firms. He is currently Deputy Director of Programs with the Ministry of Caring, Inc. a community-based nonprofit organization that provides a network of social, health and support services for those living in poverty, including the homeless and working poor, in Wilmington, Delaware. He has served on numerous non-profit boards and commissions primarily focusing on social service issues. In addition to his service as a Board member of Common Cause of Delaware, he served on the Board of the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula and was formerly Chair. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Children's Advocacy Center of Delaware, an agency devoted to the prevention of child abuse, and is an Emeritus member of that Board. Matt lives in Wilmington, Delaware.
Kathleen MacRae joined the ACLU-DE as executive director in November of 2010. She relocated to Delaware from New Mexico where she had worked for the ACLU-NM as development director. Before settling in with the ACLU, Kathleen was the executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty. There she led the campaign that won passage of repeal legislation in the NM House of Representatives for the first time in 2005. In March 2009, after a 10 year effort, New Mexico’s death penalty was abolished. Kathleen has a Master’s Degree in social work from Rhode Island College with concentrations in policy analysis, community organizing and social service administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the board of directors of Equality Delaware, Inc.
George Meldrum is the Senior Advisor for Governmental & Community Affairs and a Registered Lobbyist for the Nemours Foundation. The focus of his work is around children’s health promotion, behavioral health, increasing physical activity for children, combating obesity and other issues relevant to the Nemours Foundation vision. Prior to that position he served as Deputy Director of the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems and as the Youth Development Administrator at the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth & their Families. He held several other positions in state government. Mr. Meldrum has a BA in history and a BA in international relations from the University of Delaware and a MA in psychology from Washington College. He currently serves on the Executive Council of AARP, the Board of Directors of the Delaware Children’s Museum, Common Cause of Delaware, the Manufactured Home Relocation Authority, the Delaware Arts Alliance and the University Schools Alliance. In the past he has served on the boards of the YMCA Resource Center, the Mental Health Association, New Castle County Head Start, the Community Services Corporation, AIDS Delaware, J.U.S.T. for Youth, the Delaware Liberty Fund, the Claymont Community Center, Children’s Home of Delaware, the City Theater Company, the University of Delaware 4-H Advisory Council. He is a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and Mental Health, is co-chair of the Statewide Health Advisory Council, a member of the Department of Services for Children, Youth & their Families Advisory Council and serves on the Advisory Council of Equality Delaware.
Judy Mellen is the former executive director of the Delaware American Civil Liberties Union. She received the Delaware Bar Association Liberty Bell Award for her work improving state policy towards juvenile offenders and educating homeless children.
Michael Smith is the Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships for College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware, where he oversees the communications & marketing team, works as legislative liaison for college, economic development, external affairs and creates/implements partnerships for the college’s research, academic and clinical programs. Previously, Michael was the Executive Director of the Greater Newark Economic Development Partnership, which merges the business community, academia, and city government to promote business launch, growth and success in the Greater Newark, DE area. Michael has his BA in Political Science from the University of Delaware and his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Delaware in Public and Non Profit Management. Prior to working for the Partnership, Michael was Assistant Finance Director for Congressman Mike Castle and Deputy Campaign Manager for his 2008 re-election campaign for Congress. Michael also worked in the private sector for Comcast Corporation and Verizon Delaware. Along with his professional and educational experience, Michael is on several boards and is active in the community.
Boyd Sorenson is a volunteer focused on catalyzing and implementing positive actions leading to peace in our communities and world. His professional career in marketing and management has developed skills in matching expertise with client and market needs and new product/technology/business development. He retired as President of The CECON Group, Inc., a technical consulting referral firm. Previously he imported and marketed titanium dioxide from China; worked in new business development at W. L. Gore & Associates; and retired from DuPont, working 25 years as venture, product and marketing management, sales and financial analysis. Boyd has served as a director for The Center for Creative Arts, Red Clay Valley Association, Delaware Greenways and GHADA, where he served as president. He is a board member of Common Cause Delaware. Boyd has degrees in chemistry and business management from Brigham Young University and has lived in Yorklyn for 42 years. He is married, has three grown children and 7 grandchildren.
Andrew Wilson (CCDE Membership Committee Chair) is currently Campaign Manager for Sean Barney for State Treasurer and the External Affairs Coordinator for the Medical Society of Delaware. He is a New York-licensed attorney and an associate member of the Delaware State Bar Association. He began his career as counsel in the New York State Senate focusing on issues of Government Efficiency and Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Drew came to Delaware through campaigns and in 2012 was the New Castle County Regional Field Director for the Democratic Party. He has a strong history of volunteerism, most recently donating his time to Kind to Kids, the Delaware Food Bank, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club. Additionally, he is a member of Delaware Greenways, American for Democratic Action, CBTU, and on the board of the Delaware Young Democrats.