Our Team

Shawn Armbrust

Executive Director 

Shawn has been MAIP’s Executive Director since 2005. Prior to her work at MAIP, she served as a law clerk to Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was the case coordinator at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law. Shawn has been a board member of the Innocence Network since 2007, and is a member of the National Committee on the Right to Counsel, and the D.C. Superior Court Ad Hoc Committee, which examines the causes of wrongful convictions in the District. Shawn is a graduate of Northwestern University and Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an articles editor of the American Criminal Law Review and published an article on compensating the wrongly convicted. She has one daughter and enjoys hiking, travel, cooking, reading, and tennis.

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Maggie Abernethy

Staff Attorney 

Maggie Abernethy joined MAIP in 2021. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College, and cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. During law school, Maggie worked in the Michigan Innocence Clinic for two years, which earned her the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award, and was the managing editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Prior to her work at MAIP, she was a litigation associate in O’Melveny & Myers’ D.C. office where she maintained a robust pro bono practice in criminal indigent defense. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joshua Deahl on the D.C. Court of Appeals.

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Claudia Baker

LCSW, MPH, Client Services Specialist 

Claudia joined MAIP in 2023. She worked as a social worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 11 years, first in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Programs in San Francisco and Brooklyn and then at the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Menlo Park, CA. She also worked as a mitigation specialist in capital cases for 5 years. Immediately prior to joining MAIP she worked for 18 years as a Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State, where her final assignment was as the Family Engagement Coordinator at the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley. She also completed a fellowship in Forensic Mental Health from New York University and is a Certified Disaster Mental Health Responder with the American Red Cross. She hails from San Francisco and has been living in Washington with her son since 2018.

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Dan Bernstein

Data Specialist 

Dan joined MAIP as a data specialist in 2024. Prior to working at MAIP, Dan was a software developer at the Legal Services Corporation, where he helped legal aid providers leverage public data for outreach and advocacy to combat eviction and debt collection. He has also worked with nonprofits around the country to build digital tools to streamline client intake and analyze data to identify racial disparities in the justice system. Dan received his B.S. in Chemistry from the George Washington University. In his free time, Dan enjoys mountain biking, woodworking, and Ultimate Frisbee.

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Marisa Edmondson


Marisa joined MAIP as a paralegal in 2023. Prior to working at MAIP, she worked for a foreign policy advocacy organization doing communications and outreach. Marisa is the Co-founder of Delta County Coalition Advocating for Radically Equitable Spaces, a non-profit in her Colorado hometown that seeks to advance equity and justice for historically excluded and marginalized communities through community education and scholarship programs. Marisa is a graduate of Middlebury College where she studied Political Science and Arabic and was a member of the track team. In her free time, Marisa enjoys sewing, reading, rock climbing, skiing, rafting, and exploring the outdoors.

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Aaron Fellows

Legal Associate 

Aaron joined MAIP in August 2023. He is passionate about improving systems large and small. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from Lewis & Clark college.

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Jennifer Kamorowski

Screening Manager 

Prior to joining MAIP in September 2022, Jenn was an assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She also previously worked for the Military Commissions Defense Organization as a member of the legal team litigating a capital case. In 2021, Jenn earned a joint PhD in legal psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and Gothenburg University in Sweden. Her research projects included examining the effects of bias on juror decision-making with respect to risk assessment. Jenn also earned a master’s degree in Criminology, Law, and Society from George Mason University and a law degree from the Massachusetts School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Jenn is passionate about using social science research and data analysis to create a more just, fair, and transparent criminal legal system.

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Hannah Katz

Operations Associate 

Hannah joined MAIP in September 2023. She is currently pursuing her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from George Washington University. Prior to working at MAIP, she worked as an Outreach Manager at Foreign Policy for America and Finance Director for Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court. She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Security, Norms, and Cooperation from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring DC.

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Jay Millikan

Staff Attorney 

Jay joined MAIP in October 2021. Previously, he was a trial-level public defender in both Maryland and Charlotte, North Carolina, and worked on the class action lawsuit pursued by residents of Flint, Michigan who had been poisoned by lead in their drinking water. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he did research for the National Registry of Exonerations and worked in the Criminal Appellate Clinic. Prior to law school Jay was a political campaign professional and served as a speechwriter for the federal government. In his spare time, Jay enjoys watching old movies, following Boston sports, and spending time with his wife and two children.

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Amanda Millir


Amanda joined MAIP in 2024. She has worked in the gender-based violence field since 2012, focusing specifically on victim advocacy. She has held a variety of roles including a Victim Advocate for the military on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, a Resident Advocate in a domestic violence shelter helping victims safely flee their abusive relationship, a Court Specialist in Fairfax County’s Domestic Violence Action Center, a Program Manager with The Women’s Center where she also started their first-ever survivor led peer support group, and most recently as an Intimate Partner Violence Specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center working with victims of gun violence in the city of Baltimore and victims of intimate partner violence from across the state of Maryland. Amanda sits on the Survivor Advisory Board for the MD-Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and the Survivor Advisory Committee for Fin-Ability, a national organization that does financial empowerment work with survivors. Amanda earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California and is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Michigan. She has two children and enjoys traveling, thrifting, DIY-ing, reading, podcast binging, and working out.


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James Moody

Legal Director 

James Moody joined the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project in 2021. Prior to working at MAIP, he was a public defender in Miami, Florida, where he served as both a trial and appellate attorney. Outside of law, James has spent time as an executive in the tech industry, ski instructing, and playing in blues bands. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and NYU School of Law.

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Michele Nethercott

Of Counsel 

Michele is the former director of the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic and is a graduate of Northeastern University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the years she has represented numerous clients who were exonerated on the basis of post-conviction DNA testing and other forms of newly discovered evidence. She began her career as a trial attorney with the Office of the Public Defender for the State of Maryland in 1988 and has handled numerous felony trials including several death penalty cases. She created and ran a Forensics Division in the Office of the Public Defender in the early 1990’s and has served as the co-chair of the Forensics Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Michele is an expert on DNA and various other forms of scientific evidence and has lectured around the country and published articles in NACDL ‘s Champion on the topic. She has taught law students at the University of Maryland School of Law and the University of Haifa.

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Emily Heun Pate


Emily, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a paralegal and investigator. She earned her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County before earning an M.A. in English from the University of Nevada, Reno where she also taught introductory writing courses. She has worked with native communities in South Dakota and Arizona and served as a law clerk for the Navajo Nation Supreme Court. Emily received her J.D. from Vermont Law School, earning a certificate in mediation. Always passionate about social and community justice, Emily began to focus specifically on criminal law while serving as a law clerk and District Court Commissioner for Maryland’s 10th district in Howard County.

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Jake Richardson

Investigations Manager 

Jake joined MAIP in 2022. He is originally from Richmond, VA and attended Longwood University where he studied Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Sociology. In 2014 Jake began serving communities across Central Virginia as a police officer and detective. Understanding the importance of Community Policing, Jake was outspoken on issues such as gun violence, police accountability, and access to resources throughout the community. In 2020, Jake switched gears and became a teacher at the Advanced Career Education Center in Henrico, VA; within this role he was able to also serve as an adjunct-instructor for J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College. Drawing on experience and education, Jake enjoys blending traditional and innovative investigation approaches to further MAIP’s mission.

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Iris Wu

Development and Communications Associate 

Iris joined MAIP in February 2022. She previously interned at the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes, and visiting DC’s art museums.

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