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.
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Legal Director
Parisa joined MAIP in 2012 from the Special Litigation and Parole divisions of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Prior to working at PDS, Parisa was a Chesterfield Smith Fellow at Holland & Knight, where she represented clients on a pro bono basis. She recently spent a year teaching Legal Practice at New York Law School. She received degrees from the New York University School of Law and UC-Berkeley.
Caryn Fiscella, Operations Director
Caryn began volunteering at MAIP in 2010 and joined as a part-time staff member in 2011. Prior to MAIP, she volunteered for four years at the Metropolitan Police Department where she worked on the Violent Crime Case Review Project and spearheaded a total reorganization of the MPD Homicide Cold Case File Room. Earlier in her career, Caryn was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau in Montgomery County, Maryland. She has three grown children and enjoys her dogs, gardening, and travel.
Brianna Ford, Staff Attorney, University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic – an affiliate of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
Before joining the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Innocence Project Clinic, Brianna served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Post Conviction Defenders Division at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and went on to work as an investigator at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Soon after, Brianna earned her J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law, where she co-founded the Innocence Project Student Association.
Todd Kimmelman, Director of Development
Todd joined MAIP in June 2017. He received his MPA degree from George Washington University, and recently moved back to D.C. from Los Angeles, where he raised money for social justice organizations, large and small.
Michele Nethercott, Director, University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic – an affiliate of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
Michele is the 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 Foreniscs 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.
Elizabeth P. Raman, Screening Director
Elizabeth (Eily) came to MAIP in 2006 with a strong background in criminal defense. Prior to MAIP, she spent five years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt. Previously, she clerked for the Honorable Edith Brown Clement of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and was an Associate at Crowell & Moring LLP. Eily is a graduate of Harvard College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an articles editor of the American Criminal Law Review and a student attorney in the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinic. In her spare time, Eily enjoys reading contemporary fiction and spending time with her husband and three school-aged daughters.
Frances Y. Walters, Counsel
Frances joined the team at MAIP in 2013. Previously, Frances worked at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, where she maintained a strong pro bono practice and was named to the D.C. Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll each year. While at University of Michigan Law School, she was a member of the inaugural class of the Michigan Innocence Clinic; she graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Prior to her legal career, Frances earned a B.S. in Engineering from Princeton University and taught in Cape Town, South Africa, Boston, and San Diego. She is a mother of three children and enjoys yoga, baking and international travel.