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.
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.
Jenny Ash, Operations Manager
Jenny joined MAIP in January 2021. She comes to MAIP from a journalism non-profit where she served as the director of operations and program manager for eight years. She has worked extensively in office finances and operations, including running her own small business. Over her career, Jenny has had a private massage practice, and managed a 1,200-booth convention. She received her B.A. in Economics from Union College in New York. Jenny loves to travel, particularly internationally, or anywhere with lakes and rivers.
Todd Kimmelman, Deputy Director
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.
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.
Emily Heun Pate, Paralegal/Investigator
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.
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.
Brandon Parker, Development Associate
Brandon joined MAIP in March 2021. He began his work in philanthropy as an intern for the College of Social Science’s development team at Michigan State University, where he also graduated with a Bachelor’s in Arabic and Global Studies. Upon his graduation, Brandon found employment with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan working with their fundraising team. Brandon loves to travel, especially road trips, hiking, and enjoys watching old movies. Brandon is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
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 family.
Sophie Vick, Investigator
Sophie has been with MAIP since 2018. Prior to that, she spent 5 years as an Investigator at DC’s Children’s Law Center, where she assisted guardians ad litem in their representation of children in family court. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dayton. After several years in a PhD program that focused on philosophical analyses of race, gender, and oppression, she left to pursue a career in legal solutions to those issues. She specializes in trauma-informed interviewing and creative, in-depth research that blends traditional sources with the ever-expanding range of internet and social media content. Sophie regularly conducts trainings for law schools and firms on strategies for open source intelligence investigation. She loves baseball, roller skating, and the Eurovision Song Contest.