Steering Committee

The Steering Committee guides the organization, and is comprised of member-leaders who have risen to distinction through their contributions to the organization. During these initial years the steering committee provides much needed stability with the primary goal of shaping the organization into a self-sufficient and self-governing organization. The structure gives the NAPD an opportunity to grow and adjust organically prior to settling into a more formal structure, and ensures that the organization is true to its mission, vision, goals and values. The steering committee, working alongside the general NAPD membership, is working towards:

  • Securing necessary organizational funding/revenue;
  • Growing membership;
  • Reinforcing the overarching mission, vision, goals, and values;
  • Creating an institutional governance structure capable of sustaining NAPD; and,
  • Improving public defense throughout the country.

The Steering Committee is chaired by Mark Stephens and Paul DeWolfe is Vice-Chair. Stephen Hanlon is NAPD's General Counsel. Professor Norman Lefstein serves as a special advisor to the NAPD Steering Committee (non-voting). An Executive Committee serves NAPD, including members Alex Bassos, Dawn Deaner, Paul DeWolfe, Ed Monahan and Mark Stephens.

Committee Members:


NAPD News


July 1, 2017: NAPD announces Save the Date for 2017 Workloads Institute, to be held at SLU Law School (St. Louis, MO) on November 17-18, 2017. Click HERE for a brochure with details and faculty!
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 

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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.