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

On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.

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Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE