Jason Solomon, Director
(415) 296-7629 |

Jason Solomon is the Director of the National Institute of Workers’ Rights. Before joining the Institute, Jason was Executive Director of the Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession, where he helped lead a national coalition on access to justice. From 2013–2016, he served as associate dean for academic affairs and chief of staff to the dean at Stanford Law School, where he worked on a range of strategic initiatives.  He also taught Employment Law, Statutory Interpretation, and Constitutional Litigation.

Before joining Stanford, he was a tenured professor at William and Mary Law School, where his research focused on the theory and practice of civil justice. He has served as Chief Legal Officer for a public charter school network, and his pro bono clients include habeas petitioners challenging criminal convictions and immigrants seeking relief from deportation.  In law school, he represented unemployment claimants, worked at the union-side labor firm Bredhoff and Kaiser as a summer associate, and externed at the National Employment Law Project and Brooklyn Legal Services A. 

Earlier in his career, he worked as a law clerk for judges in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and the Second Circuit in Manhattan, and as an aide at the White House and U.S. Treasury Department, where he worked on economic and health policy.  He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, and a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars.


Leah A. Hofkin, Director of Development
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Leah A. Hofkin joined the Institute and the National Employment Lawyers Association as Director of Development in 2010 with nearly 15 years of fundraising experience in the San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit community. She was Director of Development for Magic Theatre for five seasons, managed the institutional giving program for the American Conservatory Theater for four, and spent three years at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Ms. Hofkin began her career as a lawyer, working for prominent firms in New York, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Art Monastery Project, Jewish Voice for Peace, Keneset HaLev – Community of the Heart, and the San Francisco Children’s Art Center. Ms. Hofkin holds a B.A. with distinction from George Washington University, a J.D. from Columbia University, and a master’s degree from Golden Gate University.


Karen Maoki, Director of Strategy & Operations
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Karen Maoki joined the staff of the National Employment Lawyers Association in 2000 and now serves as Director of Strategy & Operations for the Institute and NELA. Ms. Maoki came to NELA from organized labor, having worked with UNITE HERE Local 2850 as an organizer intern and, later, their bookkeeper. In her free time, she has volunteered with Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution and Celebration of Craftswomen, a benefit for The Women’s Building of San Francisco. Ms. Maoki is a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Jeffrey A. Mittman, Executive Director
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Jeffrey A. Mittman is the Executive Director of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Institute for Workers’ Rights. Prior to joining the Institute team, he served as the chief operating officer for The Equity Project, a charter school focused on educational equity for students from low-income families. Jeffrey has held several positions in the ACLU family, including serving as the executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, which was pivotal in the investigation of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and in obtaining state recognition of marriage for same-sex couples. As an attorney in private law practice for several years, he specialized in litigation, including criminal defense and employment discrimination matters. Jeffrey did advocacy organizing for Equality California, and has volunteered on electoral campaigns.


Pedro A. Valverde, Digital Communications & Technology Manager
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Pedro Valverde joined the National Employment Lawyers Association in August 2000 as the Member Services Coordinator and is now the Digital Communications & Technology Manager. Prior to joining the NELA team, he worked at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in the Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources practice group. Mr. Valverde relocated to the Bay Area in 1998 from Austin, Texas where he worked for both defense and plaintiff firms.

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