Bill of Rights Defense Committee Staff
Shahid Buttar, executive director, leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the People’s Campaign for the Constitution (PCC) in our efforts to defend civil liberties, constitutional rights, and rule of law principles threatened within the United States by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He is a constitutional lawyer, grassroots organizer, independent columnist, musician, and poet.
George Friday, field organizer, grew up in rural NC in the 1960s. She holds degrees in political science, economics, and African American studies from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she graduated in 1982. George works with grassroots community and national organizations providing leadership development and skills training ranging from strategic planning and organizing to fundraising, marketing, and community building. Her work particularly focuses on communication, oppression, change, and the role of privilege in transforming power dynamics, fostering broad, deep economic and social justice change. She brings more than three decades of experience to her position as national field organizer for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
Nadia Kayyali, 2012-2013 legal fellow, recently graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Community Outreach Editor for the Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal and the Matthew O. Tobriner Summer Social Justice Fellow. Nadia also won an award for Best Oral Argument and, far beyond campus, served as Student National Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild. Since graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 2008, Nadia’s experiences include work at the ACLU of Northern California, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Bay Area Legal Aid, San Francisco Tenant's Union, Common Ground Collective in New Orleans, and Occupylegal, where she supported Occupy activists at sites across the Bay Area.
Michael Figura, 2012-2013 legal fellow, is a recent graduate of City University of New York School of Law (CUNY). During law school, Michael was an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center For Constitutional Rights, and interned with the CUNY CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility) Clinic, the Guantanamo and Bagram Defense Clinic, and the Office of the Appellate Defender of New York. At CUNY, Michael was an Executive Articles Editor of the New York City Law Review and was awarded several fellowships, including the Haywood Burns Fellowship for Civil and Human Rights and Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest Summer Fellowship. Prior to law school, Michael graduated from Wesleyan University and worked at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. Michael's legal fellowship with BORDC is made possible through a generous grant from the Muslim Legal Fund of America.
Samantha Peetros, communications specialist, develops online and print communication and outreach materials, manages the agency's websites and social networking efforts, and handles media outreach and inquiries. She also oversees the agency's intern and volunteer program and serves as editor of the newsletter. Samantha comes to BORDC with over nine years of political experience, having acted as a liaison to state political organizations, field organizer, and new media specialist. She most recently worked as the events and communications coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts, and for the Womanshelter/Companeras as an advocate for victims of domestic violence in Springfield courts. After earning her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2009, she earned a certificate in advanced paralegal studies from Bay Path College. Samantha is currently a candidate for juris doctor at Western New England University School of Law, where she is focusing on constitutional law, gender and sexuality studies, and public policy.
Corina Leu, development specialist, was born in the Republic of Moldova and grew up during the country's most volatile years. At thirteen she moved to New York City and since her arrival in the U.S., she has channeled her early exposure to injustice into a passionate activism for American causes. In New York City she worked with Global Action Project, where she has produced films, designed curriculum and facilitated workshops on various social justice issues. She has worked with the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Teen Health Initiative to provide training for health providers concerning teen rights and access to health care. She has designed a college readiness program for undocumented high school students with the help of a fellowship award from the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Corina is a 2012 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where she studied International Relations with a focus on International Development.
Barbara Haugen, administrator, manages financial records as well as BORDC’s donor and subscriber databases. She also provides general office and administrative support. Before joining BORDC, Barbara worked as a VISTA lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque, NM; as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield, MA; and as assistant to the director of MassAudubon's Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, MA.