Robyn S. Walsh, Chair
Robyn S. Walsh is currently an independent consultant after more than 35 years’ management experience in the healthcare industry. Robyn has a strong background working with both public and private companies. From 1998 – 2005 Robyn was with Aetna and she retired in 2005 as President of Aetna’s Worker’s Compensation unit. Between 2005 and 2010 Robyn was an independent consultant who worked closely with the private equity firm, The Riverside Company. In May 2010 Robyn was asked by the Riverside Company to be the CEO for their Australian Investment, MedHealth Pty Ltd in hopes of selling the company. MedHealth is a national and international provider of medico legal services. Here Robyn corporatized the entrepreneurial business and developed and implemented a sustainable growth strategy which enabled a swift and successful sale of the company to ExamWorks Group Inc. in August 2012. ExamWorks Group Inc, is a global service network that provides fast, efficient, and quality IME services. Robyn was asked by ExamWorks to stay on as CEO and Chairman in their Australian office where she successfully led a seamless transition of a portfolio investment into a global public company. During this time Robyn was also Chair of the Board of Directors with FairPay Solutions (a Mitchelle Company), which is a leading provider in worker’s compensation (November 2009 – February 2014).
Robyn serves as a director on the Governance Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Holy Redeemer Health System, Huntingdon Valley, PA; Vice Chair and Board Director of the Connecticut Historical Railroad Association, Canaan, CT (an historical Union Station Restoration)
Robyn is on the Board of Directors of The Dermatology Group, West Orange, New Jersey, a Riverside Company Portfolio Investment. Robyn is an active member of the Hartford Golf Club, serving on the membership Committee and The Town and County Club, serving on the New Membership Committee.Robyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology\Anthropology and an MBA in Finance and Investment from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
John F. Salveson, Vice Chair
John Salveson is a successful entrepreneur, business leader and board director with expert knowledge of human capital management, leadership transition and succession, business strategy and governance. John has more than 30 years of experience in professional services, serving a broad range of clients from diverse industry sectors. He serves as a trusted advisor to business owners, senior executives, investors and board directors, helping them create shareholder and stakeholder value though the effective combination of business and organizational strategy and talent.
John is Co-Founder and Principal of Salveson Stetson Group, Inc. (SSG) a multi-specialty, retained executive search firm. The firm has grown rapidly and profitably into a nationally recognized, mid-sized executive search practice and is a member of IIC Partners (www.iicpartners.com), one of the top ten retained executive search groups in the world with 53 offices in 35 countries. SSG’s clients range from Fortune 50 to private small and mid-sized companies. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has performed successful executive search assignments for more than 150 companies in the United States and Europe. Industry specializations include pharmaceuticals, wholesale distribution, distributed services, healthcare, non-profits, manufacturing, business/professional services. Search assignments include Board Directors, President/CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CIO and other senior level executive positions. John serves as Practice Leader for the firm’s Wholesale Distribution Specialty Practice. Before co-founding Salveson Stetson in 1996, John served as Vice President and Director of Client Services of Right Management Consultants. Before that, he helped launch and grow Human Service Systems, Inc., an employee assistance program provider.
Through his leadership roles with several large non-profit organizations, John has recruited and developed executives and board members and served as a subject matter expert on human resources, talent management, governance, succession planning, executive coaching, and organization development. During his ten years as a Board Member, Vice Chairman and Member of the Executive Committee for The Philadelphia Orchestra he played a critical role in the search for two CEOs, the transition to a new Board Chair, and helped manage a host of issues related to the Orchestra’s transition into and out of bankruptcy. As a Board Member and now Vice Chairman of WHYY, John plays a leadership role in diversifying contributed revenue for the organization, both from individuals and corporations. At the United Way, John has served as a member of the recent CEO Search Committee.
John is also the Founder and President of the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, Inc. (FACSA). He has been a frequent public speaker on the issue of child sexual abuse, and has received international print, radio and television coverage in his role as an advocate.
John holds both Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Notre Dame. John recently received the 2015 Eleanor H. Raynolds Award, given annually to an executive search professional who combines excellence in search with a strong commitment to volunteerism. He and his wife Susan live in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Jesse R. Loffler, Secretary/Treasurer
Jesse Loffler is an associate in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. His practice encompasses complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts including matters relating to securities law, shareholder litigation, contract, governmental investigations, insurance, real estate, bankruptcy, and employment disputes. He has an extensive pro bono practice serving a diverse range of clients in impact litigation, including matters relating to LGBT and political asylum, voting rights, transgender rights, and women’s access to healthcare, and also volunteers at a legal clinic for at-risk and homeless youth in New York City. Mr. Loffler has significant trial experience, including in the first trial in the nation relating to Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act tried in the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Dole Food Company shareholder litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Jesse also sits on the Board of Directors of the National LGBT Bar Foundation, a national bar association for LGBT lawyers and allies.
Jesse is a member of Fried Frank’s Diversity Committee and is a co-Chair of Fried Frank’s LGBT Affinity Group, where he has been an active proponent of LGBT rights and diversity both inside and outside the firm. Jesse is involved in firm-wide recruitment and retention efforts for LGBT candidates, worked with the Diversity and Inclusion department to establish gender transition guidelines and an adoption benefits policy, and for the past three years has served as an organizer and moderator of the annual Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum, an annual LGBT rights forum sponsored by Fried Frank.
He received his J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2011 and his A.B. in Government (Political Science) from Harvard University in 2005.
Rita Swan, Ph.D., speaks and writes about child abuse and neglect related to religious or cultural practices. After losing their son in 1977 because of their faith in Christian Science, she and her husband left the church and became advocates for the rights of children to medical care.
In 1983 they founded Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, a national membership organization. CHILD disseminates information about ideological child abuse and neglect, opposes all religious exemptions from child health and safety laws, lobbies for rights of children to equal protection, and files amicus briefs in support of those rights. See www.childrenshealthcare.org
Swan has testified before legislative committees in 15 states and at a U.S. Senate staff briefing. CHILD’s work in coalition with state organizations has gotten religious exemptions from child neglect laws repealed in nine states and prevented exemptions from being enacted in several other states.
Swan has lectured at many national conferences and received several awards for her child advocacy work including a proclamation from Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Advocacy Service Award from the National Association of Counsel for Children, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Her many publications include chapters in medical textbooks and scholarly reference books, and articles in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Pediatrics, Advances in Pediatrics, Quinnipiac Health Law Journal, and Child Abuse and Neglect: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Evidence.
Swan holds a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and has worked as a court-appointed special advocate for children (CASA).
Marci A. Hamilton
Marci A. Hamilton is one of the United States’ leading church/state scholars and is a Fox Family Pavilion Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Academic Director and President of CHILD USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to interdisciplinary evidence-based research and tracking of medical, legal, and psychological developments to prevent and deter child abuse and neglect, which she co-leads with Dr. Steven Berkowitz, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and Dr. Paul Offit, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She holds the Paul R. Verkuil Research Chair at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, through 2018.
As a result of her research on clergy sex abuse, Hamilton is a tireless, pro bono advocate for access to justice for all child sex abuse victims and a national leader in the movement to eventually eliminate statutes of limitations in child sex abuse cases. She has submitted testimony and advised legislators in every state where significant reform has occurred and hosts www.sol-reform.com, which tracks and provides analysis about the SOL movement in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and around the globe. She has filed countless pro bono amicus briefs for the protection of children at the United States Supreme Court and in other courts. She also has represented survivors in states across the United States in her areas of expertise.
Hamilton clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) at the Supreme Court in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), and is considered the foremost national scholar and advocate for the victims of extreme religious liberty, including the RFRAs and RLUIPA. She also hosts www.RFRAperils.com, which tracks and analyzes free exercise statutes in all 50 states and the federal government.
Hamilton is the author of GOD VS. THE GAVEL: THE PERILS OF EXTREME RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (Cambridge University Press 2014), which was nominated for a 2015 Pulitzer Prize; JUSTICE DENIED: WHAT AMERICA MUST DO TO PROTECT ITS CHILDREN (Cambridge University Press 2008); GOD VS. THE GAVEL: RELIGION AND THE RULE OF LAW (Cambridge University Press 2005), which received Foreword Magazine’s Political Science Book of the Year, Silver Medal; and the co-editor of FUNDAMENTALISM, POLITICS AND THE LAW (Palgrave Macmillan with Mark Rozell 2011); and numerous scholarly articles. She is also a bi-monthly columnist for www.justia.com/verdict. Her blog with Professor Leslie Griffin on religious liberty, women’s rights, and children’s rights can be found at http://www.hamilton-Griffin.com. Her textbook, CHILDREN AND THE LAW, co-authored with Martin Gardner, will be published 2016-17 by Carolina Academic Press, formerly Lexis/Nexis.
Hamilton has been honored with the 2016 Voice Today, Voice of Gratitude Award; the 2015 Religious Liberty Award, American Humanist Association; the 2014 Freethought Heroine Award; the National Crime Victim Bar Association’s Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award, 2012; the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for outstanding public advocacy and scholarship, 2008; and selected as a Pennsylvania Woman of the Year Award, 2012, among others. She is also frequently quoted in the national media on RFRA, RLUIPA, First Amendment, clergy sex abuse, and statute of limitations issues.
Professor Hamilton is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, B.A., summa cum laude; Pennsylvania State University, M.A. (English, fiction writing, High Honors); M.A. (Philosophy); and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.
Abbie R. Newman, R.N., J.D.
Abbie R. Newman began her professional career as a registered nurse practicing in pediatrics before returning to law school and obtaining her J.D. in 1986. She practiced law in Philadelphia for 18 years at Post & Schell, P.C. first as an associate and later as a shareholder. Her practice specialized in medical malpractice defense of doctors, hospitals and nurses, and she was named a Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazine in 2005. Abbie became the founding CEO and Executive Director of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Montgomery County in 2008 and currently continues in that role. As Executive Director she has built the collaborative Multidisciplinary Team from a group that assembled on a sporadic basis to review cases to a nationally Accredited CAC which has served over 3,300 abused children and families. She is the past-President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of CACs, and the current and founding Chair of the External Affairs Committee of the State Chapter. Ms. Newman serves on the CAC Advisory Committee in Pennsylvania, charged with awarding state funds to both established and developing CACs. She was also appointed by Gov. Corbett to the Pennsylvania Victim Services Advisory Committee, charged with awarding $100M in funds to victim agencies in Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund. Ms. Newman has also worked on both the state and national level with legislators to strengthen child protection laws, increase funding to agencies serving victims of child abuse and neglect, and develop and sustain child advocacy centers as a model for child abuse investigation and prevention.
Abbie received her Bachelor of Science from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, cum laude in 1981 and her JD from Fordham University School of Law in 1986.