Malcolm C. Rich
Executive Director
Malcolm C. Rich is the Executive Director of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers. He also serves as chairperson of Appleseed’s Executive Directors’ Council and is Vice President of the Appleseed Board of Directors. Mr. Rich is a 1979 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law where he was the recipient of a Northwestern University Center for Urban Affairs Research Fellowship.

Mr. Rich serves on the Advisory Board of the John Howard Association and is a volunteer and former member of the Board of Directors of Horizon Hospice. He is of counsel to the law firm of Whitted Cleary + Takiff LLC, where he specializes in special education and mental health law. Mr. Rich began his career as a Research Attorney with the American Judicature Society, and is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for Educational Research.

 Ali Abid
Staff Attorney and Criminal Justice Policy Analyst
Ali is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School where he was an editor of the John Marshall Law Review. Prior to joining Appleseed, he served as the George N. Leighton Fellow for the study of Prisoners’ Rights, teaching and researching on matters related to criminal justice reform and mass incarceration.

Elizabeth Monkus
Staff Attorney & Project Manager
Elizabeth leads the research team for our child support and family court project. She also focuses on judicial elections and court administration projects at Chicago Appleseed. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor at the American Criminal Law Review and a member of the Federal Legislation Clinic. Prior to joining Chicago Appleseed, she worked both as a criminal defense attorney in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil litigation. Elizabeth has been an adjunct professor of Constitutional Law at Governors State University and a writing advisor at The John Marshall Law School Writing Resource Center.

Criminal Justice Policy Fellow
Sharlyn is a lawyer and a co-founder of the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Prior to joining Appleseed, she managed a school-based restorative justice program in Back of the Yards and coordinated the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk at the Cook County Juvenile Center. Sharlyn is passionate about racial justice and criminal legal system reform efforts, including prisoners’ rights, ending police violence, and decarceration.

Membership and Development Associate
Kathleen has spent her career as a writer and researcher in the nonprofit world and academia. Her policy interests include economic inequality, social welfare programs, and gender and workplace issues. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University and was a Ph.D. student in public policy at the University of Chicago. As a freelance journalist, she has contributed to The Nation, Washington Monthly, Bookforum, The Baffler, and other outlets.


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