The Board

Founder and President

Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center (HT Legal). Vandenberg established HT Legal (formerly HT Pro Bono) in 2012 with generous support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Fellowship Program.

Prior to becoming an OSF Fellow, Vandenberg served as a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation and internal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She served as a senior member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Vandenberg has spent two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. She has testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Helsinki Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee on an array of human rights issues. Through HT Legal, Vandenberg has trained more than 3,200 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters.

A former Human Rights Watch researcher, Vandenberg spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine. She is the author of two Human Rights Watch reports, “Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution,” and “Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of ‘Ethnic Cleansing.’”

As a researcher for the Israel Women’s Network, she investigated and published the first report documenting human trafficking into Israel. While living in the Russian Federation in the 1990s, she co-founded Syostri, one of Russia’s first rape crisis centers for women.

Vandenberg has received multiple awards for her leadership against human trafficking. In 2012, the Freedom Network USA presented Vandenberg with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for her “outstanding leadership and dedication in working to combat human trafficking and slavery in the United States.” In 2013, she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Stevens Award for outstanding service in public interest law. T’ruah presented Vandenberg with the Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award in 2014. She received the Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize the following year. Vandenberg currently serves as a co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, Vandenberg has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law and at the Oxford University Human Rights Summer Program. Vandenberg is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.

Kathleen Peratis, Vice President

Kathleen Peratis is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP. She has practiced employment law for more than 25 years.  At Outten & Golden, she chairs the Public Interest Committee and Sexual Harassment Practice Group. She is a member of the Executives and Professionals Practice Group.

Ms. Peratis served as the director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project from 1975 to 1979. She worked closely with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who founded the Project.

Ms. Peratis brought lawsuits successfully challenging as unconstitutional laws that discriminated against women on account of gender, including on account of pregnancy.

In private practice for the last three decades, Ms. Peratis has continued to represent women and men who are entering or leaving executive or professional employment or are survivors of workplace discrimination and abuse. Her clients include people who are rising on the corporate and professional ladders as well as those who have lost promotions or jobs because of their race, religion, color, or LGBT status. She has recovered millions of dollars for these survivors, usually in settlement and sometimes at trial. Under Ms. Peratis’ leadership the Public Interest Committee at Outten & Golden has taken on the representation of people with workplace claims too small to be economically viable for most lawyers but too important to ignore.

Ms. Peratis has served on the Board of Directors for Human Rights Watch, as well as Chair for the HRW Women’s Rights Division’s Advisory Committee. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the New Israel Fund.

Lorelie S. Masters, Treasurer

Lorelie (“Lorie”) S. Masters is a partner at Hunton & Williams LLP. A prominent insurance coverage litigator, Lorie handles all aspects of complex, commercial litigation and arbitration.

She has recovered millions of dollars of insurance coverage for products, environmental, employment, directors and officers, fiduciary, property damage, cyber and other liabilities. Lorie also handles various types of first-party property insurance claims, including claims under boiler and machinery, business-interruption, contingent business-interruption, extra expense and other related coverages.

Lorie is a partner in the insurance coverage practice, and clients say she “is very good at explaining complicated issues, and then distilling them for commercial use,” according to Chambers USA 2016, which ranks her in the upper echelons of her practice nationwide.

Lorie writes and speaks extensively on insurance coverage, technology and litigation. In addition to her legal practice, she is active in diversity and inclusion matters and has represented many individuals and groups pro bono, including policyholders denied health care coverage and victims of human trafficking.

Lorie is admitted to practice in the US Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, US District Court for the District of Columbia, US District Court for the District of Maryland, US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

E. Benjamin Skinner

E. Benjamin Skinner is Founder and Principal of Transparentem. Recently, Skinner co-founded TAU, a private equity firm. Previously, he was Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism of Brandeis University. He was named one of National Geographic‘s “Adventurers of the Year 2008.” His first book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery (Free Press; 2008), was awarded the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction, a citation from the Overseas Press Club in its book category for 2008, and a finalist for The Ryszard Kapuscinski International Award for literary reportage in 2011. Also in 2011, the World Economic Forum recognized Skinner as a Young Global Leader.

Previously he held a fellowship at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, served as Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and worked as Research Associate for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. His 50+ chapters, monographs, and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Time, Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and others. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Minky Worden

As Human Rights Watch’s Director of Global Initiatives, Minky Worden develops and implements international outreach and advocacy campaigns. She previously served as Human Rights Watch’s Media Director, working with the world’s journalists to help them cover crises, wars, human rights abuses and political developments in some 90 countries worldwide. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 1998, Ms. Worden lived and worked in Hong Kong as an adviser to Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee and worked at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. as a speechwriter for the U.S. Attorney General and in the Executive Office for US Attorneys. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Ms. Worden speaks Cantonese and German, and is an elected member of the Overseas Press Club’s Board of Governors. She is the editor of The Unfinished Revolution (Seven Stories Press, 2012) and China’s Great Leap (Seven Stories Press, 2008), and the co-editor of Torture (New Press, 2005).

Susan Petersen Kennedy

Susan Petersen Kennedy is known in the publishing industry for her laser-focused vision and skill, delivering results year after year by developing a sustaining environment where creative people thrive and are inspired to discover, cultivate, and publish must-read books. Her world-renowned Penguin imprints publishing homes include historic, signature imprints such as Putnam, Viking, Dutton, Plume, Tarcher, Perigee, and Penguin Trade, which she propelled to greater prosperity–and newer ones like Penguin Press, Portfolio, Sentinel, and Blue Rider, which she helped establish and whose direction she set –and of course, Riverhead, the twenty-year-old prestigious, flourishing publisher she founded and personally led for twelve years. Under Ms. Petersen Kennedy, these imprints have published authors who have won Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and many more. She has overseen her imprints’ publication of more than 1,000 national bestsellers.

Previously at Random House, she was head of the Ballantine Publishing Group and oversaw the purchase of Fawcett from CBS and published that paperback imprint’s first hardcovers. She joined the then Putnam Berkley Group in 1994, playing a crucial role in their merger with Penguin in 1997.  From 2001 until 2015, she was the President of the Penguin Group, which included Viking, Penguin, Penguin Press, Dutton, Putnam and Riverhead among many others.

Ms. Petersen Kennedy has been awarded the coveted Matrix Award for Books given by New York Women in Communications, served on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, the board for The National Book Foundation which is responsible for the National Book Awards, The Board of The Bard Summerscape Festival, and been Chairman of the Paperback Division of the AAP.

Harold Ickes

Harold Ickes worked for civil rights in Mississippi during 1964 and Louisiana during 1965, an extraordinary time in American history, and a turn of events which led him into the political arena of our country. He has been active as a Presidential advisor, labor lawyer, political strategist and manager of numerous political campaigns, and for nearly the past two decades, a federal lobbyist.

Prior to forming The Ickes & Enright Group with his partner, Janice Ann Enright, in January 1997, Harold served as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from January 1994 through January 1997. He also oversaw the President’s successful 1996 re-election campaign — the first incumbent Democratic president re-elected since FDR. In addition, in 2005, Harold organized Catalist, LLC, a national voter database that includes every registered voter in the country as well as virtually every individual of voting age but not registered, which provides high quality data and modeling capacity to Democrats and progressive organizations.

As a lobbyist and government affairs advisor to clients, his approach is similar to that which he employed successfully when practicing law — understanding the details and merits of the client’s objectives and goals, help craft a plan to make the argument to oppose or support before “the court” whether it be a Congressional office, committee staff, agency of jurisdiction or the White House.

The Ickes & Enright Group is drawing on nearly 50 years of combined experience in politics and law, is a strong Democratic brand strategically positioned to help its clients achieve their goals. The Ickes & Enright Group provides a broad range of services including:

• Consulting and Advocacy
• Government Relations
• Policy Analysis and Research

From 1977 through 1993, Harold practiced law in the New York law firm Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, PC, representing labor unions and their members. He rejoined the law firm in 1997 and is currently Chairman of the firm. He continues to co-chair its Labor and Government Relations Departments.

Harold has been involved with the presidential nominating and general election campaigns since 1968 (McCarthy), including managing the Rules Committee and floor of the Democratic National Convention for Senator Edward Kennedy’s 1980 run; likewise for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 bid; managing Bill Clinton’s 1992 winning New York presidential primary; and as Senior Advisor, on a day-to-day basis, in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign.

Harold was day-to-day senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s winning 2000 New York Senate campaign and her 2006 re-election campaign. He was co-manager of Basil Paterson’s historic and winning 1970 Democratic primary campaign for Lt. Governor of New York, and he was a day-to-day senior advisor to David Dinkins’ 1987 historic, winning campaign to become the first Black mayor of New York City. He managed the 1992 Democratic National Convention for Clinton/Gore, widely considered the most successful Democratic National Convention in decades, and the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

Harold has been a member of the Democratic National Committee since 1988.

By appointment of President Clinton, Harold served as Director of Summit Affairs for the 1997 Denver Summit of the Eight, the meeting of the heads of state of eight of the world’s leading economic nations, formerly known as the “G7 Economic Summit.”

Mr. Ickes graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a BA in Economics in 1964 and received his JD degree from Columbia University School of Law.

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