Board of Directors
James R. Marsh, Chair
A University of Michigan Law School graduate, James represents victims of sex abuse in schools, colleges, churches, and government and military institutions; campus sexual assault and rape, online sexual exploitation; child pornography; sextortion, and revenge porn.
His case on compensation for victims of child pornography in federal criminal restitution proceedings was recently decided by the United States Supreme Court. That case, United States v. Paroline, led to the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act which was recently passed by the Senate 98-0 and is pending in the House.
James founded the nationally recognized Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and is an experienced trial attorney, and frequent commentator, lecturer, and author on legal issues affecting children and victims of sex abuse and exploitation. He now leads Marsh Law Firm in New York which is recognized worldwide for its work helping sexually abused victims obtain justice and rebuild their lives with dignity and respect.
Marci A. Hamilton, CEO
MARCI A. HAMILTON is the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice, and Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, www.childusa.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit academic think tank at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to interdisciplinary, evidence-based research to prevent child abuse and neglect. Before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Hamilton was the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.
Hamilton is the leading expert on child sex abuse statutes of limitations and has submitted testimony and advised legislators in every state where significant reform has occurred. She is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press), which advocates for the elimination of child sex abuse statutes of limitations. She has filed countless pro bono amicus briefs for the protection of children at the United States Supreme Court and the state supreme courts. Her textbook, Children and the Law, co-authored with Martin Gardner, has been published Fall 2017 by Carolina Academic Press, formerly Lexis/Nexis.
Hamilton has been a vocal and influential critic of extreme religious liberty, advocating for the vulnerable about overreaching. Hamilton successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) at the Supreme Court in Boerne v. Flores(1997), and defeated the RFRA claim brought by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against hundreds of child sex abuse survivors in Committee of Unsecured Creditors v. Listecki(7thCir. 2015). She has represented numerous cities dealing with church-state issues as well as claims brought under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA). The author of God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty(Cambridge University Press), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, she is also a columnist for Verdicton Justia.com.
Hamilton has been honored with the 2018 Pennsylvania State University Department of Philosophy Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2017 University of Pennsylvania Law School Louis H. Pollak Public Service Award, 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 child abuse and neglect, statute of limitations, constitutional, RFRA, RLUIPA, and First Amendment issues.
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. 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.
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).
Past Board Members
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.
John F. Salveson
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.