PROF. MARCI HAMILTON, CEO AND ACADEMIC DIRECTOR
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, will be 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 Verdict on 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 PennsylvaniaLaw Review. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.
Alix P. Boren Esq., Director of Legal Department
Ali Boren, CHILD USA's Director of Legal, is an attorney, licensed to practice in both Florida and Massachusetts. She joins CHILD from a boutique plaintiff’s firm where she focused primarily on major multi-district federal litigation. Ali has varied legal experience ranging from products liability and commercial litigation to criminal and constitutional law and estate planning.
A Florida native, Ali received her B.A. in History from Florida State University and her J.D. from Florida International University College of Law. During law school, she served as the Executive Managing Editor of the FIU Law Review, competed as a member of the Moot Court team, and served as both a Research Assistant and a legal writing Teaching Assistant. She received the FIU COL Pro Bono Service Award before graduation. Ali is passionate about children’s issues and using evidence-based solutions to solve social problems, which she brings to her role as CHILD’s Legal Director.
Sarah Williams, Executive Assistant to CEO
Sarah Williams joins CHILD USA with an extensive background in administration and office management. At CHILD USA, Sarah oversees the daily business administration of the organization including, planning the annual awards celebration, contact with the media, social media accounts, as well as many others.
Sarah received her B.S., double majoring in Psychology and Education from West Chester University, where she became Mental Health First Aid Certified and was on Dean’s List. Sarah’s personal experiences have made her extremely passionate about children’s rights and drew her to CHILD USA so she can dedicate herself to protecting children from having similar experiences.
Jillian Ruck, Executive Assistant to the CEO, Grants & Initiatives
Jillian Ruck joins CHILD USA as a former high school teacher, having taught across the country including in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and Washington DC. Subjects she taught included: Government, AP World History, World Cultures, and US History. Her experience teaching high school is what inspired her to join CHILD USA where she oversees many grants and initiatives, including the Game Over Commission, Family Court Reform, and others.
Jillian received her B.A., double majoring in History and Secondary Education from Villanova University, where she received a Senior Leadership Award. Jillian is passionate about social justice for children and is committed to the mission of CHILD USA in preventing child abuse and neglect throughout the country.
Alice Nasar Hanan Esq., Part-time Staff Attorney
Alice Nasar Hanan joined CHILD USA in February 2019. She is a part-time staff attorney and contributes to the legal research, analysis and development of our Statute of Limitations Reform Initiative. She is a former student of Marci Hamilton from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. At Cardozo, she was the recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship, worked as an editor of the Cardozo Law Review, was a legal writing teacher’s assistant and graduated with honors. She received her B.A. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif. Alice began her legal career in New York City at Kasowtiz, Benson, Torres, and Friedman LLP, as a litigation attorney with a focus on complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense. Next, she moved to New Jersey with her family and joined a local litigation firm. Alice brings to CHILD USA both her legal expertise and passion for respecting the humanity and legal rights of all children.