Staff

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R. Daniel Okonkwo is the Executive Director of DC Lawyers for Youth and oversees DCLY’s Youth Justice Project. He is a mayoral appointee to the Washington, D.C. Juvenile Justice Advisory Group as well as the Mayor's Safer, Stronger Advisory Committee.  Daniel previously served as a board member of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates and on the Executive Committee of the National Juvenile Justice Network.  Daniel is a founding member and the former Board Chair of DCLY.

Prior to serving as Executive Director, Daniel was a Senior Analyst in the Regulatory Practice Group at the EOP Group, Inc., a Washington, D.C. business and political consulting firm. Upon graduation from law school, Daniel was employed at the Office of the Public Defender in Miami, FL where he represented clients in the County Court Division and Felony Drug Court. Daniel received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Daniel has had extensive experience with youth in Washington D.C. While at Georgetown University Law Center, he was a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic and the head basketball coach, and tutor at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.  Daniel's experience with the law and youth dates back to his undergraduate days at Yale University, where he graduated with a B.A in African-American Studies. At Yale, he was the head of the Black Undergraduate Law Association and was heavily involved as a tutor at the Connecticut Youth Detention Center in New Haven.

Daniel can be contacted at dokonkwo@dcly.org.


Eduardo

Eduardo "Eddie" Ferrer is a founding member of DCLY and currently serves as its Legal & Policy Director, overseeing DCLY's research, policy, and direct representation work. Eddie also regularly serves as a supervising attorney in the Georgetown University Law Center's Juvenile Justice Clinic.  Eddie currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of DC127 and served previously as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for Youth Justice and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Next Step Charter School. Eddie was a member of the 2012-13 class of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington's Future Executive Director Program and served as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District 1B10 from 2009-2010. 

Eddie was awarded the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project's "Defender of Innocence Award" for his work securing the release of David Boyce, a innocent man wrongfully convicted in Virginia in 1990, and was recognized in 2008 by Legal Bisnow Magazine as a top "30 under 30" attorney in the District of Columbia.  Eddie is also a Certified Trainer in the National Juvenile Defender Center's Juvenile Immersion Training Program (JTIP). 

Prior to joining DC Lawyers for Youth full-time, Eddie worked in private practice at Howrey LLP where he worked on a variety of matters, including juvenile justice policy, immigration law, constitutional law, civil rights law, writs of habeas corpus, white-collar criminal defense, and antitrust law.  Eddie received his B.S. in Business Administration from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in 2002 and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2005. 

Eddie can be contacted at eferrer@dcly.org.


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Emily Feldhake is the Policy and Advocacy Associate at DCLY. Emily received a Master of Public Policy degree in 2016 from the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. While in graduate school, she worked as a Research Fellow for the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago. At this fellowship she completed a research project on the emergency medical care provided for detainees at the Cook County Jail. During her time at the University of Chicago, Emily also worked as a teaching assistant for the Harris School writing program and for a crime policy course. She also wrote for the Chicago Policy Review.

Before attending graduate school Emily worked with youth and families at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago. There, she advocated for young men living in therapeutic residential care. She has also worked for Match Public Charter Middle School in Boston, MA as a member of the Match Corps. At Match she led tutorials for middle school students, supported families and helped to coordinate and run the school's athletic programming.

Emily received her BA from Hope College in 2011 where she double majored in Psychology and English with an emphasis in writing.

Emily can be contacted at efeldhake@dcly.org.