For media inquiries or speaking invitations, please contact:
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
8 Bridge Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060
Note: Click on the thumbnail images below to download high resolution versions.
Shahid Buttar, executive director, leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and its national grassroots network in their efforts to defend civil liberties and constitutional rights threatened by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He is a constitutional and civil rights lawyer, independent columnist, grassroots organizer, movement strategist, hip-hop and electronica MC, and spoken word poet.
Before joining BORDC in 2009, Shahid directed a national program to combat racial and religious profiling, after serving for three years as associate director of the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. He previously pursued public interest litigation (advancing marriage equality for same sex couples and campaign finance reform) in private practice at Heller Ehrman LLP, after receiving his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. He graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BA in political science and creative writing in 2000, ten years after beginning college at the University of Chicago and after a six-year career in financial services to pay for school.
Shahid’s comments have been featured by news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, al-Jazeera, FOX News, Agence-France Presse, Huffington Post, Truthout, Democracy Now!, and many others, including dozens of radio stations around the country. He frequently addresses public audiences, such as elected bodies, colleges, and law schools, including Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and Georgetown.
In addition to his work leading BORDC, Shahid also serves on the advisory bodies of the Rights Working Group, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together. He also serves on the Board of the Fund for Constitutional Government.
Shahid also supports populist constitutionalism as a independent columnist (writing for outlets including Huffington Post and Truthout, as well as the People’s Blog for the Constitution) community organizer, and hip-hop and electronica MC. In his creative capacities as a poet and musician, Shahid has performed around the world, co-founded several grassroots art and culture groups around the country, facilitated workshops for young people and emerging artists, and released his debut CD, Get Outta Your Chair, in 2008. Shahid’s music, many of his articles, and an expanded bio are available at his website.
Lisa Graves, a member of BORDC's board of directors, became the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy in July 2009. She has previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy, and as an adjunct professor (at George Washington University Law School).
Highlights of her 15-year career in public policy in Washington, DC, include:
- Testifying before congressional committees against the Bush administration's illegal warrantless wiretapping and efforts to entrench these unconstitutional policies, its intrusive collection of personal financial records and other private information about innocent people, and its plan to increase military/intelligence satellite spying on Americans, a plan she helped stop as a coalition leader (while a partner at the Center for National Security Studies).
- Leading a national civil liberties coalition that helped lay the groundwork for the first filibuster of flawed post-9/11 policies; stalling efforts to make the PATRIOT Act permanent in 2005; and testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need to reform the Freedom of Information Act to speed disclosures to citizens (as the senior counsel for legislative strategy for the American Civil Liberties Union).
Graves earned her J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School, where she was managing editor of the Cornell Law Review and co-leader of the Women's Law Coalition, among other honors. She earned a B.S., with highest honors, from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Graves has appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, and other news programs and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, Air America, and Pacifica Radio. Her analysis has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, The Nation, Vanity Fair, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, National Journal, Legal Times, Newsday, Wired, and Mother Jones, among others, as well as online in The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and other blogs.
Jennifer S. Holmes, a member of BORDC's board of directors, is an associate professor of political economy and political science at the University of Texas at Dallas. She received her BA from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Her major area of research is political violence, terrorism, and political development with an emphasis on Latin America and Southern Europe. Her research incorporates both qualitative and quantitative tools and reflects a sustained commitment to interdisciplinary work. From 2005 to 2008, she was the managing editor of e-Extreme.
Dr. Holmes has had dozens of media interviews on terrorism including: television interviews (Dallas affiliates of NBC, Univision, Telemundo, PBS), radio interviews (Dallas affiliate of NPR, Voice of America, Austin, Tx 1370am/ KJCE), print interviews in major papers (Christian Science Monitor, Stars & Stripes, the New York Times, La Opinion - Los Angeles, Detroit News, La Croix -France, Boston Herald, Dallas Morning News) and print interviews with regional presses (New Orleans Times Picayune, Central Florida Future, Columbia Missourian, Sun Sentinel -Florida, Peoria Times Observer –Illinois, Fast Times). She has also served as an expert witness on numerous Colombian asylum cases.
Joe W. (Chip) Pitts III, president of BORDC's board of directors, is a lecturer at Stanford Law School and Oxford University, investor, entrepreneur, and lifelong activist on domestic and international human rights, civil liberties, and ethical globalization. Co-author and editor of the recent book Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis, as well as other publications on business, technology, privacy, sustainability, and human rights, he is former chair of Amnesty International USA and former chief legal officer of Nokia, Inc. For more than two decades, he has served as a delegate and advisor to various United Nations and other initiatives on global ethical, environmental, social, anti-corruption, and human rights norms and accountability, while also serving as a board member or advisor to other business and nonprofit organizations, including the ACLU of Dallas. He led the successful effort in Dallas, TX, to enact a resolution opposing the PATRIOT Act, and has helped lead BORDC's other efforts nationally to defend the rule of law and civil liberties.
Pitts has appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, FOX, PBS, C-SPAN, and numerous radio networks, including National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Air America, and Pacifica Radio. His analysis has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press, Reuters, The Nation, and Wired, as well as the Huffington Post and other blogs. He has published commentary and analysis in various publications, including law reviews and foreign policy journals and magazines. Pitts has also testified before the US Congress, the Texas legislature, foreign parliaments, and United Nations bodies, and has been a keynote speaker before foreign affairs/foreign policy groups, bar associations, academic conferences, and major national and international fora on topics pertaining to human rights, civil liberties, privacy, technology, and business. Pitts has received service and civil liberties awards from national, state, and local bar associations (including the Dallas Bar Association’s Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year) and various universities, arts, and human rights organizations.
Download a second high resolution photo of Chip Pitts.
Naomi Wolf, a BORDC advisory board member, was born in San Francisco in 1962. She was an undergraduate at Yale University and did her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Her essays have appeared in various publications including: The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.
Naomi Wolf is the author of seven books, including The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (2007), an impassioned call to return to the aspirations and beliefs of the Founding Fathers. In it, Wolf shows how events of the last six years parrallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships. A documentary adaptation of the The End of America was relased in fall 2008 along with her follow-up book, Give Me Liberty: A Handbook For American Revolutionaries.
Naomi Wolf is co-founder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. The institute teaches professional development in the arts and media, politics and law, business and entrepreneurship as well as ethical decision making. The institute recently partnered with the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty to share success building tools through online training sessions that promote ethical development and empower women to act as agents of positive social change. Wolf is also the co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign, a non-partisan citizens' alliance formed to reverse the abuse of executive power and restore our system of checks and balances.