Executive Director: Devon Chaffee
Having worked in non-profit advocacy for over a decade, Devon comes to the NHCLU with a solid track record of effectively advocating on behalf of marginalized constituencies through innovative, strategic, and persistent lobbying and public education.
While with the ACLU Washington Office, Devon worked to stop bias policing, prisoner abuse, privacy violations and free speech infringement. Prior to joining the ACLU, Devon served as Advocacy Counsel at Human Rights First, fighting against U.S. counterterrorism and national security policies that violate human rights.
Devon received her J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar; she received her B.A. from Hampshire College.
Gilles comes to the NHCLU with extensive civil litigation experience, which has included aggressive advocacy in both the freedom of speech and privacy arenas. While at the NHCLU, Gilles has achieved significant court victories in the areas of voting rights, access to justice for indigent defendants, and criminal justice reform. See Guare, et al. v. New Hampshire, No. 2012-cv-458 (N.H. Super. Ct, Strafford Cty., July 24, 2014) (striking down voter registration form language that would impose a chilling effect on the right to vote of those domiciled in New Hampshire); New Hampshire v. Brouillette, No. 2013-251, 2014 N.H. LEXIS 76 (N.H. July 11, 2014) (holding that indigent defendants who have secured private counsel — including on a pro bono basis — have the right to obtain state funds for experts and other ancillary defense services necessary for an adequate defense); Petition of State of New Hampshire, No. 2013-566, 2014 N.H. LEXIS 103 (N.H. Aug. 29, 2014) (applying retroactively U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment).
Prior to joining the NHCLU, Gilles was a civil litigator in Boston, including at the law firms of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP and Todd & Weld LLP. One of his most significant successes as a civil litigator was the defeat of an attempt by congressional candidate Bill Hudak to obtain a preliminary injunction restraining Massachusetts congressman John Tierney from engaging in political speech protected by the First Amendment prior to the 2010 election. While in private practice, Gilles also was a pro bono immigration advocate and engaged in significant privacy work in the context of automobile computing and Internet commerce.
Gilles clerked for Judge Thomas M. Golden of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Gilles received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law where he was the Chief Comments Editor. He received his B.A. and M.A. in history from Washington University in St. Louis. He is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. His publications and appearances include:
- “Added Protections Of NH Constitution Must Be Afforded Meaning,” New Hampshire Bar News, Dec. 17, 2014, at 4-5 (with Charles G. Douglas III)
- “There’s No Law Against Asking For Help,” Nashua Telegraph, Aug. 22, 2014
- “Why Voting In NH Is Not Reserved For State Residents,” New Hampshire Union Leader, Aug. 1, 2014, at A7 (with William Christie, Alan Cronheim, and Benjamin Siracusa Hillman)
- “To Keep Libertarians Off The Ballot, NH Violates Their Rights,” New Hampshire Union Leader, July 23, 2014, at A7
- “Religious Freedom In The News: From Hobby Lobby To Public Prayer,” NHPR’s The Exchange, May 14, 2014
- “Why We Sued To Overturn NH’s Education Tax Credit,” New Hampshire Union Leader, Apr. 22, 2014, at A7
- “‘Consulting’ the Federal Sentencing Guidelines After Booker,” 53 UCLA L. Rev. 1497 (2006)
Development Director: Paul Racioppi
With a professional career that spans more than two decades, Paul brings a range of experience and expertise in many facets of nonprofit fundraising. Prior to joining the NHCLU, Paul was a planned giving officer at the University of New Hampshire and, before that, the development director at a major New York City community organization in Greenwich Village. Paul brings enthusiasm and eagerness to his work at the NHCLU. His collaborative style and broad experience are valuable assets that will be critical to implementing the NHCLU’s fundraising objectives.
Office Manager: Sheila Pappas
Sheila Pappas has been with the NHCLU since 1997. In that time Sheila has kept the NHCLU running smoothly, scheduling meetings, managing calls, and planning major events. Prior to joining the NHCLU, Sheila worked with the Disability Rights Center as an intake coordinator.