Board of Advisors
The Board of Advisors (BOA) advises the staff and directors and helps provide guidance and assistance whenever the organization needs it. As prominent experts in their fields, the board of advisors is a valuable source of information, research and ideas. We are proud to have the support of the following board of advisors members:
Steve Culbertson Youth Service America
Born in Bitburg, Germany and raised in Amherst, MA Steve began his career as Director of Communications for the Chi Psi Educational Trust in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He went on to serve as Vice President for Development and College Relations at Connecticut College and Vice President for Marketing at Sumner Rahr & Company in Chicago, specializing in philanthropic support, communications, and strategic planning for nonprofits. Prior to YSA, he worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to organize the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. In 1996, Steve founded SERVEnet, the largest database of volunteer opportunities in America and in 2000 developed Global Youth Service Day, the largest single day service event in the world. Steve has twice been named to the Nonprofit Times list of “The 50 most powerful and influential leaders” in the sector.
Robert Epstein, Ph.D. “The Case Against Adolescence”
Dr. Robert Epstein is an author, editor, and longtime researcher and professor. He is the host of Psyched!® on Sirius Satellite Radio, a contributing editor for Scientific American Mind, a visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today. He is also the founder and Director Emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts. Through 2003, he served as University Research Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1981 from Harvard University. He is also the former host of the nationally-broadcast radio program, “Psychology Today Live.” In 2007 Epstein authored “The Case Against Adolescence”, a critically important book for all youth rights supporters. Dr. Epstein joined the BOA in 2007.
Adam Fletcher freechild.org
Adam Fletcher has worked with young people for more than 13 years to promote community youth service, engagement, and empowerment. In 2001 he founded The Freechild Project, a training and consultation organization focusing on social change by and with young people. Currently, Fletcher works with dozens of schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies across the U.S. and Canada to emphasize the need for youth equality in all parts of society. Fletcher is also a leading advocate for education reform focusing on meaningful learning and student involvement throughout schools. He joined the BOA in 2002.
David J. Hanson, Ph.D. Potsdam University
Dr. David Hanson is a sociology professor at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He has studied alcohol problems for over a quarter of a century and has authored more than 280 scholarly publications and papers. His research and opinion is frequently published in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Chicago Sun-Times and other papers and he has appeared on such programs as the “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “To the Best of Our Knowledge.” Dr. Hanson joined the BOA in 1998.
Bennett Haselton Peacefire
Bennett Haselton, an Oklahoma native, is a graduate mathematics student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In the summer of 1996 he created Peacefire to advocate freedom of speech for young people on the Internet. His organization was a plaintiff in the successful court challenge to overturn a New York state indecency law. Bennett has appeared regularly in national media to defend First Amendment rights. He served as a NYRA Director from 1998 to 1999. Hasselton joined the BOA in 1999.
Kevin Keenan ACLU-San Diego
Kevin Keenan is a fomer NYRA board member, and he is currently serving as the Executive Director of the ACLU’s San Diego chapter in California. He is a graduate of Yale University Law School, and he has been involved with the ACLU for several years. Keenan joined the BOA in 2005.
Grace Llewellyn “Teenage Liberation Handbook”
Grace Llewellyn is a former middle school English teacher. Her work in the school system led her to unschooling. Llewellyn has written numerous books on unschooling, including “The Teenage Liberation Handbook”, “Freedom Challenge”, and “Real Lives”. Her company, Genius Tribe, sells books and other resources about unschooling and youth rights. She also runs a camp in Oregon, bringing together homeschoolers at her “Not-Back-To-School Camp.” Llewellyn joined the BOA in 1998.
Mike A. Males, Ph.D. “Framing Youth”
Dr. Mike Males is senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and teaches sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He worked with youth programs for 12 years, including the Youth Conservation Corps. He now writes a regular column for Youth Today, serves on the California Wellness Foundation advisory board, and has published four books on youth issues: “The Scapegoat Generation,” “Framing Youth,” “Smoked,” and “Kids & Guns.” Males is also the co-founder of YouthFacts.org. Dr. Males joined the BOA in 1998.
Nadine Strossen ACLU
Nadine Strossen served as the President of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008, the first woman to head the ACLU. She is also a law professor at New York Law School. She has written numerous publications about civil liberties, including several books. She has been named twice as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. She has also been listed as among the “350 Women Who Changed the World,” “100 Executives Leading the Digital Revolution,” and one of “America’s 200 Most Influential Women.” Strossen has won awards from a diverse variety of organizations. She is a regular commentator on legal issues in the media and she writes monthly columns for the E-zine, Intellectual Capital. Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1972 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1975, serving as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Strossen joined the BOA in 1999.
Scarlett Swerdlow SSDP
Scarlett Swerdlow is a former NYRA board member, and she is also the former Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. SSDP is a national organization with over one hundred chapters across the country dedicated to the reform of our drug laws and policies. They target those laws and policies that impact youth and the traditionally underrepresented. Additionally, Swerdlow is an alumna of UC Berkeley, where she studied history and graduated with honors and she is the co-chair of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) committee on women and drug policy. Swerdlow joined the BOA in 2005.
Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sc.D., M.P.H American Council on Science
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan is president and a founder of the American Council on Science. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in public health from the Yale School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Whelan is also the author or co-author of over two dozen books. Dr. Whelan joined the BOA in 1998.
*All affiliations are for identification purposes only.