Meet Vera’s 2022 Trustees

By Damien Dwin, Chair of the Board of Trustees

As the Vera Institute of Justice celebrates more than 60 years of fighting for justice, we are delighted to welcome three new changemakers to our board of trustees. Together—along with Vera’s community of partners, advocates, and supporters—the board of trustees works to address the most pressing issues facing the criminal legal and immigration systems as ambassadors of Vera’s mission.

This year, Vera is thrilled to introduce David Klafter, Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, and Tali Farhadian Weinstein as the organization’s newest trustees. They join a line-up of leaders across industries and disciplines who are committed to advancing our work to end mass incarceration and promoting the dignity of all.

David Klafter joins us as senior counsel with Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. Following a 16-year career practicing law, David transitioned to working in the investing world and has held roles at Gotham Partners, L.P. and Festina Lente Investment Management, L.P. Additionally, he has dedicated his time to charitable work across educational, spiritual, and cultural institutions.

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu has served as lead counsel for Medtronic’s Brain Modulation business since 2020. Prior to joining Medtronic, Lola spent more than eight years working as an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been recognized three times as an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, most recently for her work in the prosecution of Derek Chauvin.

Tali Farhadian Weinstein brings an extensive background in criminal justice reform and innovation to the board of trustees. Tali is currently a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, as well as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. Previously she has served as the general counsel of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, as well as in multiple roles with the U.S. Department of Justice throughout Barack Obama’s presidency.

The challenges we face are extraordinary, but Vera remains committed to transforming unjust systems. The fresh perspectives these new trustees bring will be invaluable as the organization works to drive change—from expanding access to life-changing college-in-prison programs to advocating for universal representation for immigrants.