Jeffrey R. Dion is an attorney, survivor, and nationally recognized victim advocate. He comes to the Zero Abuse Project after more than twenty years with the National Center for Victims of Crime, where he served as Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. He has led efforts to reform civil statutes of limitation to expand access to justice for victims of child sex abuse.
From 2002 to 2010, Jeff served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, where he chaired the Victim Services Advisory Committee. He has received numerous awards including the 2006 Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award presented by the U.S. Department of Justice for outstanding innovation and commitment to crime victim legislation. He earned his undergraduate and law degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.
Senator Joseph Dunn (ret) is the founding Chair, Board of Directors, of the Zero Abuse Project.
Senator Dunn is also currently the Assistant Dean of External Relations as well as a Lecturer at the UCI School of Law. He serves as the primary point person for the launch of the UCI Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute, the Civil Justice Research Institute, and the UCI Institute on Policing in Society.
Senator Dunn was a member of the California State Senate from 1998-2006. While serving in the Legislature, he chaired key committees such as the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Housing and Transportation Committee. He received international acclaim as Chair of the Senate Investigation Committee into the 2001 California Energy Crisis. California Lawyer Magazine labeled Senator Dunn as “the Man Who Cracked Enron.”
Between 2006-2014, Sen. Dunn served as CEO of both the State Bar of California, the judicial branch regulatory body overseeing all aspects of the profession of law, and the California Medical Association, the most influential state medical organization in the nation, representing more than 30,000 California doctors.
Prior to entering the Senate, Senator Dunn practiced law, handling cases involving the sexual exploitation of children, products liability litigation relating to defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and environmental cases.
He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota School of Law (1983) and his B.A magna cum laude from The College of St. Thomas (1980).
Joelle Casteix is one of the leading global advocates and spokespeople for survivors of child sexual assault and cover-up. No one else has her depth of knowledge on the scope and scale of the problem worldwide and the effects of this crime on victims and communities in the areas of health, governance, and trauma.
A founding member of the board of directors of the Zero Abuse Project, she has helped launch ZeroAbuse.ai, an innovative AI tool that evaluates the risk factors that suggest potential predatory individuals within an organization and those associated with cover-up.
Her expertise includes how institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church, public schools, and other organizations cover up and enable child sexual assault; the role parents play in prevention; and how to eradicate and end the cycle through emerging technology and strong victim-friendly legislation.
Joelle is the award-winning author of the bestsellers The Well-Armored Child: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (RiverGrove Books) and The Power of Responsibility. Joelle is also a former member of the adjunct faculty of the UCI School of Law.
Joelle works with numerous organizations dedicated to stopping child sexual assault, child sex trafficking, and sexual assault within institutions. She speaks across the globe to groups such as schools, universities, governmental organizations, corporations, parents, NGOs, conventions, and civic groups on all aspects of child sexual abuse prevention, healing, and the exposure of the cover-up. Her TEDx talk is being used by therapists in the clinic setting to help survivors of abuse and assault.
Joelle’s other books include: The Compassionate Response: How to help and empower the adult victim of child sexual abuse, and Scram! A Parent’s Quick-Start Guide to Preventing, Identifying, and Ending Bullying.
Ann Ratnayake Macy JD/BBA is the Executive Director at the National Center for Child Abuse Statistics and Policy. Ann began her career working on children’s issues at the National District Attorney’s Association’s Child Abuse Unit. As a Senior Staff Attorney, she worked strategically as a liaison between state prosecutors and federally funded child abuse initiatives. Ann assisted front-line prosecutors on functioning as a subject matter expert. She has drafted legislation, reports and memorandums on child abuse, neglect and other criminal justice issues. Ann supervised attorneys, communicated with stakeholders and configured grant applications to meet the needs of the field. She also managed and tracked deliverables, and wrote the final, progress, and semiannual reports for 5.9 million dollars of Department of Justice grant funding. She managed complex trial advocacy trainings, conferences, and wrote for NDAA’s publications. Her primary area of research focuses on addressing family and domestic violence within the in the framework of the criminal justice system. Her articles include: U.S. v. Jones: Signaling Change to Search and Seizure under the Fourth Amendment, Juvenile Sex Offenses: Finding Justice, and Berghuis v. Thompkins: Invocation and Waiver of the Miranda Right to Remain Silent, The Confrontation Clause After Ohio v. Clark: The Path to Reinvigorating Evidenced-Based Prosecution in Intimate Partner Violence Cases was co-published by NDAA and the George Washington Law Review, and a Precarious Gap in U.S. Criminal Codes for Cases of Child Torture published in the Journal of Child and Youth Review. She has also written three chapters for the American Bar Association’s State of Criminal Justice Book Series.
For the 2018, Ann co-chairs the victim’s committee for the American Bar Association, serves on the criminal justice section council, and is a member of the Commission on Youth at Risk. Ann was also honored to be accepted into the class of 2018 for the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholars Program as an agent of change.
Ann has also worked on Capitol Hill for the Texas 17 District, at the International Trade Administration, and for the Western District of Texas – Waco Division, Federal Court. She is licensed to practice law in both Texas and the District of Columbia Bar. She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University Mays School of Business in 2005 where she received the Ford Foundation Scholar Award, and from Baylor University Law School in 2009 where she was awarded the Alice Gist Dunaway Foundation Professional Responsibility Award and the Dean’s Academic Excellence Award. Ann is an advocate for policies that eradicate family violence.
Michael Johnson (Detective Mike, ret) is an internationally recognized expert on all aspects of child abuse and exploitation and specializes in abuse investigation, detection, and prevention efforts for organizations serving youth.
Michael Johnson was the Youth Protection Advisor/Director for the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from July 2010 to December 2020, where he advised on efforts to improve youth protection policies, training, and procedures to ensure the safest possible environment for BSA youth. Johnson is credited with acting as a change agent to strengthen BSA’s “Youth Protection” program, and he spearheaded the BSA’s efforts to provide ongoing support to survivors and a trauma-informed response to victims of abuse in the organization.
Prior to BSA, Johnson served 24 of his 28 years as the Lead Detective and Family Violence/Abuse Investigator in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Plano, Texas Police Department. In that role, he focused exclusively on interviewing victims, interrogating perpetrators, and investigating child abuse cases, including child sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, and exploitation.
An early pioneer and visionary in the field, Johnson was at the forefront of promoting the multidisciplinary team investigative approach and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) movement in the early 1990s. In 2019, the American Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) at the 26th APSAC Colloquium, recognized Detective Michael Johnson as “one of the most influential pioneers in the investigation of suspected child maltreatment”, in 70+ Years Addressing Child Maltreatment in the USA: Pioneers and APSAC`s Role in Improving Practice, Science and Resiliency. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in psychology from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He lives in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of Texas.
Elizabeth Hobbs currently works for the Virginia Sheriffs Association. She obtained her law degree from the William and Mary School of Law and served as a prosecutor in Richmond, Virginia for 19 years focusing on violent crimes. Elizabeth began her career as a prosecutor primarily handling crimes against children. She ultimately returned to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in a leadership role handling the most serious crimes against children and working closely on the Multidisciplinary Team with law enforcement partners, forensic interviewers and other child advocacy professionals.
Michael R. Galantino is currently the Executive Director of the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, an organization dedicated to providing support to state and local prosecutors throughout the United States through education, networking, and technical support. Mr. Galantino is also an instructor for the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board and an adjunct professor in criminal justice at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Galantino served for thirty years in the Delaware County (PA) District Attorney’s Office including the last twenty-one years as Deputy District Attorney and Chief of the Special Victims / Domestic Violence Division. He has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from West Chester University and a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. He began his career in the District Attorney’s Office in 1989 and was promoted to the criminal trial division in 1991, where he prosecuted a variety of cases over the next seven years.
In 1998, Mr. Galantino was appointed Chief of the newly created Special Victims’ Unit to specialize in cases involving Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Internet Crimes Against Children. He prosecuted thousands of cases in his career, including more than 140 jury trials to verdict. He has taught at the National, State, and local levels on issues including computer-facilitated sexual assault, child abuse and exploitation, ethics, evidence, criminal law, search and seizure and courtroom procedures.
Dr. Hans Keirstead is an internationally known stem cell expert and serial entrepreneur who has led therapy development for spinal cord injury, cancer, immune disorders, motor neuron disease, retinal disease, and COVID-19. He has founded 4 successful biotechnology companies and holds board positions at several prominent companies in the space. He also holds board positions at charitable foundations for sexual abuse and reconstructive surgery in developing nations.
Previously, he was Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, where he co-founded and directed the $77 million Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. He was a founding advisor of the California stem cell initiative that resulted in the $8.5 billion CIRM stem cell fund, and has been a long-time advisor to several governments on biomedical policy. Dr. Keirstead’s work in spinal cord injury earned him the distinction of being one of 100 top scientists of the year in Discover Magazine. He has also been featured in Newsweek, WIRED, Esquire, The American Spectator, Men’s Vogue, Science and TIME Magazine amongst other publications. He was featured on 60 minutes in a full segment covering his treatment for spinal cord injury.
Among his many accolades Dr. Keirstead received the Cameron Award for outstanding Ph.D. thesis in the country from University of British Columbia, where he earned his Ph.D. He was awarded the Touching One Billion People Award by Singularity University. He was also recently honored as one of 7 thought leaders in Canada at the Seven Wonderer’s event by Beakerhead, and most recently had the privilege of being awarded the Top 20 Canadians Award by the Consul General of Canada.
Jeff Anderson, the founder of Zero Abuse Project, is widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation and a champion of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Jeff is credited with being instrumental in exposing the large-scale cover-up of pedophile priests in the early 1980s. He is one of the first trial lawyers in America to publicly and aggressively initiate lawsuits against sexual predators, focusing on bringing heat and light on the offenders and the institutions that conceal and protect them.
Dr. Walter Sipe is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Pediatrics, with additional clinical and research training in pediatric gastroenterology. He has an active outpatient psychotherapy and medication management practice serving adults and adolescents. Dr. Sipe spent four years as an attending psychiatrist in the Anxiety Disorders Specialty Clinic of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, which receives a high proportion of referrals for individuals with developmental trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other trauma-related disabilities. He lectures on PTSD, repressed or recovered memory, and the neurobiology of early childhood stressors.
Patty Wetterling is an advocate focused on protecting children from abduction and abuse. Following the 1989 abduction and murder of her son, Jacob, she co-founded with her husband, Jerry, what became known as the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. She previously served as Chair of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and as Director of Sexual Violence Prevention for the Minnesota Department of Health.