Advocacy is one of the most important tools that nonprofits and foundation can use to create lasting change in the communities they serve. We know it can be confusing, intimidating and even discouraging at times. That’s why we’re here to help.

Our team of expert coaches is here to guide you and your organization through the intricacies of advocacy, to help you understand what’s allowable under the law, to build confidence, and to give you the tools you need to conduct effective advocacy.

Meet our advocacy team.

Sue Hoechstetter

Sue grew up in Pittsburgh and made her way to Washington to work on a presidential campaign.

Abby Levine

Before going off to college, Abby lived in five states and Canada – the perfect preparation for all her travel to conduct trainings across the country.

Toren Lewis

Toren received his J.D. from UC Davis School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in International Politics from Georgetown University. Prior to joining AFJ, Toren served as a Commission Counsel in the Legal and Enforcement Divisions of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Before FPPC, Toren worked for the California State Senate and the Endeavor Group, a boutique firm in Washington, D.C. providing legal and strategic advice primarily to philanthropists and entrepreneurs.

Sara Matlin

Sara graduated with a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University. She is the chair of the ACLU of Northern California – North Peninsula Chapter and a founder of the San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Sara began her career in policy change advocacy in 1988. She’s excited to use her community organizing and training experience, along with her Spanish/English bilingualism, to broaden the advocacy work of social justice organizations in California and across the country.

Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort

Natalie Roetzel serves as the Director of AFJ’s Texas office. She previously helped to create and run the Innocence Project of Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing those wrongfully convicted of crimes in the state.

Ronnie Pawelko

Ronnie Pawelko is Elections Counsel for Alliance for Justice. Before joining AFJ, Ronnie was General Counsel at Family Planning Advocates of New York State where she focused on reproductive health care policy and worked with New York’s Planned Parenthood affiliates to ensure their advocacy and political activities were conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. She also served as Treasurer for the Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York PAC and the Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York Political Committee. Previously, Ronnie served as Health and Human Services Team Counsel for the New York State Senate and as staff attorney for the MergerWatch Project.

Nikhil Pillai

Nikhil received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and B.S. from the Ohio State University. Before joining AFJ, Nikhil was Associate Counsel at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL CIO. In that role he was responsible for drafting and negotiating operational agreements, advising staff on prospective legal concerns, and ensuring compliance with campaign finance and lobbying laws. Prior to that, he was a law fellow at AARP.

Nona Randois

Nona manages AFJ’s Bolder Advocacy work in California as well as its Northern and Southern California offices. Nona has over two decades of experience as an attorney specializing in representing nonprofit organizations. She previously worked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, where her practice focused primarily on representing nonprofits in community economic development, land use, tax, real estate, and corporate matters. She also has experience in policy advocacy, employment law, strategic planning, and organizational capacity building. Before working at Legal Aid, Nona worked at the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Shyaam Subramanian

Shyaam received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to coming to AFJ, Shyaam was a Public Interest Fellow at the National Health Law Program, a nonprofit organization that advances the health rights of low-income and under-served individuals and families.