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Advising Nonprofit Organizations 2018


Speaker(s): Alison Lonshein, Anne K. Gerson, Debra Alligood White, Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer, Jeremy Steckel, Marcus S. Owens, Pamela A. Mann, Sean Delany, Terence Dougherty
Recorded on: Feb. 28, 2018
PLI Program #: 221970

Alison Lonshein is General Counsel of The Frick Collection, a nonprofit organization that operates an art museum and art reference library.  Prior to joining The Frick Collection, Ms. Lonshein practiced in the tax-exempt organizations group at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where she advised public charities, private foundations, and other tax-exempt entities in diverse tax, governance, and transactional matters  Ms. Lonshein has published on aspects of federal tax law applicable to public charities and private foundations. 


Anne K. Gerson is counsel in Venable's Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group. She focuses her practice on representing nonprofit organizations, including public charities, private foundations, religious organizations, trade associations, educational organizations, arts organizations, social clubs, and other tax-exempt entities. She counsels and advises clients on federal tax issues such as domestic and international grant-making, self-dealing and excess benefit transactions, obtaining and maintaining exempt status, unrelated business income tax, excess business holdings, program-related investments, lobbying and political activity, IRS audits, state law issues, contracts, intellectual property, and corporate governance matters, among others.

Ms. Gerson is admitted to practice in New York and California.  She is currently practicing under the supervision of Venable partners admitted to the D.C. Bar while her application to the Bar of the District of Columbia is pending.  She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She holds both a J.D. and an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law and was the NYU Tax Policy Fellow at the United States Department of Treasury in 2004.

In 2015, Ms. Gerson received the Outstanding Young Nonprofit Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Nonprofit Organizations Committee. She is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee and a Member of the New York City Bar Association, and has served as a member and as Secretary of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Non-Profit Organizations.


Debra Alligood White is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, where she is responsible for the in-house legal function as well as contract administration, board affairs, enterprise risk management and ethics.  Prior to joining Planned Parenthood in January 2013, Debra practiced for almost 20 years as a transactional attorney in private practice, most recently as a partner in the Health Care Transactions & Policy group of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, representing providers, insurers and nonprofit health information technology organizations.  Before attending UCLA Law School, Debra worked for the City of New York in the field of economic development.


Liz Guggenheimer is Deputy Executive Director & Director of Institutional Advancement at Lawyers Alliance for New York.  She has significant legal expertise in the areas of nonprofit governance, risk management, fundraising law and regulation, and legal ethics. With regard to the 2018 PLI topic, she has worked with numerous boards of directors as legal advisor, board member, and primary staff liaison to board officers and committees, although generally only one such role for the same organization at the same time.      

Liz oversees Lawyers Alliance's pro bono legal services program, strategic initiatives, fundraising and communications, and she has also managed Lawyers Alliance’s client representation services and advocacy initiative.   In addition to its services in New York, Lawyers Alliance coordinates a national network of business law pro bono providers serving fifteen regions throughout the country, and Liz is currently spearheading these efforts.  Prior to joining Lawyers Alliance in 1999, Liz served as acting bureau chief and deputy bureau chief of the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office.  From 1987-1996, she was a litigator at Dewey Ballantine LLP.  She holds an A.B. from Harvard College, J.D. from New York University School of Law, and M.P.A. from Princeton University. 


Pamela A. Mann is Chair of the Tax Exempt Organizations Group in the firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, with a practice concentrated in the representation of tax-exempt organization.  She is counsel to numerous public charities and private foundations and advises clients in a wide range of governance, regulatory, tax, and general corporate matters.  From 1996 to December 2012, she was the principal in the Mann Legal Group, LLC, a boutique law practice serving tax-exempt organizations.  From 1985 to 1995, Ms. Mann was Chief of the Charities Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office, directing scores of important cases and initiatives and influencing the adoption of significant legislative changes affecting tax exempt organizations.  Her diverse background includes clinical teaching at Rutgers University School of Law’s Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the litigation of employment discrimination and other employment related matters at the National Employment Law Project.

Ms. Mann has been recognized in New York Magazine’s Best Lawyers in New York and in Super-Lawyers Magazine in the category of lawyers specializing in Nonprofit/Charities Law.  Ms. Mann was Chair of the Committee on Nonprofit Organizations of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1998-2001 and has served as President and Vice-President of the National Association of State Charities Officials.  She has written many articles for professional and lay publications and is a frequent lecturer on non-profit issues.  She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  More information about the Tax Exempt Organizations practice at Carter Ledyard & Milburn is available at www.clm.com.


Sean Delany is the Executive Director at Lawyers Alliance for New York, Inc., the leading provider of pro bono business legal services to community development organizations and other nonprofit groups in New York City.  Through a staff of in-house attorneys who are specialists in nonprofit law and a corps of more than 1400 volunteer lawyers from more than 100 leading law firms and corporations, the Lawyers Alliance provides business legal services each year to more than 600 community-based organizations. From 1997 to 1999 Mr. Delany served as the Legal Director of Lawyers Alliance.

Prior to joining Lawyers Alliance, Mr. Delany served as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Charities Bureau in the office of the Attorney General of the State of New York.  In 1996-97, Mr. Delany served as the President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO)

Mr. Delany is Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches the Business Law Transactions Clinic, teaching business lawyers to work with organizational clients by representing nonprofit organizations on transactional and corporate governance projects.

Mr. Delany serves on the Board of Advisors of the Frances L. & Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund, and as an Advisor on the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations. Mr. Delany serves as a member of the Government Relations Committee of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York.


Marc is a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm, Loeb & Loeb, LLP, where he specializes in federal tax issues relating to tax-exempt organizations, including charities and issue advocacy groups.  Prior to joining Loeb & Loeb, he spent 15 years in private practice and 25 years with the US Internal Revenue Service, including serving as Director of the Exempt Organizations Division from 1990 until 2000.  As Director of the Exempt Organizations Division, he was responsible for the design and implementation of federal tax rulings and enforcement programs for charities and other tax-exempt organizations.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and Florida Bars and he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pemsel Case Foundation, a Canadian foundation focusing on the development of the law of charity.  He is also co-chair of the Subcommittee on Audits and Appeals of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section.  Chambers USA ranked him as a “Top Lawyer” in 2009-2012; he is also named to “Best Lawyers of America” for Nonprofit/Charities Law and Tax Law for 2008-2018.  Thomson Reuters identified him as a “Washington, DC Super Lawyer” in 2012-2017; and The Legal 500 US named him as a “Leading Lawyer” in Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Organizations.


Terence Dougherty is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the ACLU. In this capacity, he oversees the Finance, In-House Legal, Technology Product Development, Information Technology, Building Operations and Human Resources operations of the national ACLU. Prior to joining the ACLU in 2005, Terence practiced law at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, where he represented numerous nonprofit organizations, including educational institutions, advocacy organizations, private foundations, museums and donor advised funds. Prior to that, he practiced law at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Dougherty has over a decade of experience working with nonprofit organizations on a wide range of issues, and he regularly lectures and gives trainings. Among his publications, Dougherty authored an article in 2013 on political advocacy by nonprofit organizations and a 2009 article on newspapers as tax-exempt entities. Dougherty is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he studied Victorian poetry and Viola da Gamba performance, and Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a recipient of a Human Rights Internship Fellowship. During law school, he interned with Hon. Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and with Hon. Cheryl Valandra of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court in South Dakota. In 2008, Dougherty was appointed as a Commissioner of the Women's Refugee Commission. Since 2005, he has served as a member of the board of directors of New York Live Arts (formerly, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company) and has sat on the Government Relations Committee of the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee. He is a former member of the boards of the Columbia University School of Law Alumni Association and the Ohio Public Interest Research Group. Dougherty is a native New Yorker.


Jeremy Steckel counsels tax-exempt organizations on corporate and compliance matters, including formation, obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status, corporate governance, contracts, charitable solicitation, international grantmaking, excess benefit transactions, conflicts of interest, and relationships to other tax-exempt and for-profit organizations.  His clients include public charities, private foundations, religious organizations, social welfare organizations and business leagues.

From 2014-2016, Mr. Steckel was a Senior Fellow and Supervising Attorney for a clinic at NYU School of Law, where he supervised teams of students representing non-profits and for-profit social enterprises in corporate matters. His work at NYU included advising an NYU affiliate in establishing the first charitable bail fund serving defendants in Manhattan, and negotiating financing documents for a social impact bond project.

From 2008-2013, Mr. Steckel was a capital markets associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, where he represented investment banks, governments and corporations in domestic and international securities transactions. He regularly worked on bond offerings issued or guaranteed by governmental entities such as Canada’s Department of Finance and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Mr. Steckel co-authored the article Balancing Public and Private Interests in Pay for Success Programs: Should We Care About the Private Benefit Doctrine?, N.Y.U. J. L. & Bus., forthcoming (2018), and he has written about the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act.

He is a member of the Non-Profit Organizations Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.