Dr. Mike Renquist, President. Mike is an author, keynoter and change agent, serving in the areas of training and human and organizational development. Originally educated as a Presbyterian minister, he has a degree in Speech and Theatre from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. After serving numerous churches in Texas and Missouri, he transitioned to business consulting and training, both as an internal and external consultant. His emphasis in leadership development with upper and middle management is on the “whole molecule of change,” a systemic approach supported by Emotional Intelligence that leads to greater accountability, innovation and sustainability. He is a certified practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming, and his specialty in training is presentation and communication skills, having brought new competencies to thousands in the last 25 years. Mike lives in Austin and joined the board in 2013. He is a member of the TCADP Lobby Corps.
Lauralee Harris, Vice President. Lauralee is a native Texan. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas, her Masters of Public Administration from Angelo State University, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Lauralee has more than 20 years of experience as an Executive Director in the non-profit arena and has been heavily involved in social justice and human service issues. She started residential facilities to help people with mental retardation and other handicapping conditions learn to live independently in the community, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and a transportation program for elderly and disabled people who live in eleven Tarrant County cities not served by public transportation.
In the nine years she served as the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County, Lauralee helped to start an advocacy program for people living in unlicensed care homes, a law enforcement training and liaison program designed to divert people with mental illness from arrest into treatment, a mental health court to prevent incarceration of people with mental illness, and a suicide prevention program. She now has a consulting business assisting nonprofit organizations in administrative, board, program and resource assessment and development as well as grant writing. Lauralee recently moved to the Austin area to be closer to her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. She is building a house in Kyle. Lauralee joined the board in 2015.
Reverend Susan Buchanan, Treasurer. Rev. Buchanan has served in a variety of ministries connected to the United Methodist Church, from congregational pastor to hospital chaplain to campus minister. She is currently appointed as the Director of Recruitment and Student Services of the Houston-Galveston Extension Program for the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Rev. Buchanan believes that as this region is the home of the most active death chamber in the nation, people of faith in Texas have a special responsibility to work for the abolition of the death penalty. She became involved in TCADP several years ago in order to make a greater commitment to advocacy and education on death penalty issues. Rev. Buchanan lives in Houston. She joined the board in 2015.
DJ Compton, Secretary. A 5th generation Texan, DJ worked for over 35 years for a large multi-national insurance company, most recently as Vice President of International Marketing. In that capacity over the last 10 years, DJ partnered with local offices in Latin America, Europe, and Asia to help develop marketing strategies and plans. Her work gave her the opportunity to live overseas twice, most recently in India where she worked with insurance regulators to develop marketing guidelines for the direct selling of insurance products. In 2014, she retired from corporate life and joined the TCADP Volunteer Lobby Corp in order to take a more active role in working towards the abolition of the death penalty in Texas. DJ is a member of the Dallas Friends Meeting (Religious Society of Friends – Quakers) and resides in Allen, Texas. DJ joined the TCADP Board in June 2015.
Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood. A theologian, historian, and bioethicist by academic training, Jeff is a graduate of Auburn University, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, the University of Alabama, and Creighton University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry in Practical Theology at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. Jeff’s ordination rests within the Southern Baptist Convention. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he currently lives in Denton, Texas, where he serves as the Executive Director of Center for Theological Activism, on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and as a spiritual advisor on Texas’ death row. He joined the board in 2013. Jeff writes regularly at http://revjeffhood.com/.
Casey Magnuson was born and raised in Austin, only a 20-minute walk from the State Capitol. As far back as she can remember, she hung around the Capitol’s chambers, halls, and offices and has been involved in the legislative process since the age of 13. Her legislative passion is in the Clean School Bus Program, Smoke-Free Texas, Public Education and Finance, Pro-Life Issues, and the Abolition of the Death Penalty. Casey utilized her experience to help the Clean School Bus Program be written into law in 2005 and funded in 2007, 2009, and 2011 with bipartisan support, and in 2009 she stepped out of her comfort zone and testified at a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee about her personal experience with violent crime where she was approached by TCADP. Casey has worked on city council, mayoral, legislative, and presidential campaigns and enjoys meeting new people and traveling. She is a founding member of the TCADP Lobby Corps. Casey lives in San Antonio and joined the Board in June 2015.
Professor Ana M. Otero. Ana earned her J.D. from Rutgers University in 1985. She obtained an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1982, and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University in 1977. In 1975, she obtained her BA from Columbia University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and Cum Laude. Upon graduation from law school, she practiced law in Florida at the firm of Blackwell & Walker where she became Senior Attorney in the Commercial Litigation Division. She moved to Houston in 1991, and began working as a Staff Attorney in the Judicial Division of the Municipal Courts. In 1997, she was appointed Associate Municipal Court Judge, and served in that capacity through September 2006.
In 1998, she was hired as Visiting Professor at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002. At Thurgood, she has taught Case Analysis, Appellate Litigation, Comparative Constitutional Law, Death Penalty, Texas Practice, and Civil Procedure. In addition, she taught LEAP and served as Director of the Judicial Externship Program from 2001-2004. She serves on the board of the Earl Carl Institute, as member of the Pedagogical Institute, and as Faculty Advisor for the Hispanic Law Students Association. Her scholarship focuses in the area of the death penalty. During her tenure at Thurgood, she has been selected numerous times as 3L Professor of the Year, most recently in the Spring 2014. She has been repeatedly selected by students to address the graduating class at the hooding ceremony. In 2002, and most recently in 2008, she was chosen by the law school faculty as Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s Professor of the Year. For the past ten years, Professor Otero has worked extensively with the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) as a lecturer in numerous workshops and as Director of two of its programs: The Mid-Winter Bar Workshop, and the Sophomore Summer Institute.
Most recently, she served as a member of the Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Team organized by the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Due Process Review Project. In September 2013, the Texas team issued a comprehensive report with recommendations to help ensure fairness and accuracy in the state’s death penalty system. “Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Texas Capital Punishment Report” is the culmination of a two-year review of Texas capital punishment laws, procedures and practices. She served on this committee along with former Gov. Mark White, who oversaw 19 executions during his term; Paul Coggins, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; W. Royal Furgeson, retired U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Texas; former Texas Supreme Court Justice Deborah Hankinson; Ronald Breaux of Haynes and Boone, LLP, in Dallas; Charles Terrell, Sr., founder of Safer Dallas; and chairwoman Jennifer Laurin, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. Professor Otero is a member of both the Florida (inactive) and Texas bars. She joined the TCADP Board in 2015.
Ana Ramon. Ana Ramon is a resident of San Antonio, Texas. She has years of experience working in the Texas Legislature, most recently as Chief of Staff for State Representative Farias. Ana is passionate about criminal justice reform and abolishing the death penalty. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University and serves as Chairwoman of the Texas Arbor Day Committee, and is a member of Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honors Fraternity. Ana joined the TCADP board in 2016.
Aftab Siddiqui. Aftab has been actively involved with the Dallas Peace Center for the last 10 years, serving as Co-Chair of the Save Pakistan Committee, which is working to stop drone attacks in Pakistan, and currently as Co-Chair of the Human Rights at Home Committee, which works on a host of issues including civil liberty and immigration reform. He is the Chair of the Muslim Community Center for Human Services, a nonprofit that provides charitable health and social services. Aftab also volunteers with the United Way of Tarrant County and sat on the Cabinet and Health Impact Council. He is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Tarrant County Democratic Party and played a key role in organizing the Ballot Box Barbecue (2002) and Civil Rights Conferences (2003, 2004, and 2005); he is currently the President of the Muslim Democratic Caucus of Texas. Prior to migrating to the United States in 1993, Aftab played a key role in establishing an Amnesty International Chapter in Pakistan, where he was involved in campaigns against human rights violations and the death penalty. Aftab worked for 16 years at American Airlines until his retirement in 2012; he was deeply involved with the Diversity Initiative at work. He is currently working with Dallas County Schools as a Routing Specialist. Aftab also worked in production management and taught as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Karachi. He has completed his BS (Elect), MBA, and MPA (UT Arlington). He lives in Arlington and joined the board in 2013.