Kristin Houlé, Executive Director

Kristin has served as TCADP’s Executive Director since December 2008.  From 2007-2008 she was a Soros Justice Fellow and conducted research and public education around the intersection of the death penalty and severe mental illness in Texas. Kristin served for five years as the Program Associate for Amnesty International USA’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty in Washington, DC. She has been involved with the human rights and anti-death penalty movements since 1995 and held several volunteer leadership roles with Amnesty International, including Student Area Coordinator and State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Kentucky. She also was active as a board member and local chapter leader for the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and later became involved with the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in Chicago.  Kristin graduated from the University of Kentucky and resides in Austin, Texas.  Contact her at

Vanessa Akins, Communications Coordinator

10473443_898495052129_2083849626336923509_nVanessa started volunteering with TCADP in May of 2014 and became the Communications Coordinator in February of 2015. She graduated from St. Edward’s University in 2009 with B.A. in Communications. While in college, Vanessa interned with The Wright House Wellness Center, focusing on community outreach. Additionally, she had an opportunity to work with a notable criminal defense attorney in Huntsville. Both opportunities provided a front row seat to social injustice. After graduating, Vanessa taught high school science in the Gulf Coast area and 8th grade English in the Third Ward of Houston. A brief hiatus in the world of corporate communication as the Training/Communications Specialist for a software startup, Vanessa realized she needed to refocus her efforts and get back into non-profit work. While working as an independent contractor in marketing, she was a Battleground Texas Summer Fellow. Her work on the campaign evolved into becoming the Voter Registration Coordinator for Wimberley and Dripping Springs. She now resides in Wimberley, Texas. Contact her at