Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day


I spent the weekend in my hometown of Washington DC celebrating Mother's Day with my wife, my mother, and my sister-in-law.  It got me thinking about all of the women who have played a role in my career: people like Alice Shabecoff, author of Poisoned for Profit, who gave me my first job out of college; Aviva Meyer of the New Israel Fund, who taught me so much about fundraising; and, of course, former New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, who helped inspire the creation of the Center for Court Innovation and has been a stalwart support of the organization over the past 15 years.

Speaking of the Center, I particularly wanted to highlight the debt that I owe to my former colleague Michele Sviridoff.  Michele easily ranks among the smartest and most hard-working co-workers I have ever had.  Among other accomplishments, she wrote the book pictured above, which documented some of the early impacts of the Midtown Community Court.  Over the years, Michele has taught me an enormous amount about research, the non-profit sector and the criminal justice system.  But what I admire the most about her is her selflessness (she never seeks the limelight) and her generosity (she is remarkably giving of both her time and her ideas).  I don't know how successful I've been, but I do my best to emulate both of these qualities.