Our Staff 

Veronica Garibay, Co-Founder and Co-Director

Vernica Garibay immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico at a young age along with her parents and four siblings to the City of Parlier in Fresno County.  Veronica grew up in this small farmworker town and graduated from Parlier Unified District Schools.  As a first generation student, Veronica attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Law and Society in 2008. Upon graduation, Veronica joined the California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc Community Equity Initiative (CEI) as the programs first Community Worker. While at CRLA Veronica earned a Master of Public Administration from Fresno State.

Contac Veronica at vgaribay@leadershipcounsel.org


Phoebe Seaton, Co-Founder and Co-Director

Prior to launching Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Phoebe  directed the Community Equity Initiative (CEI) at California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. and was the Policy Coordinator for issues related to water and land use at California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.  Phoebe initiated the CEI  to address critical infrastructure and service deficits in low income, unincorporated communities in California. Seaton and her colleagues at CRLA litigated civil rights and fair housing claims and maintained a robust writ practice, litigating against local and state agencies.At CRLA, Seaton also directed the organization's Delano office and engaged in legal advocacy on Housing and Employment claims. She received her JD from UCLA and her BA in History from UC Berkeley. Prior to and during law school, Phoebe worked in Guatemala, addressing human rights violations.

Contact Phoebe at pseaton@leadershipcounsel.org


Michele Hasson, Regional Director

Michelle Hasson is the Regional Director of Leadership Counsel in the Coachella Valley. Michele was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico to ex pat parents; she is bilingual and bicultural, she holds citizenship in both the United States and Mexico. Michele earned her B.A. at the University of San Francisco and obtained her master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development (M.P.P.), with honorable mention, from and the Instituto Mora in Mexico City. She has over 9 years of accumulated

experience working in global social justice and women’s rights organizations.

Contact Michele at mhasson@leadershipcounsel.org


Ashley Werner, Attorney

Ashley Werner is an attorney at Leadership Counsel. Prior to joining LCJA, Ashley worked as a staff attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.’s Community Equity Initiative, where she advocated for improved investment and equitable land use and planning practices in disadvantaged communities in the Central Valley.  During and after law school, Ashley worked in Peru on matters related to human rights law litigation, women’s rights, and rural development.  Ashley received her J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. in Economics and Religion from Swarthmore College. Ashley was born and raised in San Anselmo, California.

Contact Ashley at awerner@leadershipcounsel.org


Olivia Faz, Office Manager

Olivia Faz is the Office Manager of LCJA.  She works part-time with LCJA and part-time with California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. – Community Equity Initiative (CEI) as a Legal Secretary/Administrative Assistant.  Olivia has over 20 years work experience in the legal field in the private and government sector.  She is a graduate of Fresno State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and of Fresno City College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies.

Contact Oliva Faz at ofaz@leadershipcounsel.org


Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, a project of Tides Center

2115 Kern Street, Suite 320, Fresno, CA 93721/T 559.369.2790/© 2013