About – Our Team

TEAM

Mike Coszalter
Office Coordinator

As Office Coordinator, Mike Coszalter helps oversee administrative responsibilities for GIP and works to ensure an efficient, organized office environment. He also supports other staff members with client intake, volunteer and intern coordination, operations, and communications.

Prior to joining GIP, Mike served as the Executive Assistant at the Full Belly Project - a nonprofit dedicated to poverty alleviation and global development through simple, sustainable technology. Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington, where he honed his passion for social justice, human connection, and applied academics. Outside of the office, Mike is also an experienced dancer, hopeful artist, and proud parent of two adorable pups.
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Marissa Gaston
Communications Manager
As Communications Manager, Marissa Gaston oversees communication between GIP, the press and the public. She cultivates and manages media relationships to shape news coverage of our cases while working with the Executive Director and staff attorneys to tell client stories and develop public education and advocacy materials.
Prior to joining GIP, Marissa worked as a digital media strategist primarily focused on immigrant justice at the Southern Poverty Law Center and a social media producer for It’s A Southern Thing. She graduated summa cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University in 2018, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and minors in Writing and African-American Studies. During college she was the managing editor for a student-run newspaper that circulated a campus of more than 20,000, as well as an intern at USA TODAY Network. In 2017 she was awarded the Herman Eskew Award by Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Media & Entertainment and the Susan Long Weaver Scholarship by the Nashville Association of Black Journalists, both for exhibiting promise as an editor, and named a Chips Quinn Diversity Scholar by the Newseum Institute. In 2018 she placed first in copy editing at the Southeastern Journalism Conference. When she’s not working to free the wrongfully convicted, Marissa enjoys baking, obscure pop culture references, watching The Office on a loop and making regular road trips back home to Tennessee.
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Clare Gilbert
Executive Director
As Executive Director, Clare Gilbert leads the organization while focusing on litigation, policy and board development. Her work on GIP’s Joey Watkins case was featured for seven months in 2016/17 on the popular Undisclosed podcast.
Prior to joining GIP, Clare worked for six years as a public defender in Snohomish County, Washington, and before that as a public interest lawyer representing nonprofits with Smith and Lowney, PLLC, and as a policy lawyer at the Government Accountability Project. Clare also has the unfortunate distinction of working as the victim advocate on the prosecution team that secured wrongful sexual assault convictions against four women now known as the San Antonio Four (all exonerated in 2016). Clare graduated from the University of Washington School of Law and Vassar College, and has been at GIP in various roles since April 2015. When not fighting wrongful convictions, Clare enjoys hiking and mushroom hunting with her husband, two small kids and very noisy beagle.
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Jheanelle Girvan
Case Analyst
As Case Analyst, Jheanelle Girvan works with GIP's staff attorneys and intake manager to assist with all case related needs. She finds and collects documents, organizes files and information, performs research and analysis, and creates case summaries and work product.
Prior to being employed as a Case Analyst, Jheanelle was an intern, then volunteer at GIP for almost 2 years. She recently graduated from Georgia State with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and plans to attend law school in the near future. Outside of the office, Jheanelle loves to play football and soccer, spend time with her younger brother and travel. As a Caribbean native, Jheanelle has spent much of much of life on a plane. One of her favorite quotes is, "You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." -Malcolm X
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Ron Grosse
Investigator
As an investigator, Ron Grosse works with staff attorneys in reviewing and evaluating innocence claims. Ron is responsible for examining and assessing cases, locating and interviewing witnesses, identifying and collecting new evidence where available, and assisting in case strategy. 
Before joining GIP, Ron was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for over twenty-eight years, assigned to the office in Columbia, South Carolina. Ron was a White Collar Crime investigator. Prior to the FBI, Ron spent seven years in the U.S. Army and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. Ron is married with three grown children and enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, and working out.
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Matt Holbrook
Operations Manager
As Operations Manager, Matt Holbrook manages the organization’s finances, operations, IT and human resources, and provides administrative supervision and support for interns.
Matt defines success in his role as creating a culture of organizational excellence, and developing tools and processes to form a solid foundation from which GIP can most effectively advance its mission. Matt joined GIP in November of 2016. He previously worked as business manager at a small contracting company, where he handled everything from customer relations to supply chain logistics. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of New Mexico in 2015, where he worked in the law library at UNM's School of Law. Matt is a sci-fi lover, contemporary board game enthusiast, and casual musician.
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Raylynn Hughes
Intake Manager

As Intake Manager, Raylynn Hughes is responsible for assessing and responding to inmate and other requests for GIP’s assistance, and managing cases through our intake screening process.

Raylynn joined GIP in December 2016, thanks to generous support from GIP's Georgia Gives Day donors. Before coming to GIP, Raylynn worked as a Librarian and Continuing Education Services Coordinator for DeKalb County Public Library, in Decatur, GA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and her Master of Librarianship from Emory University. Raylynn is fluent in Spanish. She picked up running as a sport when she previously worked as a manager the Atlanta Track Club, and she still goes out for morning runs and weekend races.
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Meagan Hurley
Alabama Fellow

As Alabama Fellow, Meagan Hurley works to provide access to justice for Alabama’s imprisoned innocent by investigating and evaluating claims of wrongful conviction, and then pairing compelling cases with pro bono attorneys licensed to practice in Alabama.

Meagan is also responsible for providing training and support for pro bono attorneys while facilitating the formation of a collaborative framework from which to build upon innocence initiatives within Alabama. Where appropriate, Meagan also litigates select claims of actual innocence on behalf of wrongfully convicted persons. Meagan is a 2019 honor graduate of Mercer University School of Law, where she devoted more than 2,000 pro bono service hours as a full time student working for entities such as the Houston County Public Defender’s Office, the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, and Georgia Innocence Project, in addition to participating in the Mercer Habeas Project clinic. She was the Class of 2019 recipient of Mercer Law's Clover Award for Indigent Defense Advocacy and Social Justice Lawyering. Meagan earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Reinhardt University in 2014. In between law school and college, Meagan worked as a newspaper reporter covering crime, politics, and education in Alabama, where Meagan spent significant time as an adolescent on her family’s Cherokee County farm. While working in East Alabama, Meagan received eleven Associated Press and Alabama Press Association awards. In her spare time, Meagan enjoys hiking and kayaking, traveling abroad, and spending time with family and good friends.
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Adam McClay
Staff Attorney

As a Staff Attorney, Adam McClay investigates and litigates claims of actual innocence on behalf of wrongfully convicted individuals in Georgia, and has the opportunity to work with GIP's interns and volunteers.

Adam came to GIP from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, where he was, most recently, a law clerk to Hon. Frank M. Hull, and before that a staff attorney for the Court. Prior to coming to the Eleventh Circuit, Adam worked for five and a half years as a litigator at Sidley Austin, LLP, in New York. He earned his law degree from Columbia University School of Law, a master's degree in literature from the University of Oxford, and his bachelor's degree from Amherst College.  Adam has been struggling to learn the guitar for several years now, frequently wins at bar trivia, and is a sucker for classic travel and adventure nonfiction.
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Michele Thompson
Development Manager
As Development Manager, Michele Thompson oversees GIP's fundraising efforts, securing critically needed support while connecting our community partners and donors with our mission.
Prior to joining GIP, Michele was the Donor Experience and Grants Coordinator for the Lawrence Humane Society, in Lawrence, Kansas, and currently produces a newsletter for the Maryland chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Michele calls both Maryland and Kansas home, and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas. When she isn't helping the imprisoned innocent attain justice, Michele enjoys hiking, fishing, listening to her favorite audiobooks, and cheering on the Kansas Jayhawks during basketball season.
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Jennifer Whitfield
Staff Attorney

As a Staff Attorney, Jennifer Whitfield represents individual GIP clients in every stage of their search for post-conviction relief.  Jennifer is responsible for investigating innocence claims, petitioning Courts for DNA testing where appropriate, and pursuing every legal and extrajudicial remedy available for the wrongfully convicted.

Prior to joining GIP, Jennifer worked for nearly four years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. Jennifer worked with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and she was responsible for managing dozens of cases from the investigation stage through appeal. Before moving to Atlanta in 2014, Jennifer learned how to be a lawyer at Covington & Burling, LLP, in Washington, D.C. There, Jennifer worked on a team that secured the release of a wrongfully convicted man from Alabama’s death row. Jennifer was a Clarence Darrow scholar at the University of Michigan Law School, and she completed undergrad at Duke University. When not seeking justice, Jennifer loves hiking in the mountains with her husband and two small kids, and she is known to lose track of hours perusing books in a local bookstore or library.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CURRENT

Walter Jospin - Board Chair

Julie Seaman - Former Board Chair

Jake Arbes

Kenny Baer

David Balser

Jeff Brickman

Karl Douglass

Jimmie Gardner

Sarah Gerwig-Moore

Mark Hackner

Anna Halsey

Calvin Johnson

Richard Mitchell

Molly Parmer

Page Pate

David Sarnat

Robert Sheft

Wendy Shoob

Garret Van de Grift

Amy Weil

EMERITUS

Emmet J. Bondurant

James C. Bonner, Jr.

Bobby Lee Cook

Charles K. Edmondson, Jr.

September Guy, Co-Founder

Jill G. Polster, Co-Founder

Greg Hampikian, Ph.D.

John R. Martin