The Organization for Social Media Safety has expert advisors in the various fields related to our work: including technology, education, mental health, public policy, human trafficking, and cyberbullying.
Congressman Brad ShermanMember of Congress
Congressman Brad Sherman, from Sherman Oaks, was born and raised in southern California and represents California’s San Fernando Valley. He has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997, serving his eleventh term in Congress. Sherman is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sherman received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Later he received his law degree from Harvard, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Delegate Marc KormanDelegate, Maryland House of Delegates
Marc Korman was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014. He attended college at the University of Southern California and returned to Montgomery County while working on Capitol Hill. On Capitol Hill, Marc worked for two Democratic Members of Congress on an array of policy issues including transportation, healthcare, and the environment.
Marc earned his Master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to receive his law degree from the University of Maryland where he was awarded the Public Service Award.
He currently practices law at a firm in Washington, DC. He represents broadcast television and radio stations, wireless operators and other telecommunications companies, equipment manufacturers and lending institutions regarding FCC regulations and related communications law issues.
Senator Henry SternCalifornia State Senator
Senator Henry Stern is a sixth-generation Californian. He credits his passion for public service as a family trait, whose diverse history includes farming and ranching, music and film, and a steadfast commitment to helping young people fulfill their potential. Senator Stern was elected to represent the 27th Senate District, which includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, on November 8, 2016.
Senator Stern has also lectured at UCLA and UC Berkeley, enjoys volunteering at his local Boys & Girls Club and is a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the Jewish Federation, the American Jewish Committee, and the Truman National Security Project.
He is an alumnus of Harvard University and UC Berkeley Law.
Assemblyman Jesse GabrielMember, California State Assembly
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel was elected to the California State Assembly in June 2018. He represents the 45th Assembly District, which includes the west San Fernando Valley. Before joining the Legislature, Gabriel worked as a constitutional rights and general litigation attorney, where he helped resolve complex business disputes and represented clients before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to starting his law practice, Gabriel served as Counsel to former United States Senator Evan Bayh, where he drafted key provisions of the 2010 Iran sanctions legislation. Gabriel lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife Rachel Rosner, an affordable housing attorney, and their sons Ethan and Joshua. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School.
Nick MelvoinVice President, Los Angeles Unified School District School Board
Nick Melvoin is proud to serve as Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Prior to his election, Nick worked as a teacher, public interest attorney, nonprofit director, and an active board member of a number of community and Jewish organizations. Nick has also worked in the Obama White House and the US Attorney’s office. Nick’s work is focused on increasing parent and community engagement, transparency and accountability; directing more resources to schools; protecting our most vulnerable students; and bringing a new spirit of partnership and collaboration to LA’s public schools. Nick is a graduate of Harvard College, NYU School of Law (Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar), and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education.
Ron TzadikVice President, ABC Studios
Ron Tzadik is a Vice President of Business Affairs at Disney Television Studios. In his time at Disney, he has worked on children’s, young adult and primetime television projects for distribution on ABC Network, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Hulu, and Disney+, as well as various other broadcast, streaming, cable, and mobile platforms.
Before joining Disney, Ron’s legal career spanned from international infrastructure development projects to small business transactions – and pretty much everything in between. He is passionate about the entertainment industry – and particularly its relationship to social media safety.
Ron is a graduate of UC Berkeley and NYU School of Law. He grew up in Los Angeles, where he currently lives with his wife and two children.
Maggy KrellFormer Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, CA Department of Justice
Maggy Krell is currently Chief Legal Counsel at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. Maggy has designed and lead human trafficking training for health center staff, submitted briefings to the United States Supreme Court on key issues impacting patients and health centers, and helped craft the organization’s strategy for withstanding federal funding cuts.
Maggy started her career as a prosecutor, serving as a deputy district attorney in San Joaquin County before moving up the ranks at the Attorney General’s Office. Maggy has secured convictions against criminals throughout California in high-profile cases including murder, human trafficking, domestic violence, white-collar crime, and mortgage fraud. Maggy’s most notable accomplishments stem from her tireless efforts to combat human trafficking and protect and empower victims. She was the lead prosecutor on the notorious “Backpage” case, where she prosecuted owners of a website who knowingly facilitated the sex trafficking of vulnerable teenagers and earned millions of dollars doing so. She also prosecuted the first of its kind Jane Doe pimping cases, using novel legal and investigative strategies to prosecute the suspects without victim cooperation.
Maggy received her B.A. at U.C. San Diego and her law degree at U.C. Davis, King Hall School of Law.
Danielle MatthewFounder, Empowerment Space
Danielle Matthew is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who treats bully victims and their families and educates schools, medical professionals and the community about the bullying epidemic. With over 20 years of experience, Danielle authored Amazon Parenting Best-Seller, The Empowered Child: How to Help Your Child Cope, Communicate and Conquer Bullying, and is the Director of The Empowerment Space Bullying Therapy Program in Los Angeles.
Featured in Huffington Post, Today.com, Jewish Journal and Thrive Global, Danielle has also appeared on FOX, ABC, CBS and KCAL Morning Shows, as well as Mom Talk Radio, LA Mom Magazine and Kids In The House.
Dr. Amy CranstonExecutive Director, SEL4CA.org
Dr. Amy Cranston serves as the Executive Director for SEL4CA.org. Amy most recently served as the Director of Expanded Learning Services for the Ventura County Office of Education and as a Regional Lead for the CDE-Expanded Learning Division. A professional educator for nearly 20 years, she has been a teacher, school site administrator, county office administrator, and state representative for a four-county region.
A formal and passionate SEL expert, her Doctoral study focused on Social Emotional Learning for At-Risk students. She has since brought her SEL expertise into service in various capacities at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Cranston holds an Ed.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership and has published several articles based on her SEL research.
Ernesto DuranExecutive Director, Expanded Learning Services, Ventura County Office of Education
Ernesto Durán is the Executive Director of Expanded Learning Services for the Ventura County Office of Education. He is responsible for providing technical assistance and grant compliance support to over 50 school districts (serving more than 21,000 children in 250 schools across four counties).
Mr. Durán graduated from UCLA with a double major in History and Spanish Literature, he also holds a Masters degree in Latin American Studies from the same institution. He has provided consulting assistance and training to government institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and marketing agencies seeking to increase their outreach and services to the growing Latino community.
Zach SuchinCEO, Brand-Knew
Zach is an entrepreneur and investor based out of Los Angeles & New York. In 2006, Zach developed College Tonight, which was named the best event-based social network by Mashable and was published in Generation MySpace as one of the top social networking sites on the web. Suchin led the company through several venture rounds, successfully taking the small-cap company public in late 2007. This made Suchin the youngest CEO of a publicly-traded company in the US. With Zach at the helm, the company grew past a market capitalization of over $100 million. He sold his share of the company in early 2009.
He then co-founded Brand Knew to help both start-ups and veteran brands better navigate the digital landscape. Suchin is credited with having invented the developmental venture equity model now popularized by boutique digital agencies, guest lectures in new media at UCLA, USC and Boston University, and has been a Bloomberg technology contributor.
Professor Hany FaridProfessor, University of California, Berkeley
Hany Farid is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the School of Information at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989, his M.S. in Computer Science from SUNY Albany, his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997, followed by a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He was on the faculty at Dartmouth College from 1999-2019 and joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Rania MankariousCEO, Crime Stoppers of Houston
Rania Mankarious was named the Crime Stoppers of Houston’s first CEO in 2018. Through her years at the helm and working side-by-side with her incredible team, Mankarious’ legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids”, her footprint elevated the organization to new heights. She’s created the first ever Crime Stoppers Safe School Institute – a full suite, direct service program that became the hub of all things school safety related. The program was so successful, it got the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who asked Mankarious’ team to train all Crime Stoppers across the State of Texas on school safety. In the fall 2019, she launched Crime Stoppers’ first webinar series with local, statewide, and national experts. Other firsts for Mankarious include launching Parents Against Crime, the critically important Fallen Hero Program, the Victim Services and Advocacy Program and expanding the Safe Community Program.
Dr. Gia MarsonPsychologist
Dr. Gia Marson is a licensed psychologist, integrative medicine health coach, and longtime meditation practitioner. As president of Dr. Gia Marson Inc., she provides consulting services and clinical treatment, writes mental health articles for Psychology Today, develops e-courses and trainings, and gives professional presentations. She is also a trainer for QPR, an evidence-based suicide-prevention gatekeeper program for organizations, and author of the highly-acclaimed The Binge Eating Prevention Workbook.
Specializing in the prevention and clinical treatment of eating disorders, Marson has been a clinician at the Renfrew Center and Monte Nido Treatment Center, and served as Director of the Eating Disorders Program at the UCLA Counseling Center, as well as the psychologist, consultant for the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital’s launch of Nourish for Life, a UCLA outpatient treatment program. Marson earned master’s and doctoral degrees in counseling psychology at Rutgers University, and received intensive training in integrative medicine health coaching at Duke Integrative Medicine. She is deeply committed to mental health prevention programs and clinical interventions that promote safety, security, kindness, value-driven actions, healing, and connection.
Dr. Wendy MurawskiProfessor, California State University at Northridge
Wendy W. Murawski, Ph.D., is one of the nation’s top experts in co-teaching. Her research, publications, and presentations have been used nationally and internationally to help schools become more inclusive through the use of collaborative teaching and inclusive strategies. Dr. Murawski is a former teacher with teaching credentials in Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, as well as German. She possesses an M.Ed. in Special Education, an Ed.S. in Educational Administration, an MBA in Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in Special Education. Dr. Murawski is the Executive Director and Eisner Endowed Chair of the Center for Teaching & Learning (www.csun.edu/ctl) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where she is also a full professor in the Department of Special Education and the Director of SIMPACT, an immersive learning simulation experience (www.csunsimulation.com). Dr. Murawski is the national Past President of the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (www.tedcec.org). She is an internationally known speaker and author, having presented in Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada and in 42 of the 50 United States. She is a frequently requested keynote speaker at events. Dr. Murawski has won many awards for her teaching, including Teacher Educator of the Year in California, Outstanding Faculty Member for CSUN, and Outstanding Educator from the California Junior Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Murawski has written and edited 14 books on best practices in education & co-teaching, with 2 more currently in press. She has won many awards for her research and peer-reviewed publications, including the Outstanding Dissertation award from CEC’s Division on Learning Disabilities, the Early Careers Publication Award from CEC’s Division of Research, and the Preeminent Scholarly Publication Award in 2021 from CSUN. She has been the principal investigator on multiple grants at her university and with state departments. Dr. Murawski is the CEO & President of 2 TEACHâ, an educational consulting company with 30+ associates who work to improve inclusive education nationally and internationally (www.2TeachLLC.com).
Matthew PowersVice President, ACLHIC
Matthew Powers is a Vice President at the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies (ACLHIC) where he represents life and disability insurers before legislative and administrative bodies in California.
Before joining ACLHIC he worked for over 8 years in state and national politics primarily focused in the California State Legislature. For over 6 years he was the Chief of Staff to multiple members of the State Assembly specializing in technology issues, cyberbullying, banking and finance, and insurance.
Matthew was the lead staffer on AB 1280 sponsored by OFSMS which was one of the first bills in the nation to take seriously the cyberbullying threat posed by deepfake technology.
A native of northern California, Matthew lived and worked abroad for more than a decade including multiple international development positions in conflict and post-conflict zones. He has worked for the United Nations and NATO in Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Europe.
Susan DavisFormer Member of Congress
From 2001 to 2020, Congresswoman Susan A. Davis has proudly represented California’s 53rd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Susan was a senior member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, serving as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment. She was also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on House Administration. Susan’s signature issues include education, health care, defense, veterans’ affairs, and election reform.
Prior to Congress, Susan served six years in the California State Assembly and nine years on the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education. After growing up in northern California and graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Susan earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mary BonoFormer Member of Congress
Congresswoman Bono was elected in 1998 to serve California’s 44th (later changed to 45th) Congressional District. And in 2012, she became the first ever Chairman of the Women’s Policy Committee (WPC) in the House.
Bono established herself as a respected and closely-watched leader on a wide range of critically important issues while serving 8 terms in Congress (1998-2013). She focused her chairmanship on technology, job creation and consumer protection. In addition, she’s been at the forefront of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse, which impacts millions of teenagers across the United States and is now the fastest-growing drug problem in America and recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health epidemic.
Bono ‘s selection as Subcommittee Chairman for the 112th Congress was historic, made her the first Republican woman in American history to hold a gavel on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the oldest standing committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, dating back to 1795.
Dr. Taaha ShakirPediatrician
Dr. Shakir is a board certified pediatrician. He earned his degree in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from St. George’s University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Albert Einstein Medical Center. Since then, he has spent the better part of a decade working in major children’s hospitals caring for patients in emergency rooms and inpatient and critical care settings. He served on faculty and was heavily involved in education at Emory University as well as the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. He was also an attending at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Shakir has published research in pediatric gastroenterology as well as created a trademarked survey tool and multiple applications to help parents and families deal with anxiety and depression and cyberbullying. He continues to pursue his interests in childhood mental health, nutrition, and exercise.
Dr. Meghan OwenzPsychologist
Dr. Meghan Owenz is the author of the book, Spoiled Right: Delaying Screens and Giving Children What They Really Need, which applies goal science to incidentally reduce screen time by providing a science-backed, developmentally appropriate system for emphasizing alternative activities of childhood. Meghan is also a parent and university professor. Her doctorate degree is in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. She is the co-founder and writer of the popular parenting website, Screen-Free Parenting. She is a regular speaker on the topic of children’s screen time and uses her expertise to advocate for science-backed changes to policies and practices that affect children’s well-being.