David LaBahn
Mr. David LaBahn is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), a national association representing elected and deputy or assistant prosecutors, and city attorneys. The association acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, and conducts timely and effective training and technical assistance to improve the prosecutorial function. In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice, development of partnerships and implementation of problem-solving strategies.

Steven Naugle
Mr. Steven Naugle is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). He is responsible for maintaining and handling all accounting for APA’s expenses and grant management activities. The CFO also acts as APA’s Treasurer and is responsible for internal administrative functions and controls. Mr. Naugle will ensure APA’s accountability and transparency of all funds maintaining federal grant compliance for tracking, accounting, and reporting purposes.

D. Nichole Parisi

Nichole Parisi is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for APA. Nichole returned to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in March 2015 as the General Counsel after formerly serving as a law clerk for APA following law school. Previously, Nichole worked as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Bruce A. Johnson, Jr., LLC where she practiced criminal, business and real estate law in the state of Maryland. Nichole has experience working in the non-profit sector and has held positions with the National Sheriff’s Association and the National District Attorneys Association. At APA, Nichole served as General Counsel before her role as COO.

As a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, Nichole received her Juris Doctor degree, as well as a Certificate in International and Comparative Law. Nichole attended the Pennsylvania State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Crime, Law, and Justice with a concentration in Business Law. Nichole is admitted to practice in the State of Maryland and a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Robert Hood
Project Director

Robert W. Hood joined APA in 2010 as a contract Senior Attorney and played a key role in the development and execution of the 6th National Community Prosecution Conference held in Washington, DC. He also played a key role in developing the Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit in Chicago in 2011, assisted in planning the 7th National Community Prosecution Conference, and co-authored the APA/BJA monograph, A Framework for High Performance Prosecutorial Services. Prior to joining APA, Bob served as the Chief of the Public & Community Safety Division of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for nearly twelve years. In that position, starting in 1999, he built and directly managed the six-attorney Precinct Liaison Program, the office’s nationally recognized community prosecution program. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Community Prosecution and Violent Crime Division for APA, a position he has held since January of 2011.

Beth Merachnik
Project Director

Beth Merachnik serves as Project Director of the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s (APA) Addressing Disparities to Reproductive Health Project. Ms. Merachnik is the former Deputy Director of APA’s Child Abuse Prosecution Project and former Director of APA’s Smart Prosecution Project. She is a former prosecutor from Massachusetts having served for over twenty years in both the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Merachnik prosecuted a wide variety of cases during her career at the District Attorney’s office, including crimes of homicide, sexual assault and child abuse and held the position Director of the Middlesex Domestic Violence Unit for over four years. Ms. Merachnik served at the Office of the Attorney General, first as the Chief of the Community-Based Justice Bureau and then Senior Counsel and Trial Attorney in the Criminal Bureau.

Marlene Biener
General Counsel

Marlene Biener serves as General Counsel at APA, where she  works directly with prosecutors across the country on criminal justice policies. She develops APA position statements as well as communicates with state and federal lawmakers about policy related to prosecutors and criminal justice. She oversees and designs trainings, resource guides, and APA publications to convey timely materials and education to prosecutors nationwide. Previously, Marlene worked for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, where she represented the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Prior to becoming a Deputy Attorney General, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Wayne J. Forrest, J.S.C. Marlene graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in May 2013. She attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with a minor in Public Policy. Marlene is admitted to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Sasha D. Beatty
Senior Deputy General Counsel/Director of Technology

Sasha Beatty joined the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in July 2019 after previously working for the Nashville District Attorney’s Office for two years as an Assistant District Attorney General. There, she prosecuted domestic violence cases before working in Criminal Court Divisions I and V as a felony trial prosecutor. Sasha received her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University Law School in May of 2017. She attended Duke University and received her Bachelor of Arts in U.S. History with a minor in French. Sasha is admitted to practice law in the State of Tennessee and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the Tennessee State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Constitution Society. In addition to her work in the Office of General Counsel, Sasha works as the Technology Director.

Sheryl Dublin
Staff Attorney

Sheryl Dublin joined the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in February 2023. Before taking a Staff Attorney position with APA, Sheryl was an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office in Maryland in the Special Victims and Family Violence Unit where they handled domestic violence cases. Prior to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Sheryl represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases and civil domestic violence proceedings as an associate attorney at the law firm Jezic & Moyse, LLC. Sheryl graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2018 from the American University Washington College of Law in the District of Columbia. Before relocating to D.C. from their hometown in Huntsville, Alabama, Sheryl attended Oakwood University and majored in political science, minored in Spanish, and studied abroad for one school year in Entre Rios, Argentina. Sheryl is licensed to practice in the State of Maryland.

Aviva Kurash
Senior Program

Aviva Kurash joined the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in September of 2022 after previously working at The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for twenty-one years. At both The IACP and now at APA, she has oversight for national training and technical assistance initiatives focused on enhancing response to victims of gender-based crime, expanding diversion initiatives, and addressing racial equity in the criminal justice system. Aviva received her Master of Social Work (MSW) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel where she worked in child protective services and at a community-based family violence center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University.

Eric Landon
Program Manager

Eric Landon has worked with human rights and legal issues in different international organizations and is about to receive his L.L.M. in international law. At his last job, Eric worked in program management of USAID programs in anti-trafficking and exploitation. He recently worked with programs in Jamaica, Laos, and the Nestle supply chain to help improve systems in place that cause trafficking. He has also worked directly with survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence as a legal advocate and chair of the Protection Committee in Gallatin County Anti-Trafficking Task Force. At the start of his career, he primarily worked with refugees and asylum seekers in Istanbul and Tijuana. Eric began working with the APA on September 5th as a program manager.

Ursula Donofrio
Training Director

The position of Training Director is held by Ursula Donofrio, who is responsible for assisting the senior attorney staff in curriculum development and conference planning. As former Training Director for the California District Attorney’s Association, Ursula brings 25 years of experience to the Child Abuse Prosecution Project.

Gabriel Ibarra
Accounting Business Associate

Gabriel joins the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys as a Business Accounting Associate. He graduated with a Degree in Accounting at CETYS University in Baja California. He brings more than 15 years in accounting and business experience to APA.

Aimee Peterson
Program Associate/Membership Director

Aimee Peterson served as the Child Abuse Prosecution Project Program Assistant and currently manages membership. Aimee holds a B.A. from St. Johns University in Government and Politics and comes to the project from the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy, Policy and Budget division of Infrastructure Protection. Aimee also brings experience working in the non-profit sector previously holding positions at the National Sheriffs’ Association and the School Superintendents Association. Aimee can be reached at aimee.peterson@apainc.org.

Reid Peck
Administrative Assistant

Reid Peck is the administrative assistant for The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). With a bachelors degree in psychology he worked in the field of mental health with children and teens on the autism spectrum. As a paralegal specialist with the Small Business Administration he worked on the EIDL project as well as assisting victims of Hurricane Ida.

Aimee Peterson
Program Associate/Membership Director

Aimee Peterson served as the Child Abuse Prosecution Project Program Assistant and currently manages membership. Aimee holds a B.A. from St. Johns University in Government and Politics and comes to the project from the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy, Policy and Budget division of Infrastructure Protection. Aimee also brings experience working in the non-profit sector previously holding positions at the National Sheriffs’ Association and the School Superintendents Association. Aimee can be reached at aimee.peterson@apainc.org.

Sasha D. Beatty
Senior Deputy General Counsel/Director of Technology

In addition to her role as Senior Counsel, Sasha is also the Director of Technology and is responsible for maintaining APA’s website and information technology infrastructure. Fluent in HTML, CSS, and numerous graphic design platforms, Sasha ran a boutique web design business as a way to hone her computer science and design skills throughout her college years, before shuttering it to pursue her Juris Doctor full time. Sasha has overseen the overhaul of APA’s various websites, transitioning the platform from Wix to WordPress and ensuring cohesive branding and posting standards for the organization.

Samuel Marx
Digital Marketing Manager

Samuel Marx was born in the United Kingdom and grew up as the typical child, schools, hobbies and adventure. By the time he reached 18 was already traveling around the world due to his excitement for other cultures. After working in a bank for several years, Sam decided to turn his love of travel into a career and became a scuba instructor, allowing him to travel and teach around the world. In 2008, Sam decided to learn a new trade and started learning about the digital industry and now has over 15 years of experience in this field. His portfolio includes web design, citation management, reputation & review management, and full consultancy services to growing businesses. He founded a non-profit supporting veterans, and in his spare time still teaches scuba diving and first aid skills.

Beth Parker

Beth Parker manages communications for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). Throughout her career, she has worked to build awareness around issues and solutions related to public health, education, and justice. Beth was previously a partner at VOX Global, a strategic communications firm based in Washington DC. There she led the media relations practice group, worked closely with members of the media, and helped philanthropies and non-profits raise their visibility and influence public policy through traditional and social media campaigns.

Rod Underhill
Senior APA Fellow

Rod Underhill served as the elected District Attorney for Multnomah County from January 2013 to August 2020. Rod graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1988 and then spent his nearly 32 year professional career, up to now, working as a prosecutor in Multnomah County.  He is best known for his advocacy on behalf of domestic violence and child sexual abuse victims, combating human trafficking, supporting crime victim’s rights, responsible firearm possession and helping to spearhead Oregon’s testing and elimination of backlogged sexual assault forensic examination kits.  Oregon’s former Governor recognized, then District Attorney Underhill, for his tireless work drafting and then supporting the passage of Oregon House Bill 3194 which seeks to responsibly cut prison costs and control future growth while also reinvesting in prevention, treatment, re-entry and victims services. Rod also helped Multnomah County in its criminal justice response to individuals struggling with abuse and addiction to controlled substances with the development and implementation of programs like Treatment First and LEAD.

Michael Valentine
APA Fellow

Michael Valentine is a Senior Attorney with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ Child Abuse Prosecution Project. He was previously an Assistant County Attorney and the First Assistant County Attorney with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office in Manchester, NH. He supervised an office of fourteen attorneys while maintaining a trial caseload focused primarily on child sexual assaults and child pornography. In this capacity, he worked extensively with local Child Advocacy Centers, over a dozen law enforcement agencies, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and multiple federal agencies in his own investigations as well as reviewing the work of his attorneys. As an Assistant County Attorney, Michael became the leading expert in New Hampshire on the civil commitment of Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) and remains the only prosecutor in NH to successfully try an SVP case. He has presented multiple times on strategies for prosecuting such cases at the NH Attorney General’s Child Abuse and Neglect. He also helped to teach and prepare students in the FBI’s Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) on how to testify as factual and expert witnesses in state and federal courts, using practice direct and cross examinations in the FBI’s CART Moot Court trainings. In 2021, Michael completed an Accelerated Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University. He is currently working as an Emergency Department nurse at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, WA.

Niki Blumberg
APA Fellow

Niki has been a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for over 20 years.  She has investigated and tried a wide variety of homicides, police shootings, rapes, robberies, burglaries, and other crimes of violence.  She was the Acting Deputy Bureau Chief in the Sex Crimes Unit in 2007 and was appointed as a Deputy Bureau Chief in the Trial Division from 2007- 2013.  In January of 2014, Niki was named the Chief of the Child Abuse Unit. Niki also serves as a Fellow for APA’s Child Abuse Prosecution Project.

Mark Dumaine
APA Fellow

Mark Dumaine is the Retired Chief of Administration for the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office (Louisiana). In this role, he was responsible for the operations of a 160+ person prosecutor’s office, finance and budget expenses of $14 million, information technology improvements, federal grants totaling approximately $2 million, and coordinating civil litigation against the office.  Major criminal litigation activities included Capital Murder and Second Degree Murder trials. Major attorney disciplinary responsibilities included appointment as Disciplinary Counsel Ad Hoc to the Louisiana Supreme Court (’08-’17).  Major projects included adoption of BRAVE group violence reduction strategy, TRUCE group violence reduction strategy, STAR non-profit incorporation, FYSC non-profit incorporation, and BRAVE INC non-profit incorporation.  Technology improvements included electronic report imaging and storage from law enforcement, region-wide e-ticketing solution, e-discovery portal, and electronic prosecution files.

Joy Repella
APA Fellow

Joy Repella was an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County for over 28 years and prosecuted felonies from Robbery to Murder. She also handled Involuntary Mental Health Treatment and Commitment as well as Expungement and Sealing. She supervised four Community Justice Centers (CJC) located throughout Cook County. Each CJC was responsible for prosecuting cases important in the community, problem solving local issues, and working to prevent crime. Joy left the State’s Attorney’s office and became an Administrative Law Judge. She worked for the Illinois Department of Human Services hearing cases concerning Medicaid and hearings involving professional licenses. She also has worked at the Illinois Department of Employment Security handling unemployment cases. Currently Joy assists with APA’s Elevating Trust project.

Andrew Fogle
APA Fellow

A Deputy Prosecutor in the Marion County, Indiana Prosecutor’s office who developed and oversees the Prosecutor’s Expungement program, Andrew Fogle presents Continuing Legal Education (CLE) expungement seminars and assists local and State agencies in the development of expungement forms and training for pro-se petitioners and pro-bono attorneys. Marion County receives between 25% to 30% of all expungement petitions filed in Indiana and, since 2013, has responded to over 18,000 petitions (which represents approximately 80,000 criminal cases). Mr. Fogle is a 1973 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington (B.A) and a 1976 graduate of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He is admitted to the Indiana Bar in October of 1976 and is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indiana Bar Association and serves on the Criminal Justice Committee in both Bar associations. Since 1992, he has been an adjunct professor for Trial Practice at the McKinney School of Law. In his career, he has been a Public Defender, a Court Commissioner and Drug Court Magistrate in the Marion County Superior Court Criminal division; Director of the Marion County Arrestee Processing Center; Legal Counsel and consultant for Reentry for the Indiana Department of Correction. He has served on and chaired Community Corrections board, Mental Health Advisory board, Drug Free Marion County board and is currently on the Steering Committee of the Marion County Reentry Coalition.

Merrill Mezzacappa
APA Fellow

Merrill Mezzacappa is a former Chief Assistant Prosecutor with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey.  Throughout her 25 year career, Merrill successfully tried complex cases including vehicular homicide, homicide, sexual assault and strict liability for drug induced death, while mentoring assistant prosecutors.  Merrill was additionally the legal supervisor for the vehicular homicide, sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence and victim-witness units.  She served as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the State Grand Jury Investigation of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Members of the Clergy, and taught constitutional aspects of search and seizure to police officers. Merrill serves as a Fellow for APA’s Addressing Disparities to Reproductive Health Project.

Don Cocek
APA Fellow

Don Cocek’s legal career at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office spanned 32 years. He was the Supervising City Attorney in charge of both the Animal Protection Unit and the Code Enforcement Unit. Don prosecuted hundreds of cases from the spcaLA, LA Animal Services, CA & US Fish & Wildlife, and other agencies involving animal cruelty, animal neglect, and violations dealing with protected species. He trained humane, animal control, and police officers, and veterinarians in the investigation of and in the trial skills needed to prosecute animal related cases. As a code enforcement attorney, he prosecuted tens of thousands of cases from over fifty local, state, and federal agencies including cases dealing with building, zoning, fire, and health code violations, environmental and consumer protection laws, unlicensed contractors and medical providers, insurance fraud, and vehicle, education, labor, and tax code enforcement. Don is a member of APA’s Animal Cruelty Advisory Committee and has been on the faculty at APA’s National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conferences. In May 2014, Don received the first ever APA Prosecutor of the Year Award.

Alissa Marque Heydari
APA Fellow

Alissa Marque Heydari served as Acting Director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for two years. The IIP provides a collaborative national platform to bring together local prosecutors, policy experts, and the communities they serve to foster data-driven strategies, cutting-edge scholarship, and innovative thinking.

Prior to joining the IIP, Alissa was an Assistant District Attorney in New York County (DANY), where she handled hundreds of cases, including violent felonies and homicides. While at DANY she served as Acting Criminal Court Supervisor and was a member of the Sex Crimes Unit and Elder Abuse Unit.

Alissa is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School and received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She clerked for the Honorable Mitchel E. Ostrer in the New Jersey Appellate Division. She has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NBC News, Bloomberg Law, CBS, The Washington Post, and many other media outlets.