NYCDS GALA Celebration. Learn More

NYCDS Announces Appointment of Five New Board Members

June 22, 2023

Lupe Todd-Medina
(917) 202-0116



(NEW YORK, NY) – New York County Defender Services has named five new members to the nonprofit's Board of Directors, with terms beginning in June 2023.

“We are delighted to bring on the expertise and support of these five new board members,” said Stan Germán, NYCDS Executive Director. “They bring with them a diversity of skill sets, perspectives, and networks that can contribute to NYCDS’s long-term well-being and strategic pursuits. 

The five new members are:

Deborah A. Colson. After law school, Deborah clerked for the Honorable Nina Gershon in the Eastern District of New York. Prior to establishing Colson Law PLLC, she was a founding partner of Colson &Harris LLP and an assistant federal defender in the Eastern District of New York. She also served in the Law & Security Department at Human Rights First where she managed the organization's Guantanamo monitoring program and spoke and wrote frequently on issues of terrorism and national security. Deborah is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is an experienced nonprofit board member, serving on the Board of Directors of Just Detention International and as Vice Chair of the Board of the National Dance Institute.

Xavier Donaldson. Formerly a District Attorney from the Bronx, Xavier now runs a successful private practice in Harlem, embedded in the community. He is a lecturer at the New York State Trial Academy and a regular guest speaker on several nationally recognized television and radio programs. He also supports several local legal, charitable and civic organizations as an advisor on current legal issues. Mr. Donaldson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.

Jaime Mercado. Jaime is recently retired from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where as a partner he focused on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and capital markets in Latin America. Jaime lived in Brazil for several years where he established the firm's first office in Latin America. He is NYCDS's first board member with a corporate law background. He has a long history of public service, most notably as a board member of LatinoJustice, formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund. He is a graduate of NYU School of Law and is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.

Calvin Scholar. Calvin has 25 years of experience in the criminal legal system. He spent the first part of his career as an assistant district attorney in Westchester County, where he rose to be deputy bureau chief of the Superior Court trial division and homicide unit, as well as chief of the Bias Crimes Unit. Since 2008, he has been in private practice where he focuses on criminal defense work. Calvin is a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys for the Southern District of New York and has conducted over 50 jury trials.

Bobbi Sternheim is a recognized leader in the local and national criminal defense bar for litigating difficult and complex cases. In addition to her law degree, Bobbi holds a Master's in Forensic Psychology and an LL.M. in Advocacy. She is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the first (and only) woman recipient of the New York Criminal Bar Association's Award for Excellence in the Profession. Ms. Sternheim is Director of Cardozo Law School's Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, teaches trial advocacy at Pace Law School, and has been on the faculty of Stetson Law School and the Federal CJA Trial Skills Academy. She is the Criminal Justice Act Representative for the Southern District of New York; the Defender Services Advisory Group Representative for the First, Second and D.C. Circuits; and a member of SDNY's CJA Peer Review Committee and Mentor Programs.

Our five new members will be joining our roster of current board members: Matthew Myers, partner in the law firm of Myers & Galiardo, LLP and founding attorney at NYCDS; Lou Fasulo, partner in the law firm of Fasulo, Braverman and DiMaggio and Director of Advocacy, Moot Court and Client Counseling Programs at Pace University School of Law; Patrick Joyce, a private criminal defense attorney and founding board member of NYCDS, surpassing 25 years of service to our organization; and Kevin O'Connell, founding supervisor and former Legal Director at NYCDS. Kevin is the 24th Past President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and 2016 recipient of the American Bar Association's Dorsey Award for Outstanding Public Defender.


New York County Defender Services is a public defense firm serving New York City’s most vulnerable communities since 1997. We zealously defend people accused of crimes in Manhattan’s Criminal and Supreme Courts, at no cost to the accused.

View the pdf here.