TRENTON, NJ (January 21, 2020) – Today, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) proudly announced the election of two new Board members: Sarah Lechner, a leading policy expert on the social determinants of health, and John Butler, a national voice on prosecutorial and criminal justice reform.
“I am thrilled to welcome Sarah and John to the NJPP board, as they bring unique perspectives and experience on issues that affect the lives of everyday New Jerseyans,” said Marcia Marley, Chair of NJPP’s Board of Trustees.
“Sarah and John are proven leaders in their fields and understand what it takes to enact lasting, structural change,” said NJPP President Brandon McKoy. “I am excited to draw upon their leadership and expertise as NJPP continues to provide policy solutions to the most pressing issues in the Garden State.”
Sarah Lechner has broad experience in New Jersey state government and the health care industry. She is currently Senior Vice President of Policy Development and Government Affairs at RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s most comprehensive academic health care delivery system. In this role, Sarah oversees state and federal advocacy for the system; she also serves as Chief of Staff to the health care system’s Social Impact and Community Investment practice aimed at improving health care disparities and social determinants of health.
Prior to joining RWJBarnabas Health, Sarah served as Assistant and Deputy Counsel for the New Jersey Senate Democrats, where she specialized in policy issues concerning health insurance and regulated professions. She has also served as General Counsel for the New Jersey Hospital Association. She received her law degree from Rutgers – Newark School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University.
“I am honored to join the board of an organization that recognizes that health is inextricably tied to social, economic, and racial justice,” said Sarah Lechner. “Throughout my career in state government and the health care industry, I’ve seen the transformative change that comes from connecting research to action, which is precisely where NJPP excels.”
John Butler is an attorney with more than a decade of experience at the intersection of social justice advocacy, criminal justice policy development, and non-profit management. John is currently the Director of Research and Outreach at Fair and Just Prosecution, a non-profit that works with elected prosecutors on evidence-based criminal justice reform. John is also the Associate Director at the Center for Court Innovation, where he works on court-based reform to the criminal justice system.
John Butler previously clerked on the District Court of New Jersey, worked as a researcher for the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and was a director at a youth development non-profit in Newark. He holds a law degree from Stanford Law School, a Masters in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
“We need to live in a world where facts and strong research drive public policy, and NJPP is making that possible with its analysis and clear moral vision,” said John Butler. “NJPP is a leader in moving progressive policy forward that centers racial equity and economic justice. I couldn’t be more excited to join the board.”
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