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Andy Ko Headshot

Andy Ko (he/him)
Executive Director

Andy has been engaged in justice policy and law reform efforts for over 30 years. Prior to arriving at Partnership for Safety & Justice in 2014, he spent 15 years leading drug policy reform efforts at the Open Society Foundations, the American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU of Washington. While in Seattle, he was founding director of the Drug Policy Reform Project, where he helped overhaul the state’s criminal sentencing scheme, develop Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), and create and implement successful strategies for marijuana policy reform and ending the War on Drugs. Earlier in his career, Andy represented homeless and low-income people at the Legal Aid Society of New York City and at Columbia Legal Services in Washington. Andy also has served on the Boards of the National Harm Reduction Coalition, Street Outreach Services, and the National Network for Justice, among others. He is a graduate of Tufts University and New York University School of Law.

Portrait of Shannon Wight with greenery in background

Shannon Wight (she/her)
Deputy Director

Shannon has 30 years’ experience transforming criminal and juvenile justice systems in Oregon and Louisiana. As a policy advocate, strategist, and direct service provider, she’s led efforts to establish and implement many of the leading-edge public safety and criminal justice reforms of the past two decades. She co-founded the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and served as Policy Director for Innocence Project New Orleans. In 2008, she began her role as Deputy Director at Partnership for Safety and Justice, where she sets and drives the organization’s integrated approach to reform, addressing the needs and rights of people who commit crimes, people who are victims of crime, and the families and communities of both. She is a proud single mom to a fabulous daughter and stepson.

Juli Ray C. Joy (she/her)
Director of Movement Building

Juli Ray is a mom, survivor, and racial justice advocate who uses her voice to speak up for change. She is the founder of Black Joy Oregon, a grassroots advocacy group that promotes Black joy, female leadership development, and culture throughout Oregon. Prior to joining Partnership for Safety & Justice, Juli Ray worked in social services, mental health, and community education. She also has experience as an organizer in the labor movement, and she has served as committee chair for the Salem-Keizer NAACP. In her role at PSJ, she will continue to work tirelessly to advance racial and economic justice locally and across the state. In her off-time, you can find her performing as a singer songwriter and traveling Oregon.

Talia Gad (she/her)
Communications Director

Talia came to Partnership for Safety & Justice in 2016. Prior to joining the team, she spent the 2015 legislative session in Salem, after which she helped develop a broad public health and equity policy platform as campaign manager in a competitive local race. Earlier in her career, Talia spent about a decade as a crisis-response advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and she spent another decade managing public health prevention education programs. She’s the grandchild of refugees, child of immigrants, and parent of a native Oregonian, all for whom she is working to build a more just and equitable world. Talia is a fan of nature walks, gluten, and the serial comma.

Beth Wooten (she/her)
Finance and Operations Director

Beth joined Partnership for Safety and Justice in 2023 with a background in nonprofit, campaign, and advocacy work. Prior to joining the team, Beth served as Director of Operations for the nonprofit public defense firm Multnomah Defenders, Inc. For over a decade, Beth was involved in the Girls Rock Camp movement where she organized youth programs and served as the Executive Director of Portland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls. Throughout her career, she has supported survivors of domestic and sexual violence, starting as an advocate in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and later as a legal representative at Eugene’s Lane County Legal Aid. She is a graduate of College of Charleston and the University of Oregon School of Law.In her free time, Beth enjoys hiking Forest Park, adding to her record collection, and caring for her cat Lula.

Michelle Madison (she/her)
Development Director

Michelle joined Safety & Justice in 2022 with a background in communications, journalism, fundraising, and organizing. Most recently, she was responsible for events and outreach at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Oregon. She has been involved in corrections reform for more than two decades, and as someone with family experience within the criminal justice system, it is her life’s work to help bring reform, particularly at the intersection of mental illness and substance use disorder and law enforcement. Michelle has lived in seven states and Mexico prior to moving to Portland in 2001. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, seeing live music, destroying weeds, and socializing her rescue cat, Oscar.

Babak Zolfaghari-Azar (he/him)
Senior Policy Manager

Babak is a first-generation Iranian American who grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University with a master’s degree in criminology, he spent a decade dedicated to serving youth and families in the community, treatment centers, and correctional facilities. His lived experience with the criminal justice system drives his passion for justice, equity, and healing. Policy reform and community education, especially as it relates to Measure 11 and youth justice, are major areas of focus for Babak. Outside of social activism, Babak coaches the JV boys basketball team at West Linn High School. He spends his free time traveling the world with his wife and raising their two fur baby pups Rumi and Daisy and son Desmond Nasir.

Aron Klein

Aron Klein (he/him)
Operations Manager

Aron joined our team in 2018 after volunteering with Partnership for Safety and Justice for several years, starting with his first Lobby Day in 2014. He spent 10 years supporting stigmatized populations and understands that rehabilitation is possible when people have access to help, communal support, and hope for the future. Aron has worked on a variety of campaigns, including California’s marriage equality campaign. When he’s not working, you can find Aron biking, ringing handbells, or partially finishing crossword puzzles.

Keely Nguyễn (she/her)
Communications Manager

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Keely is a first-generation Vietnamese American immigrant who is passionate about uplifting the wellbeing of communities impacted by structural and direct violence. Prior to joining the Partnership for Safety and Justice, Keely interned at the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, an undocumented youth-led grassroots organizations in Southern California; and Start: Empowerment, an environmental justice organization in New York City, working on social media campaigns to mobilize communities across multifaceted issues. When she is not working, she can be found exploring vegan restaurants and cafes and enjoying the diversity of food and drinks that Portland has to offer.