Staff + Board
Pamelya has served as Executive Director since 2011. She is deeply committed to the goals and mission of the Southwest Women’s Law Center of eliminating gender bias, discrimination and harassment; lifting women and their families out of poverty; and ensuring that all women have full control over their reproductive lives through access to comprehensive reproductive health services and information.
Ms. Herndon has helped an array of women of all races and ethnic backgrounds achieve their full economic and personal potential. She is a long time member of the National Council of Negro Women and sits as a member of the Board of Directors of Emerge New Mexico. She serves as the 1st Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union and a member of the Board of Directors of the Girls Scouts, New Mexico Trails.
Ms. Herndon has an impressive professional career that includes serving as a former Deputy Cabinet Secretary, General Counsel and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico. She was once a former senior litigation attorney with the Internal Revenue Service as well as a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Texas. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado, New Mexico, and before the United States Tax Court and United States Supreme Court. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her service to the community, Ms. Herndon has received a “Community Service Award” from the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs, was named as the 2012 “Public Lawyer of the Year” and the 2013 “Outstanding Lawyer” by the Albuquerque Bar Association and, in 2015, was named as a “Woman of Influence” by New Mexico Business First and “Outstanding Business and Professional Woman” by Iota Phi Lambda Sorority.
Ms. Herndon has been selected for a two-year term beginning in January 2014, to serve as a Delegate from the State of New Mexico to Vision 2020, a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in the commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. On some Sunday mornings, Ms. Herndon can be heard as the Southwest Gospel Diva hosting the Train to Glory radio program on KUNM.
Sarah is a former Assistant District Attorney responsible for prosecuting domestic violence and community crimes. Sarah obtained a B.A. in Sociology from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico Law School. She has worked on policy initiatives and legislation that will aid prosecutions in domestic violence cases. Her policy work has also extended to reproductive justice and climate change on college campuses. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her puppies.
Board of Directors
Mary is the first sustainability manager at the university overseeing the Office of Sustainability. Her other areas of expertise include recycling, campus community gardens and greenhouse gas inventory. Mary is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in Economics and European Studies.
Lauren Baldwin, Board Board Vice President – Family Court Hearing Officer – 2nd Judicial District Court
Lauren is a graduate of Colorado College where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Distinction. She received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and her law degree from the University of New Mexico. Lauren has served as an Assistant Public Defender representing indigent defendants facing misdemeanor criminal charges through trial proceedings and on appeal. Lauren currently serves as a judicial hearing officer responsible for child support, custody and property division cases.
Jenifer Getz, Board Treasurer
Jenifer is a Senior Auditor at Atkinson & Co, an Albuquerque based Audit and Accounting firm. She specializes in audits of not-for-profit organizations in New Mexico. She is a Graduate of Parsons School of Design, Emery Aviation College and CNM. She currently serves on the Board of the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation a social justice funder, based in New York.
Ashley Carter, Board Sercretary
Ashley is an attorney working in Federal government in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She previously worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois representing state employees in federal civil rights lawsuits. Ashley graduated from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has previously served in board and leadership positions with the American Constitution Society, the Secular Student Alliance, and volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
Jackie is an attorney and shareholder of Bregman & Loman, P.C. She also serves as Qualifying Broker of Bregman Real Estate. Her legal practice focuses primarily on the areas of real estate law. Her professional experience includes owning and managing several businesses, including The New Mexico Thunderbirds minor league basketball team, of the NBA Developmental League. She is a graduate of Leadership Albuquerque, past president of the Albuquerque Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association and has been actively involved in numerous charitable causes in New Mexico, including having served on the Board of Directors of United Way, and volunteering for the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Albuquerque Theatre Guild and the Southwest Women’s Law Center. She founded the Sunset Mesa Teacher Endowment Fund, a non-profit dedicated to assisting teachers in furthering their own educations and enhancing their teaching skills. She also served on Governor’s Richardson’s Task Force on Fair and Equal Pay in 2009. Jackie holds a B.A. in English from College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in New York.
Caroline Little, Retired Corporate Executive
Caroline is a graduate of Wesleyan University. After graduating from college, she worked at Random House and Alfred A Knopf in New York, doing first publicity work and then editorial work. She later attended NYU Law School and worked for the law firms of Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC after graduating. After leaving Arnold & Porter, she became Deputy Counsel for US News & World Report. Caroline later became General Counsel of the digital division for the Washington Post, where she remained for the next eleven years, advancing to the role of Chief Operating Office and CEO of the digital division. In the years that followed, Caroline served as CEO of the Guardian in North America. Before retiring, Caroline served as CEO, of the Newspaper Association of America. In addition to serving on the Board of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, Caroline volunteers as a pro bono attorney for a homeless shelter. She also volunteers with a group of women helping to fund middle schools in Santa Fe.
Janice D. Paster, JD – Recruitment Committee Chairman
Janice is a retired attorney and non-profit activist. She practiced law for twenty-two years before serving for eleven years as one of three trustees of a small family trust managing real estate. In the fall of 2015 she joined the boards of ADL New Mexico Region and the Jewish Community Foundation of New Mexico. Recently she accepted an invitation to join the ADL Civil Rights Committee. Ms. Paster has served as Chair of the Board of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. She also served as Vice Chair of the Board of New Mexico Voices for Children.
From 1988 until 1996 Ms. Paster was a member of the New Mexico State Senate. She is the only woman to serve as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and she also chaired the Interim Health Care Task Force, leading the passage of legislation to update New Mexico’s health law. She is a long-time advocate for reproductive freedom, quality child care, and equality for women and girls in other areas.
Janice earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MA from Tufts University. Ms. Paster earned a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
Valerie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in 1982. She went on to attend the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, receiving her Medical Degree in 1992. She has been a primary care provider for many years on the forefront of treating populations burdened by socio-economic, racial and ethnic disparities. Presently, Dr. Romero-Leggott serves as Vice Chancellor for Diversity at the UNM Health Sciences Center, Associate Dean for Diversity for the UNM School of Medicine, and Professor in the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine. She also serves as the Executive Director of the UNM Combined BA/MD Degree Program, a unique program to promote the recruitment of a diverse group of New Mexico high school seniors interested in practicing medicine in areas of greatest need across New Mexico. Her office promotes inclusivity and diversity throughout the Health Sciences Center and communities and creates opportunities to address the health disparities that affect all New Mexicans. One of her major duties is to provide multiple fora for discussing issues concerning underrepresented and underserved populations.
Dorine Sanchez, Senior Portfolio Manager/Chief Operations Officer – REDW Stanley Financial Advisors
Dorine served as the Investment Manager/Operations Manager for REDW Stanley Financial Advisors for twelve years before moving into her current position with the company. She is a graduate of Adams State College where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.
Theresa Spencer, Director of Development, New Mexico PBS
Theresa is a 20-year veteran of the public broadcasting service having served at two stations in the PBS system. With strengths in fundraising and organizational development, she now serves as Director of Development for the largest public broadcaster in New Mexico. Theresa is a long-time advocate of reproductive rights and a former Board Chair for NARAL Pro-Choice where she successfully collaborated with fellow volunteers and staff to keep abortion safe and legal in the state. She has also served as Board Chair for Restore South Dakota, a restorative justice organization for youth offenders.
Theresa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Drake University and a Masters of Arts Degree in Public Relations from the University of South Dakota. She has also earned certificates in non-profit management and mediation from the University of New Mexico. Theresa enjoys spending time with her feline companions Antonia and Neville.
Laura Vele Buchs, JD – EEO Compliance Specialist, Office of Equal Opportunity, University of New Mexico
Laura currently works in the University of New Mexico’s civil rights office where she conducts trainings to prevent discrimination and harassment. She also investigates claims of Title VII, Title IX, and ADA violations on campus. After law school, Laura was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and spent three years working for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as a trainer and attorney regarding disability benefits.
Laura strives to find ways to advance opportunities for women and girls in whatever she does and wherever she lives. As a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, she developed a school and community library to support development of literacy skills that would allow more girls to continue their education past primary school. Working with Build On, Laura led high school students from New York and Connecticut on service trips to build schools in communities committed to educating girls in the same numbers as boys in Mali and Nicaragua. She worked with students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in developing programming on personal identity and the impact privilege and oppression has on individuals, communities, institutions, and government. She served as the President of UW Law School’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice Chapter (now called If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice) and was appointed the LSRJ Midwest Regional Coordinator, both for which she was awarded the Cari Sietstra Award for Excellence in Organizing. Laura interned with the National Partnership for Women and Families, where she was a contributor to the “California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide,” and the development of multiple primers on contraception and sexually transmitted infections. Laura also worked with, and volunteered for, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Laura was awarded a Special Contribution Award for her role in designing new training for reviewers and medical examiners assigned to Military Sexual Assault claims
Laura completed her undergraduate education at Cornell College in politics and international relations, her graduate studies in international training and education at American University, and her law degree, with a focus on women and health, at the University of Wisconsin Law School.