About Us
Advisory Board
Our Accomplishments
Coalitions & Partner Organizations

Lauren Regan, AAL, Executive Director & Senior Staff Attorney (she/her)

Lauren C. Regan

After five years of public interest environmental law, Lauren Regan went on to create the Civil Liberties Defense Center and is currently the executive director and senior staff attorney. Over the past 18 years, Lauren and CLDC have defended over 4,000 activists from around the country for free. Lauren is a national expert in the defense of political activists, particularly those engaged in the climate, environmental, indigenous and animal rights movements. She is a trial lawyer who handles state and federal criminal defense, SLAPP defense, grand jury resistance, and federal civil rights litigation against police and government agencies for violating the rights of activists and organizations. Lauren and CLDC provide over 100 Know Your Rights trainings a year to activists, immigrants, and other at risk groups. Lauren is also an Oregon State Bar leadership fellow, a volunteer Teen Court judge, and has been given dozens of public interest attorney awards over more than two decades of activist lawyering. She is always mentoring law students and new attorneys, and trains and co-counsels others lawyers to use their legal skills to support lefty causes.

Sarah Alvarez, Staff Attorney (she/her)

Sarah is deeply committed to efforts to end state-sanctioned violence. Previously she was a public defender representing low-income people accused of crimes in Snohomish County, Washington. She holds a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, where she served as a fellow for the Food Resiliency Project at the Environmental and Natural Resources Center. Previously Sarah was a law clerk at the Josephine County Public Defender’s Office, a student co-director of the University of Oregon National Lawyers Guild chapter, and a CLDC law clerk.

Marianne Dugan, Senior Staff Attorney (she/her)

Marianne graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1993, with certificates in Environmental Law and Ocean and Coastal Law. She also holds a master’s degree in environmental studies. From 1993 to 1999 Ms. Dugan worked for the Western Environmental Law Center as its first staff attorney and then as associate director. She then was a partner with the law firm of Facaros and Dugan, before going into solo practice in May 2005. Ms. Dugan is the chair of the Sierra Club’s national litigation committee, and has served on the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Executive Committee. She serves on the board of Access the Law, and has served on the boards of Friends of Land-Air-Water, Western Lands Project, and Portia Project. She served on the Board of the Civil Liberties Defense Center from 2004 until 2013, including service as President and as Secretary at various times. For three years running Ms. Dugan was listed in the Oregon edition of “Superlawyers” in the field of environmental law, and she coaches the University of Oregon’s environmental moot court team at the annual national competition.

Sara Flinn, Communications & Development Associate (they/them)

Sara Flinn received degrees in Sustainability Studies and Plan II, an interdisciplinary research-based degree, at the University of Texas at Austin. While on campus, they worked with environmental justice and feminist geography collectives, built a seed library for a student-run microfarm, and partnered with Texas communities to preserve their oral histories of combatting coal extraction. They’ve worked in a variety of nonprofit wheelhouses — from disaster resilience in Gulf Coast communities, to environmental policy and legal aid. They hope to (eventually) return to school to pursue a law degree.

Sandra Freeman, Senior Staff Attorney (she/her/ella)

Sandra Freeman has devoted their career to defending movements, communities, and individuals; a committed trial lawyer, Sandra has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts across the nation. Sandra was a public defender for the first 10 years of her career, and before joining CLDC operated a small law firm specializing in representation of clients targeted, investigated, arrested, charged, and/or sued as the result of protest, political activism, or protected (disabled QTPOC) status. Sandra has a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, and attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sandra is passionate about educating attorneys, legal professionals, and the public regarding intersectional and client-centered trial and appellate advocacy, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and competency to stand trial/mental health-based defenses. Sandra se habla Español.

Katherine Gorell, Grants & Communications Director (she/her)

Katherine has been a proud member of the nonprofit sector since 2002. Throughout her career she has focused on raising funds and awareness for organizations that achieve significant social impact. Katherine earned her B.A. in English at Michigan State University and studied marketing at Florida International University, where she earned her M.B.A.

Michele Gretes, Digital Security Coordinator (he/him)

Michele GretesMichele wants reasonably good digital security culture and resilient communications for those working to preserve ecosystems and liberate human and non-human animals. Through the Digital Security program at CLDC, Michele works to discover and nurture trustworthy technologies and teach activists and attorneys to use them to stay safe and effective. This work dovetails with research and teaching Communications Security for Social Movements at Oregon State University. For some reason, Michele did a Ph.D. and post-doctoral work in molecular biology and tropical medicine. PGP key fingerprint: 6EDE 411C 6A5F DA53 6151 F65A 1EA7 88B2 F721 30CF. If you don’t have it yet, get Michele’s public key here.

Amber Mongan, Operations Manager (she/her)

Amber first began working with CLDC in 2011, collaborating with founder and senior staff attorney Lauren Regan and a team of volunteers, interns, law clerks, and board members. Together they nurtured what was then a tiny grassroots legal non-profit into what it is today. Over the years she has served CLDC in various capacities: as office manager, associate director, board member, and advisory board member. In 2021, Amber rejoined CLDC as operations manager. She has a B.S. in Sociology and Business Administration from the University of Oregon, and a Masters in Administration and Management from Colorado State University. She has a background in advocacy, grants, fiduciary issues, and project management.

Stephanie Tidwell, Deputy Director (she/her)

Stephanie earned her B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University. She also holds an M.A. in Communications and a graduate certificate in Environmental Policy from the University of Colorado.

Stephanie served as executive director of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center for almost nine years; executive director of Friends of the Eel River; development director of Amazon Watch; grants and communications manager of Californians for Pesticide Reform; and, most recently, grant writer at the Center for Biological Diversity. She began her journey as an environmental activist advocating for wolves and their Rocky Mountain habitat, as well as engaging in forest defense. She loves spending time outdoors, on a river or a mountain, cooking vegan delicacies, or on a bicycle.