About Us
Advisory Board
Internship, Law clerks, Jobs

Executive Director

Lauren C. ReganLauren Regan, AAL
info [at] cldc.org

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 15 years, Lauren and the CLDC has defended over 3000 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 the 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 her 20 years 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.

Senior Staff Attorney

Marianne Dugan
mdugan [at] cldc.org

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.

Staff Attorney

Cooper Brinson
cbrinson [at] cldc.org

Cooper earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon. Throughout law school he clerked for the CLDC. Cooper also represented clients in misdemeanor cases through the UO advanced criminal defense clinic (a partnership with Public Defender Services of Lane County, Inc.). Prior to entering the legal profession, he volunteered with a number of environmental and social justice groups.

Associate Director

Charles Denson
charles [at] cldc.org
Pronouns: he/him/his

Charles started as the membership director for the Civil Liberties Defense Center in January of 2015. He helps keep the CLDC connected to our members. Charles has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Charles has been organizing with nonprofits and progressive causes since 2008 when he first was drawn to activism through the environmental movement.

Grants & Communications Director

Katherine Gorell
katherine [at] cldc.org

Katherine has been a proud member of the nonprofit sector since 2002 and is a longtime movement activist. Throughout her career she has focused on raising funds and garnering publicity for organizations that achieve significant social impact. Katherine earned her BA in English at Michigan State University and studied marketing at Florida International University, where she earned her MBA.

Office Manager

Debbie Garza Troutz
debbie [at] cldc.org

Debbie has over 15 years experience in office management and accounting. She has a recent background in non-profit work and domestic violence advocacy. She is also an artist, rockhound and enthusiastically loves edible plants and cats!

Digital Security Coordinator

Michele Gretes

security [at] cldc.org

Michele Gretes
Michele 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 PhD 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.