Board of Directors
Kathy Siegel, Board President, was the Supervising Attorney in the Alameda County Public Defender's Office Dependency Unit from 1998 until the office closed in 2009. She practiced in Alameda County Juvenile Court dependency and delinquency court for twenty-one of her thirty-three years in the Public Defender's office. Ms. Siegel received her J.D., from the University of California at Davis Law School in 1982 where she developed her passion for representing youth during a Juvenile Court externship at the Sacramento County Public Defender's office. During her years as supervisor in the child dependency unit, Ms. Siegel trained many of the child welfare attorneys who currently practice in Alameda County, and was a member of the Alameda County CASA advisory board, and the ICPC committee. Over the years, she has conducted numerous trainings for foster youth, CASA volunteers, child welfare professionals and foster care providers. She is a former NACC Child Welfare Law Specialist.
Sheri Schoenberg, Board Secretary, was a senior attorney in the Alameda County Public Defender’s office for thirty years. Her tenure as an assistant public defender included many years as the supervising attorney in the office’s Juvenile Delinquency Unit. Ms. Schoenberg was the juvenile delinquency supervisor during the critical transition years when all county and state Juvenile Court offices and services relocated to the new Juvenile Justice Center. She assisted in the design of the center offices, and advocated for the establishment of many of the new services offered to youth incarcerated at the Juvenile Justice Center. She was actively involved in establishing the first Juvenile Mental Health Court in Alameda County. She has been honored over the years for her extraordinary work in Alameda County Drug Court and she continues to serve on the Board of Directors of C.U.R.A., Inc., a therapeutic residential substance abuse treatment program in Fremont, California. Since retiring from the Public Defender’s Office in March 2012, Ms. Schoenberg is staying busy practicing part-time, traveling, volunteering for C.U.R.A., expanding her gourmet cooking skills and spending some extra time with her husband and their horse, Beanie. Ms. Schoenberg earned her law degrees at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill.
Norbert Ralph, PhD, MPH, Board Treasurer, is an expert in adolescent psychology, neuropsychology, and epidemiology, and has provided trainings to California judges through the Judicial Council. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Dr. Ralph has served on the Alameda County Maternal and Child Health Advisory Committees. He is committed to public service and currently works with youth in Alameda County and San Francisco.
Tess Chandler has worked as a fundraiser for more than a decade with the University of California, where she earned extensive experience cultivating relationships with individuals, corporations, foundations, and governmental agencies. She is currently the Director of External Relations at University of California’s School of Social Welfare. Previously, she worked at UC Davis as Director of Development for Extension, Student Affairs and handled the Biotechnology portfolio. She was also the Project Manager for the transfer of the McClellan Nuclear Radiation Center from the Department of Defense to the UC Regents. Using this important tool, researchers are now able to work toward curing inoperable brain tumors. Tess graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Political Science. For the UC Berkeley campus, she was recently a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for Dependent Care and currently holds a seat on the Fundraising Council's Executive Committee. She has three grown sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one grandson.
Patricia Lee, is the managing attorney for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office Juvenile Division and has over 30 years of experience as a child advocate. She is the co-director of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center and serves as the co-chair of the juvenile justice committee of the Asian Youth Advocacy Network. She is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, and a member of the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children and the Courts. Patty is also a founding member of the Center for Young Women’s Development and past president of the San Francisco Delinquency Prevention Commission. She is a board member of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and previously served on the board of Coleman Youth Advocates and the Education and Violence Committee of the Human Rights Commission. She has been honored by the National Organization for Women, the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition, and was the recipient of the California Wellness Foundation 2007 Peace Prize.
Jonna M. Thomas was one of the original staff attorneys at East Bay Children's Law Offices in 2009 having previously practiced in the Office of the County Counsel in both Tulare and Alameda Counties. As a county attorney she practiced child welfare law and represented agencies serving the elderly. In 2011, she joined Hartog, Baer & Hand, a trust and estate law firm. She serves clients in the firm’s litigation, planning and administration groups. Jonna received her LL.M. in taxation with honors from Golden Gate University in 2014, emphasizing in trusts and estates. Jonna earned her Juris Doctorate with distinction from Pacific-McGeorge School of Law in 2005 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in the same year. She was honored twice with Witkin Awards for Academic Excellence in legal study and is a member of the Traynor Honor Society. Jonna has a distinguished reputation in public litigation and trial work. She has conducted over one hundred court trials. She has litigated matters in both state and federal courts.