Press Release: Access Justice Brooklyn Announces the Election of Akshay Dhiman, Melanie Kotler, and William Zichawo to Board of Directors


Friday, April 28, 2023

(click here to download the press release)

Brooklyn, New York –– Access Justice Brooklyn announces the election of three new members to its Board of Directors following election at the organization’s meeting held on April 18, 2023.

Joining Access Justice Brooklyn’s Board of Directors are Akshay Dhiman, Managing Director – Power, Energy & Infrastructure M&A at Lazard; Melanie Kotler, VP of Legal Counsel – Investments at RenaissanceRe; and William Zichawo, incoming Vice President in Private Wealth Solutions Legal at Blackstone. Upon their election, the new members shared the following:

“I am delighted to be joining the Board of Access Justice Brooklyn, an organization focused on providing equal access to legal services across Brooklyn and the greater New York City area. Access Justice Brooklyn’s services are more important now than ever, and I look forward to using my professional background and experience to further the organization’s mission,” said Akshay.

“I am incredibly honored to join the Board of Access Justice Brooklyn, an impressive team of individuals supporting invaluable services for some of the most underserved populations in New York City. As an attorney who has spent many years dedicated to increasing access to quality education for historically under-resourced students and families, I’ve seen the effects of much wider-scale systemic barriers to justice. The mission and vision of Access Justice Brooklyn truly resonates with me, and I can’t wait to contribute what I can to ensure a more accessible legal system and equitable Brooklyn,” said Melanie.

“I am so thrilled to be joining Access Justice Brooklyn’s Board. The organization’s mission that no one should be denied legal support due to income, ability, or identity – is more urgent and relevant than ever. I’m highly motivated to work with my fellow board members, Access Justice Brooklyn’s incredible staff, and community partners to expand the reach of high-quality, civil legal services that help ensure equal access to the justice system,” said Will.

Access Justice Brooklyn is committed to serving its neighbors and extending its reach throughout the Brooklyn community by engaging new leaders like Akshay, Melanie, and Will.

“We are thrilled to welcome Akshay, Melanie, and Will to the Access Justice Brooklyn Board. Their undeniable connection to our mission and shared core values combined with such exceptional and diverse professional talents will help advance our community impact goals while strengthening our efforts in dismantling systemic barriers to justice,” said Daniel Angel, Board Resource and Governance Committee Co-Chair, Access Justice Brooklyn Board of Directors.

Akshay, Melanie, and Will join a 22-member board that oversees Access Justice Brooklyn’s governance and strategic development including: Lynn E. Judell, Rukab Brash PLLC, Chair; Stephen Z. Williamson, Law Office of Stephen Z. Williamson, P.L.L.C., Vice Chair; Scottye Lindsey, Santander Bank, Treasurer; Michael Watson, Ford Foundation, Secretary; Jack Aldrich, BlackRock; Daniel Angel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Elena Bonifacio, Google; Lisa Braun, PwC; Caroline Conway, Stonepeak; Elizabeth Dank, TikTok; Brian Fryd, Cornerstone Research; Jeffrey B. Gewirtz, BSE Global; Adam B. Gilbert, Nixon Peabody LLP; Heidi Lee Henderson, Access Justice Brooklyn, President; Alexander Kaplan, Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP; Colin S. Kelly, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; Mark Lande, Island Capital Group LLC; Samuel O. Maduegbuna, Maduegbuna Cooper LLP; Thanya Polonio-Jones, Center for Reproductive Rights; Lee Popkin, Proskauer Rose LLP; Lydia Keaney Reynolds, FARFETCH; and Adam Shepherd, Macquarie Group.

Board recruitment efforts continue as Access Justice Brooklyn seeks diverse candidates who possess the combined dedication, values, skills, and enthusiasm needed to fulfill the organization’s mission, surpass its goals, and propel Access Justice Brooklyn to new levels of impact throughout the borough.

About Access Justice Brooklyn:

Access Justice Brooklyn partners with compassionate pro bono attorneys to provide high-quality, civil legal services that help ensure equal access to the legal system. The organization’s approach prioritizes the most basic, essential elements and experiences of human life, including housing, family stability, and subsistence income. Its proven pro bono model—recruit, train, supervise, and support—also provides flexibility to address new legal issues as they emerge. Everyone, whether an attorney or not, has a role to play in expanding access to justice. Visit or email to volunteer, donate, or find other ways to get involved.

Press Contact:
Melissa Starr | Senior Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives | 718-473-9209 |


by Development Team