Staff

Sue Udry

Executive Director


Sue Udry’s career in public service spans four decades and includes advocating for peace, civil rights, and economic justice. She is an experienced non-profit administrator and expert on issues related to the intersection of national security, human rights, and civil society.

As Executive Director of Defending Rights & Dissent, Udry leads the organization’s advocacy and public education efforts to protect and strengthen civil society and challenge government abuse of First and Fourth Amendment rights. She represents DRAD in the media, in numerous coalitions, and on several boards of directors.

Prior to coming to DRAD, Udry was the legislative coordinator for United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of over 1,600 groups working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While living in Chicago, Udry served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, and as an organizer for the Coalition for New Priorities, and organized child care workers for the Day Care Action Council of Illinois. She currently serves on the board of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, and the DC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and the DC-NLG Litigation Fund, as well as the Advisory Board of the Charity and Security Network. She is a co-founder of the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition.

Chip Gibbons

Policy Director


Chip Gibbons is an expert on US Constitutional law, a journalist and researcher focusing on the US national security state, and a longtime activist.  For over half a decade, he has led Defending Rights & Dissent’s work exposing threats to political expression posed by US national security policy, as well as defending the right to protest.  Chip has advised both state and federal lawmakers on the First Amendment implications of pending legislation.  He is a frequently cited expert on the history of FBI political surveillance and the impact of the Espionage Act on press freedoms. Chip is currently working on a book on the history of the FBI exploring the relationship between domestic political surveillance and the emergence of the US national security state. Titled The Imperial Bureau, it is expected to be published by Verso in 2024.

Chip was an early contributor to the Dissent NewsWire. In 2015, he formally joined Defending Rights & Dissent  after having led a successful campaign to defeat a proposed unconstitutional anti-boycott bill in Maryland. Since joining our team, he has hosted the Still Spying podcast and authored the groundbreaking reports Still Spying on Dissent: The Enduring Problem of FBI First Amendment Abuse and Ag Gag Across America: Corporate-Backed Attacks on Activists and Whistleblowers. He has led efforts to educate decision makers and the public alike about the need to reform the Espionage Act, rein in the FBI, and restore constitutional war powers. 

Chip has been published in Jacobin, The Nation, In These Times, and The Washington Post. In 2020, he published an exposé at The Intercept based on his half decade long quest to force the FBI to release documents pertaining to its surveillance of nonviolent Palestinian solidarity activists.  Bringing his journalistic talents to Defending Rights & Dissent, he did extensive first hand reporting on the unprecedented prosecution of Trump Inauguration protesters.

Quentin Anthony Anderson

Communications Director



Quentin Anthony Anderson is an accomplished nonprofit communications and social justice advocacy professional. Prior to arriving at DRAD, Quentin served as Executive Chairman of The Justice Alliance, a Louisiana-based nonprofit that organizes the state’s largest annual social justice conference.  Quentin also served as Communications Director for the Industrial Areas Foundation-affiliated Southern Institute for Public Life, as well as Associate Director for Public Affairs & Communications for DC-based clean energy nonprofit Groundswell.

In 2015, he led a successful school-to-prison pipeline advocacy campaign in Illinois that resulted in passage of the nation’s most comprehensive school discipline reform legislation – a campaign that was later profiled by NPR. He has also worked for organizations such as NextGen Climate Action, United Way, and Obama for America.

Mehdi Rahmati

Administrator


Mehdi Rahmati is a human rights advocate and technology enthusiast with several years of experience working for international human rights organizations in various capacities. Prior to joining Defending Rights and Dissent team, for several years Mehdi worked at the Committee to Protect Journalists as Office and IT Manager, Communications Associate and later on as Social Media Associate. Mehdi’s has deep interest in non-profit technology, systems security and streamlining processes.

Cody Bloomfield

Intern


Cody Bloomfield is a rising senior at Smith College majoring Government with interests in social justice, law, and policy. Cody previously interned with the Colorado Springs-based civic engagement nonprofit Citizens Project and with Colorado Governor Jared Polis. They have previously done research on local police oversight policy, the Cold War, and separatism in post-Soviet space. Cody is excited to do organizing work, social media outreach, and writing for DRAD.

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