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  CRLP Staff Bios

Ellen Goetz, Acting President

Priscilla Smith, Acting Director, Domestic Program

Katherine Hall Martinez, Acting Director, International Program

Staff Attorney Bios

CRLP Board of Directors


Ellen Goetz is Acting President of CRLP and one of the founding staff members of the organization. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, Ms. Goetz was CRLP’s Development Director for eight years, before becoming Managing Director in 2001. During her tenure, CRLP grew from a budget of $1.3 million to over $7.7 million. Ms. Goetz is the former Legal Assistant to the Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project (RFP) and a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society. She was also a Legal Fellow and consultant for the RFP, as well as a consultant at the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Boston, MA.


Priscilla Smith is Acting Director of the Domestic Program of the Center for Reproductive Law & Policy. Since joining CRLP in the fall of 1993, she has litigated reproductive rights cases in courts across the country.

In the U.S. Supreme Court, she successfully argued Ferguson v. City of Charleston, which was decided on March 21, 2001. In Ferguson, Smith represented ten women who were secretly searched for cocaine use and subsequently arrested or threatened with arrest while voluntarily seeking prenatal care at a South Carolina public hospital. In addition, Smith successfully defended a Florida woman charged with murder for shooting herself in the stomach while pregnant, and a Wisconsin woman charged with attempted murder for consuming alcohol shortly before her expected delivery date.

She has also challenged restrictions on abortion in Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Iowa, and recently acted as either lead attorney or co-counsel in a number of successful challenges to bans on so-called "partial-birth abortion."

Smith received her juris doctor from Yale Law School in 1991, and her Bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1984. Prior to joining CRLP in 1993, she was associated with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, California.


Katherine Hall Martinez is Acting Director of the International Program of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP). CRLP is one of the few legal and policy advocacy organizations in the world solely dedicated to the advancement of women's reproductive rights. The central mission of CRLP's International Program is the achievement of enforceable reproductive health care and rights for women around the world.

Martinez's work focuses on reproductive health and rights issues from both comparative legal and international human rights perspectives, with a focus on U.S. foreign policy issues and CRLP's work at the United Nations. Since joining CRLP, Martinez has collaborated on numerous publications and reports, including Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting their Reproductive Lives - Anglophone Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean; Women Behind Bars: Chile's Abortion Laws - A Human Rights Analysis; nine shadow reports to human rights treaty bodies; Legislation on Female Genital Mutilation in the United States; Cairo+5: Assessing U.S. Support for Reproductive Health at Home and Abroad; Cairo + 5: Gains for women Despite Opposition; and An Unfulfilled Human Right: Family Planning in Guatemala. Martinez also has authored International Human Rights: A Research Guide, published by the Aspen Institute's Justice and Society Program, and co-authored Ending Impunity for Gender Crimes under the International Criminal Court, published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs. From 1994 to 1998, she edited International Human Rights Law Update, a bi-annual publication of the Aspen Institute.

Prior to joining CRLP, Martinez was a corporate associate with an emphasis on international transactions at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP in Pittsburgh and at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Washington, D.C. Following law school, Martinez was a judicial law clerk for The Hon. Lawrence M. McKenna, a federal district judge in New York. She also has worked as a pro bono attorney on cases involving refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Martinez was a legal intern with El Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales ("CELS"), a human rights group in Buenos Aires. Prior to attending law school, Martinez was a legal assistant with the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.

Martinez, a member of the New York, District of Columbia and Pennsylvania bars, received her Juris Doctor in 1992 from the Columbia University School of Law. She was awarded a certificate, with honors, in International and Foreign Law by the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia University School of Law. She was a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. In 1992, she authored Women in Development: Reorienting International Aid Programs to Include Women's Human Rights which was awarded Columbia University's Gittleson Prize. Martinez received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Comparative Literature and was awarded a certificate in the Latin American Studies Program from Princeton University in 1988. Martinez is fluent in Spanish, proficient in French and conversant in Portuguese.

About CRLP
On the Hill
In the Courts
Newsletter: RFN