Biographies of Commission Members

 

Leander A. Dolphin, Chair

Leander A. Dolphin is managing partner at Shipman and Goodwin.

Leander is a partner in the School Law Practice Group. In private practice and as former vice president of human resources and general counsel for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Leander has dedicated her career to advising educational institutions and organizations that foster the development of children, youth and young adults. An effective litigator and counselor, she draws on her dispute-resolution experience to help clients identify shared goals and find common ground with staff, parents, students and community stakeholders.

Leander advises universities, colleges, public school districts, independent schools, and other public- and private-sector clients on the full range of education and employment matters. Schools are often at the forefront of legal, regulatory and societal concerns; in this regard, she provides guidance on fast-developing issues involving sexual harassment (Title IX) and workplace health and safety standards in the COVID-19 era, as well as a range of equity, discrimination and reverse-discrimination considerations.

She also works with clients to develop and implement effective policies on Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations and to address teacher, staff and student discipline concerns, confidentiality and privacy issues in education, and special education disputes, among other areas.

When disputes arise, Leander represents clients in all phases of investigations, negotiations, pre-trial discovery, trials and appeals. She has successfully defended and pursued claims in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and in alternative-dispute resolution forums across the state. Leander understands the unique challenges facing parties in education-related litigation, not the least of which is that administrators, teachers, parents and students involved in a dispute will often continue to work together for years after the issue has been resolved. With this in mind, Leander is both focused and forthright, giving clients the answers and information they need (and not always what they want), with a focus on achieving results that foster ongoing collaboration.

A skilled educator in her own right, Leander has been an adjunct professor of education law at Quinnipiac University School of Law. She also conducts a wide range of workshops for public- and private-sector clients on topics such as sexual harassment, bullying, special education, disability and other forms of discrimination, and confidentiality.

Leander is a trusted advisor to many of her clients and is regularly sought out for her guidance and access to resources in areas beyond education and employment law. Her executive experience at the Girl Scouts of Connecticut imbues her advice with practicality that her clients appreciate. 

Kenneth Saccente

Kenneth (Ken) Saccente is a seventeen year veteran of the Connecticut State Capitol, having worked for both the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut Senate. He served in a variety of roles working for Democratic leadership in the House, serving the Majority Leader of the House for two years followed by ten years in the Office of the Speaker. While working for the House he held a variety of positions including Special Assistant to the Speaker and as a Policy Analyst.

Ken has spent the last four years working for the Majority Leader of the Senate rising to the position of Senior Advisor. He has shepherded all of the Majority Leader’s initiatives and bills through the process as well as assisted with floor operations. Major legislation he has worked on has included campaign finance reform and school security. During his time at the Capitol he has worked collegially with legislators and earned respect from both sides of the aisle.  

In addition to his daily responsibilities Ken served on the Connecticut Lottery Board of Directors for nine years. During his tenure the Lottery achieved record sales of over $1 billion per year and transfers to the General Fund reach over $300 million for the first time.  Ken has also volunteered as a Cub Scout leader and served on the executive board of the New Haven Chapter of the UConn Alumni Association.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and lives in Orange with his wife Mara and their children Anna and Nathan and their dog Fritz.

Aza Mosley

Aza G. Mosley serves as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of CT (Environment Area). Her previous experience was Counsel for the State of CT, Department of Insurance (2020-2022). Prior to that, she worked as Prosecutor for the State of CT, Division of Criminal Justice (2018 – 2020). Before that position, she worked for Bendett and McHugh, P.C. as an Attorney specializing in foreclosure mediation (2013 – 2018). Aza taught Paralegal courses as an Adjunct for the State of CT Community College system. She serves in a variety of organizations. She is a Director on the Board of the CT Veterans Legal Center, a member of the Waterbury (CT) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated and the current President- Elect of George W. Crawford Black Bar Association (Director & Chair of the Membership Committee 2018 -2020). Other organizations service included the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court (Barristers member 2016-2019), and CT Bar Association (Women and the Law Section 2017 -2018 & CT Lawyer Advisory Committee 2018-2019).

 Aza received her A.S. from Naugatuck Valley Community College, B.A. from the University of Hartford, and her J.D. from Ohio Northern University, Claude W. Pettit College of Law. She is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Wilby High School in Waterbury, CT. Aza resides in Waterbury with her husband Mr. Sean Mosley and their daughter.

Amanda Klay 

Amanda is currently pursuing her J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law where she is a recipient of an endowed University scholarship awarded to students with a demonstrated commitment to Public Interest law. She dedicates substantial time to the School’s Civil Justice Clinic with a particular focus on immigration law. Amanda joins the Judicial Selection Commission from the office of Governor Ned Lamont where she served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Prior to 2020, she managed Governor Lamont’s legislative priorities in addition to providing strategic advisement regarding the legislative process. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, she joined Executive Branch staff members and multiple state agencies to coordinate Connecticut’s pandemic response.

She previously worked at Yale School of Management and continues to serve as an Associate Fellow at Yale College where she serves as college advisor to first-generation and low-income (FGLI) first- and second-year students.

In addition to her experience in state government and academia, Amanda’s professional experience also spans community-based nonprofit work. After committing two years of full-time national service as an Americorps*VISTA, Amanda joined the team at Higher Edge, a college access program supporting FGLI students to and through postsecondary education. In that role, she created the organization’s college retention-based programming and subsequently served as its Program Director. Her belief that all students deserve access to strong mentors, a supportive community, and the tools and skills needed to open the doors to expanded opportunities has impacted her personal and professional trajectory ever since.

Amanda is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Connecticut College where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and did extensive travel and research in Latin America.

Thea Montanez

Thea Montañez, a Hartford native, was appointed Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) of the City of Hartford by Mayor Luke Bronin and the City Council in February 2020.  As C.O.O. of Connecticut's Capital City, Thea oversees nearly 1,500 employees, across (13) departments and manages an annual operating and capital budget of $600M and serves 124K residents.  In addition, she spearheads major City initiatives designed to address the needs of its immigrant community and justice-involved youth and adults.  Prior to that, she was the first woman in the City’s 236-year history to serve as Chief of Staff.

Before joining Mayor Bronin’s team, Thea was appointed by former Mayor Pedro Segarra as the Director of the North Hartford Promise Zone, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, reduce violent crime and improve public health in high poverty communities.  After initially moving to New York following her graduation from Syracuse University in 2001, she moved back to Hartford and became heavily involved in the community.  She worked for the MetroHartford Alliance, as Director of Operations for the Connecticut Convention Center, and at The Hartford Financial Services Group leading their local grant making and sponsorship program.  She later started her own consulting firm for marketing, communications and strategic planning, specializing in community affairs.

Ms. Montañez has served on numerous boards of not-for-profit organizations, like the Hartford Public Library, the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, and the University of Saint Joseph. Among other awards, she was named to Connecticut Magazine’s “40 under 40,” a Connecticut Women’s Alliance “Woman of Distinction,” and one of Connecticut’s 50 Most Influential Latinos by Latinos United for Professional Advancement. 

Elizabeth Keyes, Vice Chair

Elizabeth Keyes has served as Legal Counsel to the Senate Democratic Caucus in the Connecticut General Assembly since 2015. She began her career at the Capitol as a Legislative Aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney from 2003 to 2005. Following her graduation from law school, she had the great privilege to serve as a clerk in the Connecticut Appellate Court. From 2011 to 2014, Attorney Keyes was the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health where she developed a passion for health law and policy. She has served on the Connecticut Health Information Technology Exchange Board of Directors, the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund Board of Directors, and the Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.

Attorney Keyes was born and raised in New Haven and graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School. She later attended the College of the Holy Cross, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2009 with a dual Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degree. While in law school she was an intern in the Office of United States Senior District Judge Peter C. Dorsey. She also served as Technology Editor of the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal and President of the student chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. Attorney Keyes is admitted to the bars of Connecticut and New York.

Attorney Keyes and her husband, John, live in Wethersfield where they are the beleaguered tenants in a house run by their two young sons. She is a member of the Wethersfield Democratic Town Committee, Wethersfield Moms Group and former Vice Chair of the Wethersfield Zoning Board of Appeals. 

Steven M. Greenspan 

Steven M. Greenspan is the Corporate Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel for Raytheon Technologies Corporation, the same role he played from 2011 through 2020 for United Technologies Corporation.  In his role, he actively manages worldwide litigation for the company and each of its four operating business units.  He also oversees the legal team that supports the company’s environmental health and safety, real estate and risk management functions.

Attorney Greenspan was a trial lawyer in private practice from 1986 – 2010 with the Hartford-based law firm of Day Pitney, LLP (formerly Day Berry & Howard) and was elected a Partner of the firm in 1993.  While in private practice, he tried cases to jury verdicts and court judgments in numerous federal and state courts across the country.

Attorney Greenspan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 with an Economics degree and from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1985, from which he graduated with maximum honors.  While in law school, he was the managing editor of the Connecticut Law Review.  After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for Associate Justice David M. Shea, Connecticut Supreme Court. 

Attorney Greenspan also served as an adjunct professor at University of Connecticut School of Law from 2004 – 2010, teaching courses involving commercial law.

Attorney Greenspan’s current professional affiliations include his service on the boards of directors of the Horace Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Mandell Jewish Community Center, and the University of Connecticut Foundation. In addition, Attorney Greenspan is a past President of the Hartford County Bar Association and a former member of the House of Delegates of the Connecticut Bar Association.    

Attorney Greenspan grew up in West Hartford, attending public schools through graduation from Hall High School in 1978.  He still lives with his family in West Hartford.