President – Colonel Don Christensen, U.S. Air Force (ret.)
Colonel Don Christensen, USAF (ret.) served as chief prosecutor for the United States Air Force between 2010 and 2014. He served as a trial counsel, defense counsel or military judge for every year of his 23-year career in the United States Air Force.
Col Christensen has served as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Area Defense Counsel, Circuit Defense Counsel, Deputy Chief Circuit Defense Counsel, and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, as a deployed Staff Judge Advocate, Chief Circuit Trial Counsel, and Staff Judge Advocate and as a Military Judge. He has tried over 150 courts-martial as a trial and defense counsel and has presided over 100 trials as a military judge.
He was born in Sturgis, South Dakota and received his law degree from Marquette University Law School. A third generation Air Force officer, he received his commission as a second lieutenant through ROTC and entered active service on 15 July 1991. Col Christensen is licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Col Christensen has received numerous awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
Director of Programs & Policy – Adelaide Kahn-Fowler
Adelaide Kahn-Fowler is the Director of Programs and Policy at Protect Our Defenders. She started with the organization in 2016 working mostly with clients to meet their legal and casework needs. Since, she has developed and produced numerous projects and platforms, regularly partnering with Congressional offices, pro bono partners, organizational allies, survivor advocates, and others to help realize policy reform goals and better assist survivors. Before joining POD, Adelaide worked for various non-profit organizations including the Family Court Assistance Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and the Los Angeles J. Paul Getty Museum. Although hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Adelaide received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a focus on global security from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She later obtained her Masters degree in Criminology from George Washington University.
Communications Director – Brian Purchia
Brian Purchia is the Communications Director for Protect Our Defenders and has been with the organization since its launch. Described by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark as “genuinely innovative,” Brian has served as a spokesman for former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Change.org, Green For All and a number of other social change organizations.
Casework & Operations Associate – Denisha Hedgebeth
Denisha Hedgebeth is the Operations and Casework Associate at Protect Our Defenders. She is a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh with a master’s degree in Global Mental Health and Society. Before joining POD, Denisha worked for a local rape crisis center in Virginia, where she helped to maintain the victim advocacy program and communication efforts. She has also worked in various non-profit roles within mental health and youth development.