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Staff Biographies

Karen Ferguson is director of the Pension Rights Center. She oversees Center activities, initiates new programs, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Before starting the Center in 1976, she was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board; the law firm of Bell, Boyd, and Lloyd; the Public Interest Research Group; and the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds. Karen is co-author of Pensions in Crisis: Why the System is Failing America and How You Can Protect Your Future, and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Law School. 

Karen Friedman is the Pension Rights Center's executive vice president and policy director. She develops solutions and implements strategies to protect and promote the rights of consumers, and for more than 20 years has represented their interests in the media and before congressional committees. Karen coordinates Retirement USA and the Conversation on Coverage and is responsible for the Center's day-to-day operations. A graduate of Georgetown University, she previously worked for human rights organizations.

Kyle Garrett, the Pension Rights Center's Chief Operations Officer, provides information and assistance to individuals contacting the Center. He also conducts research, writes fact sheets and blog entries, and arranges meetings and travel. Kyle has worked with the Center since 2005, and is a graduate of Roanoke College.

Emily Gilbert is the Pension Rights Center’s outreach associate. She manages the development and maintenance of the Center’s website, Story Bank, and social media sites. She serves as the Center’s liaison with retiree groups and individuals seeking assistance, develops outreach materials, writes fact sheets, newsletters, and alerts, and responds to requests from the media. She is a graduate of The College of William & Mary.

Jane Smith, the Pension Rights Center’s policy analyst, conducts economic analyses of policies, proposals and studies. Previously, Jane worked for the Labor Department's Division of Technical Assistance of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Prior to working at the Labor Department, she was a volunteer research economist for the PRC. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and has a Master’s degree in Economics from George Mason University.

Emily Spreiser is the Center’s Vice President and Legal Director. She provides legal and technical support to the Administration on Aging’s National Pension Assistance Resource Center. Emily has prior experience at the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor where she provided education and informal dispute resolution to employee benefit plan participants, sponsors and administrators.  Emily has a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

Norman Stein is a professor of law at Drexel University, where he teaches in the areas of pensions, other employee benefits, social insurance, federal business and individual taxation. As Senior Policy Advisor to the Pension Rights Center, he provides legal guidance on many pension issues, authors legal briefs on behalf of the Center, and represents the Center before congressional panels.