Charities Project Staff
Cindy M. Lott
Lead Counsel, Charities Project
National State Attorneys General Program
Cindy M. Lott serves as Executive Director and Senior Counsel to the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, and within that Program also serves as the developer and lead counsel to the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project, as well as projects at the intersection of nonprofits and public health. The National State Attorneys General Program provides a nonpartisan resource to state attorneys general in fulfilling enforcement responsibilities and policy priorities, facilitates communication among attorneys general, and institutionalizes the dialogue between attorneys general, a spectrum of regulated communities and stakeholders, legal scholars, other academics and policy makers specializing in various related substantive areas of policy and enforcement.
Lott is a frequent speaker at national conferences in the areas of philanthropic and nonprofit state regulation, compliance, management and governance. She develops and moderates a series of national conferences on state regulation of the charitable sector and is engaged in research regarding regulatory capacity and enforcement at the state level. Lott is a Senior Visiting Fellow for 2014-2015 at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, working in conjunction with the Institute’s Tax Policy and Charities project. Since 2013, Lott has worked with major foundation leaders across the country on behalf of the Council on Foundations. Lott was selected as one of six members of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) and will serve 2015-2018. In 2015, Lott was asked to serve on the policy committee of Independent Sector and as the chair of the policy track for the 2015 ARNOVA conference (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action).
A Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, Lott co-taught an advanced research seminar on state attorneys general and their role in state policymaking. She has taught at the graduate level at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and was a visiting clinical professor at Indiana University School of Law, where she was the developer and director of the Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Lott’s consulting practice focuses on policy, legal and research strategy for national advocacy groups and non-profit organizations, particularly with respect to moving evidence-based research into the policy arena, strategic initiatives, state regulatory and compliance issues, non-profit management, and state policy issues.
Lott served as Chief Counsel to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston and was Deputy Counsel to the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. She has worked at large firms in several major cities in the areas of employment, business litigation and compliance. She also served as Chief Counsel for Advisory Services in the Indiana Attorney General's office, as well as Section Chief for Administrative and Regulatory Litigation in that office.
Lott is a 1993 graduate of the Yale Law School and clerked for the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Indiana and Massachusetts.
Faisal H. Sheikh
Staff Attorney, Charities Project
National State Attorneys General Program
Faisal Sheikh joined the National State Attorneys General Program in November 2013 as a Staff Attorney. From 2011-2013, he served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Suffolk County Regional Office, defending New York State and its agencies against suits in both State and Federal Court.
Faisal received his B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Karin Kunstler Goldman
Chief, Charities Bureau, New York
Charities Project Consultant
Karin Kunstler Goldman is a Section Chief in the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Karin was the 2001-2002 president of the National Association of State Charity Officials and is a founding member of the Governance Matters. From 2003 to 2007 she served on the advisory board of New York University’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law and from 2008 to 2011 was a member of the Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt Entities. Prior to joining the Attorney General's office, Karin was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow and a staff attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation. As an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow in Hungary, Karin worked with not-for-profit organizations, government officials and legislative drafters in developing the law and regulations affecting the non-profit sector. She has consulted with government officials and legislative drafters in Ukraine and China on the development of statutory regulation of charitable organizations in those countries. In 2007, Karin was a guest of the People’s Republic of China at its International Symposium on Charity Legislation in China at which she was a speaker. Karin and her husband, Neal, spent two years as Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal, West Africa. They have two children and four grandchildren. Karin has a law degree from Rutgers University Law School, a BA from Connecticut College, and an MA from Columbia University.
Charities Project Advisory Committee, 2011