Melissa Fitzgerald, Senior Director, NADCP
In November 2013, Melissa Fitzgerald joined Justice For Vets, a division of National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) as its new Senior Director, she will be expanding her role at NADCP’s and leading the soon to be launched global initiative to lead justice reform called, Advancing Justice. As an actor, Melissa is best known for her seven-year role as Carol on the television series The West Wing, but off-screen she is widely recognized as a courageous advocate for people in need. Melissa is co-founder of Voices in Harmony, a non-profit mentoring organization that uses theater to work with under-served teens in Los Angeles.
In 2007, Melissa traveled to war-torn Northern Uganda to bring the Voices in Harmony theater program to former abducted child soldiers and other teenagers affected by the region’s brutal rebel war. The Voices in Harmony program in Northern Uganda resulted in the award winning film. After Kony: Staging Hope. The experience opened her eyes to the lingering impact of war.
In 2011, Melissa co-executive produced Halfway Home, a documentary featuring Vietnam War veteran and former U.S. Senator Max Cleland and Silver Star recipient and Iraq War veteran, Sgt. Tommy Rieman joining other veterans in recounting their experience in war and their struggle to reintegrate and recover upon returning home. “Although most veterans are strengthened by their military service, my experience working on Halfway Home personalized the struggle of many veterans who are having difficulty reintegrating. I have followed the development of veterans treatment courts closely and know that there is no better way for me to be of service to veterans than by devoting myself to the expansion of these life-saving programs,” said Melissa. “I am deeply honored and grateful to have the opportunity to be part of Justice For Vets, an organization that is having such a profound impact on the lives of veterans and their families.”
PETER JAMES SMITH, ACTOR
Peter's first paid acting gig was as part of New Image Teen Theater, sponsored by Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties, an educational touring theatrical troupe that focused on teen issues.
His first paid on screen gig was as a bank teller with an attitude on USA Network's Silk Stalkings.
He is most widely known as Ed from all seven seasons of The West Wing. Other TV/film credits include: Get Shorty, Bosch, Colony, This is Us, Westworld, Parenthood, Castle, 24, CSI: Miami, Monk, Serenity, Pearl Harbor, Friends, The King of Queens, ER, Dead Man on Campus, Poker, Nothing Sacred, Party of Five and the upcoming Diminuendo. Theater credits include: world premiere plays by Neil Labute, Jennifer Rowland, EM Lewis, Tom Jacobson, Luis Alfaro, Stephen Dierkes, Larry Dean Harris, Tracy Young, Andy Lowe, and Rich Nathanson; and work with A Noise Within, Skylight, Open Fist, EST/LA, La Jolla Playhouse, Cornerstone, Moving Arts/The Lion, Son of Semele, Celebration, The Actors' Gang, Old Globe, San Diego Rep, North Coast Rep, Sledgehammer and Diversionary.
William Duffy, ACTOR
William Duffy began his professional career as a CPA, but spreadsheets to pursue the stage. No stranger to the Sorkin universe, Duffy performed in the national tour of the play A Few Good Men before appearing as “Larry” in 48 episodes of The West Wing, after which he to vocal work on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Thanks in part to lessons Duffy learned early in his career as a reader for industry casting directors, he’s appeared in major television shows, including Beverly Hills, 90201, ER, Criminal Minds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and more. When he isn’t on set or stage, Duffy tutors struggling students, takes classes, and exercises his creative muscles through writing and music. Duffy is a strong supporter of organ donation, which he demonstrated in a powerful way by donating a kidney to his ailing brother in 2017.