Application Mentors

The following Harvard Law School alumni have offered to serve as Application Mentors for Public Service Venture Fund candidates. If you are seeking guidance as you apply for a fully-funded fellowship or a seed grant, contact a mentor via the email listed in his or her profile.  




Josh Bedell 

Josh Bedell is in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. He was born in an orphanage in South Korea and adopted into an Italian family at eight months of age. Bedell grew up in central Massachusetts in a small town called Grafton, which literally had no stoplights. He aspired to join the military and was an Army ROTC scholarship cadet at Georgetown University before a car accident prematurely ended that aspect of his service career. 

After graduating with a finance degree, Bedell began his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Merrill Lynch. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007. Since then, Bedell has worked in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. 

In his free time, he enjoys running, music (he has seen Pearl Jam in concert over 25 times, beginning in 1994), socializing with friends, and reading.

Contact Josh:




Laurel Firestone '04

Laurel Firestone co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center (CWC), a nonprofit environmental justice organization located in Visalia, Ca. The CWC helps disadvantaged communities gain access to clean and affordable water. She previously served as the director of the Rural Poverty Water Project at the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment in Delano, Ca, under a 2004-06 Equal Justice Works Fellowship. In 2009, Firestone wrote the comprehensive "Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy," and in 2010 she and co-founder Susana De Anda were awarded the Carla Bard Advocacy Award from the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER), given to one water advocate in Ca. each year. She currently serves on the Tulare County Water Commission.

During law school, Firestone pursued a variety of projects combining human rights and environmental law, from working with trash pickers in the major cities of Brazil to advising indigenous groups in the Amazon who sought to protect their traditional knowledge and genetic resources. She was active in the Harvard Environmental Law Society's Environmental Working Group, a member of the Steering Committee of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and article and submissions editor on the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She was also a 2002 Chayes International Public Service Fellow.

Before attending Harvard Law School, Firestone worked with IMAZON, a small Brazilian environmental research NGO located in Belém, Pará, on the mouth of the Amazon. Her work there focused on the use of satellite imagery and GIS to monitor forest degradation, and the role of this technology in forestry law enforcement.

Firestone holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Brown University (2000).

Read more about Laurel here: Community Water Center

Contact Laurel:


Patricia Kakalec '93

Tricia Kakalec is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Workers Rights Law Center of New York, Inc. (WRLC) in Kingston, New York, where she represents low-wage and immigrant workers in cases involving employment and civil rights. Prior to co-founding the WRLC in 2004, Tricia represented farmworkers in New York State for six years, most recently with Farmworker Legal Services of New York. She was also an attorney in private practice in New York City for three years, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denis R. Hurley in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She presently serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Immigration Coalition and as a Commissioner of the City of Kingston Human Rights Commission. Tricia is a 1993 graduate of Harvard Law School.

Contact Patricia:




Brooke Richie '04

Brooke Richie-Babbage is the Founder and Executive Director of the Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP), a child and youth advocacy organization based in New York that uses the law to break cycles of intergenerational poverty. Prior to founding RAP, Brooke worked as an attorney, focusing on public benefits and child care advocacy and policy as a Skadden Fellow, and then as a Staff Attorney, at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. 

Brooke received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and her Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government. Prior to law school, Brooke worked for the Children’s Defense Fund-NY, advocating for increased access to free and low-cost health insurance for low-income children in NYC. Brooke has taught the history of social welfare law and policy at Tufts University, consulted for the Center for Law and Social Policy, and worked for the New York City Human Resources Administration and the Center for an Urban Future in New York City. 

Brooke currently serves on the Board of Directors of Community Voices Heard, a member-led organizing group in Harlem fighting for economic justice for low-income women and their families, as well as on the Board of Atlas: DIY, a youth cooperative in Brooklyn forimmigrant youth. She also serves on the Advisory Boards to the New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and the New York State Winning Beginning Leadership Institute, both organizations working to develop leadership within New York’s early education field. She is the Chair of the Social Welfare Law Committee of the Association of the City Bar of New York, Chair of the Policy Action Committee of the NYC Economic and Social Justice Network, a Harvard Law School Young Wasserstein Fellow, a CORO Leadership alumna, and a member of the Activist Council of Planned Parenthood of New York City. Brooke received her undergraduate degree from Yale University.

Contact Brooke: 

Last modified: January 26, 2015

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