Staff Categories Archives: Policy

Peter Chen

Peter Chen is policy counsel at Advocates for Children of New Jersey. His work includes coordinating non-profit and community-based organizations on Census outreach in 2020. In addition to Census work, Peter is responsible for policy analysis and advocacy at the state and local level, in areas such as childhood lead poisoning prevention, chronic absenteeism, paid family leave and early intervention services for very young children with disabilities. Peter began working at ACNJ as a 2014 Skadden Fellow. Prior to joining ACNJ, Peter clerked for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and taught high school English in Chicago. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington.

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Nina Peckman

Nina Peckman works for ACNJ’s KidLaw Resource Center as a staff attorney, specializing in all aspects of education law and, as a member of the special education practitioners workgroup and the education law committee of the New Jersey Bar Association, takes part in education policy agendas. Fluent in Spanish and English, she primarily assists parents by explaining the law and helping them advocate for their children in school, including by reviewing and explaining school record and writing letters to school staff. Nina negotiates with school board attorneys, attends school meetings and State mediation with parents.

Nina writes legal guides and fact sheets and provides workshops/trainings regarding education law to parents and professionals, including school staff, psychologists, social workers, healthcare providers, community-based organizations, Case Management Organization staff, child welfare workers, law guardians and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Prior to joining ACNJ in 2006, Nina worked for the Community Health Law Project, providing legal representation to adults diagnosed with mental disabilities. Prior to that, she was general counsel to Engender Health, a non-profit organization whose mission was to improve woman and children’s health services in developing countries. Nina earned her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1985 and her B.A. from Rutgers College.

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Alana Vega

As Kids Count Coordinator, Alana is responsible for collecting, analyzing and organizing state, county, and city level data relating to the well-being of New Jersey’s children for ACNJ’s Kids Count publications. Prior to joining ACNJ in 2016,

Prior to joining ACNJ, Alana interned for the Sandy Homeowner/Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) where she assisted Superstorm Sandy victims to obtain financial resources to aid in the repair or rebuilding of their homes. Alana received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and earned her M.P.P. from Rutgers University.

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