Who we are

Laura Strausfeld, Executive Director

Laura Strausfeld is continuing the law and advocacy work she began at Period Equity, the legal nonprofit she co-founded with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and ran from 2016 to early 2022.

In 2016, Laura orchestrated the class action lawsuit challenging New York’s tampon tax as unconstitutional, resulting in immediate legislative repeal. In 2019, she hosted the first legal conference devoted to this project — The Tampon Tax LAB (Legal Action Brainstorm) — at Columbia Law School, co-hosted by the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. She has since recruited over 50 pro bono attorneys to research and challenge the tampon tax in court. She was co-counsel on Beggs v Michigan, which argued that Michigan’s tampon tax was unconstitutional. Laura brought together national and local organizations to form MIPAD (the Michigan Period Action Day coalition), which staged the largest national rally for the end of the tampon tax. Within weeks of the event, Michigan enacted legislation removing the tax.

Laura is the Associate Director of Institutional Relations at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School — and has a wide-ranging project-based background, including as a plaintiffs’ attorney, founding board member of the Nest Foundation, development strategist for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, teacher, writer/director/producer of theater and film, and Anton Chekhov scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. She has a BA from Yale and JD
from Columbia.

Lisa White, Director, Strategy & Operations

Lisa worked as a senior banker for 15 years with Citibank, BNY Mellon, PNC, and JP Morgan Chase. Her relationship management roles included global treasury sales and commercial lending, generating over $80 million in revenue.

Lisa has volunteered with organizations such as The United Way, Cystic Fibrosis, Habitat for Humanity, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She led a city-wide effort in Cleveland to establish the non-profit NewBridge, a trauma-informed social and emotional learning center providing educational and career services to young people. She was also an associate board member of Prep for Prep in New York.

Originally from Chicago, Lisa spent her formative years in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated with a B.A. from Denison University, majoring in economics and political science—and studied and performed ballet for over 30 years. In 2015 she completed a global Marketing Strategy Certification program from Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management. She has been formally trained as a Nonviolent Social Change Practitioner and Organizer under the Kingian Nonviolence Methodology, which was developed by The Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities. Lisa believes it’s necessary to build and reimagine coalitions to address systemic violence, poverty, and oppression.

Suzanne Herman, Legal Director

Suzanne is a Pro Bono Scholar graduate of Fordham Law and received her Bachelor’s in English Literature from Barnard College. She has worked as an attorney, organizer, and legislative advocate, primarily in the tenant’s rights and menstrual equity spaces.

Suzanne worked on Period Law’s tampon tax campaign as a law student in Fordham’s Legislative and Policy Advocacy clinic, which provided critical support in organizing the 2019 Tampon Tax Protest. She published a note in the Fordham Urban Law Journal entitled A Blood-Red Herring: Why Revenue Concerns are Overestimated in the Fight to End the Tampon Tax (2021).


Ting Ting Cheng  is the Director of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Project at Columbia Law School. A civil rights attorney and activist, she has spent her career advocating for marginalized communities. Previously, she was a public defender and immigration attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services and litigated gender discrimination cases at Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). 

Ting Ting served as the Legal Director of the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017, helping to organize the largest single-day protest in US history. She was also a foreign law clerk to Justice Albie Sachs and Justice Edwin Cameron at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa, where she received the Amy Biehl Award. 

Ting Ting has written a range of publications, such as the Harvard Social Impact Review and the American Bar Association’s Perspectives Publication, and has offered commentary for numerous media outlets, including CNN, NPR, New York Magazine, Bloomberg News, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The 19th.

Ting Ting Cheng, Attorney
Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN

Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN, has worked in global health and development on issues ranging from improving access to essential medicines to humanitarian relief in conflict settings. Dr. Sommer’s particular areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting healthy transitions to adulthood, the intersection of public health and education, gender and sexual health, and the implementation and evaluation of adolescent-focused interventions. Her doctoral research explored girls’ experiences of menstruation, puberty, and schooling in Tanzania and the ways in which the onset of puberty might disrupt girls’ academic performance and healthy transition to adulthood. Dr. Sommer presently leads the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) Program, based in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. GATE explores the intersections of gender, health, education, and the environment for girls and boys transitioning into adulthood in low-income countries and in the United States. GATE also generates research and practical resources focused on improving the integration of menstrual hygiene management and gender-supportive sanitation solutions into global humanitarian response.