ISLP Board Chair Joe Bell has stepped down, with new Co-Chairs Chris Cross and Boris Dolgonos appointed

Joseph C. Bell has stepped down from his position as Board Chair of the ISLP, which took effect on 1st January 2018. One of the original directors of ISLP, Joe has been a board member for all 17 years of ISLP’s history and its chair for the past two years.  The entire board of directors and staff thank Joe for his tireless energy and fantastic contribution to ISLP. He will remain on the Board until October 2018.


Addressing the Board and large family of consistent donors and volunteers, Joe said, “Let me take this occasion to thank each of you for your support, commitment and work over the last two years. Without that strong support I simply could not have managed. The work and activity of individual directors and the continued generosity and constructive input of the ISLP’s supporters has been, and will continue to be, critical to meeting the challenges and opportunities ahead. I look forward to joining fellow Board members old and new in full support to the new leadership so that they, together with the staff, may realize the full potential of the volunteer lawyer resources at the heart of our organization.”


Fellow Board Member, Ruth Greenspan Bell, highlighted Joe’s considerable achievements with the organization and to pro-bono work in general. In 2010 he received the American Lawyer Life Time Achievement Award, and in 2015 the President of Poland awarded him the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit for the assistance he provided in the early days of the transition and more recently through Board membership in the Polish American Freedom Foundation. In 2006 he also initiated and subsequently guided ISLP’s considerable commitment to the democratically elected government in Liberia for which the organization was recognized with the nation’s highest honor ‘Knight Officer in the Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia’ in 2017. 


Lois J. Schiffer, another Board Member, said “Joe’s service to ISLP has been splendid. As a volunteer he improved the lives of many people worldwide though such work as renegotiating Liberia’s mining contracts, to give the country’s new government improved resources; the resources to improve the lives of its people. He stepped up to chair the Board at the important time of transition from the founders, and served with intelligence, commitment, and skill. ISLP is more effective and stronger for his service.”


The ISLP Executive Director, Katherine Mulhern, thanked Joe for his efforts, “When I first joined ISLP as Executive Director, the organization was in a state of transition in a funding and development environment which was itself going through rapid and sometimes radical change. We have adapted and are now in an increasingly strong position to robustly meet further challenges. This could not have been achieved without Joe’s sharp analysis, broad experience, patient guidance and support on the Board. Many thanks to him for the tremendous time and effort he provided to the organization, to me personally and to our excellent staff of professionals.”


The new co-chairs of ISLP are Chris Cross and Boris Dolgonos, with Craig Owen White taking on the role of Vice Chair. Their biographies and relevent achievements can be viewed in the ‘ISLP Board’ section of our website.


From everyone at the ISLP we wish Joe all the best and look forward to working with Chris, Boris, Craig and the Board in 2018.