Our Team

Mandi Zucker, LSW, CT

Executive Director
Pronouns: she/her


Mandi Zucker's 25+ year career has been defined by work in end of life and grief support. Beginning in hospice, she has focused on supporting people through illness and bereavement. She has worked in hospitals, nonprofit settings, higher education, for profit companies and schools, specializing in volunteer management, program development, education and training. Mandi became involved with EOLCNY in 2008 as a volunteer and has been an advocate for patients ever since. Mandi has spoken nationally about grief, anticipatory grief and how to be an advocate for your own needs at the end of life. She also sees clients privately for therapy as they contemplate end of life and bereavement. Mandi earned a Bachelor's degree in Child Development and Child Care from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master's degree in Social Work from New York University. She also earned a Certificate in Grief Recovery and a Certificate in Thanatology, the study of death and dying.

Aaron Twitchell, BCCC

Program Director
Pronouns: he/his


Aaron Twitchell is an ordained Presbyterian minister, chaplain, and teacher. After spending almost a decade in education, he gained important experience serving residents of psychiatric institutions before leading a large congregation through the pandemic at a historic, Mainline church north of Philadelphia. Along the way, Aaron has been a hospice chaplain, helping people uncover meaning and movement toward the end of their lives, and a health outreach coordinator, connecting vulnerable people to services they need. As a board certified clinical chaplain and pastoral counselor, Aaron is highly trained in the skills, tools, and theories of psychotherapy, emotional and spiritual support, and other counseling modalities, which he brings to bear in his life and work. More than anything, Aaron is a relationship builder, meaning maker, and people lover. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Aaron lives in New Jersey with his family where he enjoys being outside, brewing beer, and going on adventures in local history.

Dominique-Laura Pierce

Development Manager
Pronouns: she/her


Dominique-Laura Pierce holds over a decade of experience in business development. In her career she has worked to expand and build development processes for organizations ranging in size from startup to nearly $300M in annual organizational budget. Her skills and successes include multi-million dollar individual and institutional investor and donor requests, grant writing, fundraising strategy, database management, pipeline creation, internal/external communications, and capital campaign management. Through her work, she has secured and retained over $100M in revenue. Her passion for strategic partnerships and fundraisers stems from her lived experiences with the cross-intersectional issues that people face while living in low income communities. That cross intersectionality makes her a fierce leadership professional in Economic Security, Finance, Small Business Operations, Tech, Justice, Women’s Rights, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Economic Security, Racial Equity, Gender Justice, LGBTQ+ Rights, Disability, Food Security, Youth & Family Services, Housing & Real Estate, and Education. Dominique served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at The New York Women’s Foundation, where she transformed the organization’s fundraising strategy to lean more into multi-year funding opportunities with foundations and corporations though a donor-centric model that prioritized donor education and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dominique holds a Bachelor of the Arts from St. John's University. Her goal is to continually help people and organizations flourish through discipline, best practices, and an organizational culture that prioritizes systems change, community building, and individual growth.

Judith Schwarz, PhD, MSN

Clinical Director
Pronouns: she/her


Judith Schwarz is an expert on ethical issues relating to patient self-determination and informed end of life decision-making. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Judith is a nationally recognized expert on the option of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) as a means for capacitated and suffering patients to control the circumstances and timing of death. She has spoken at local and state nursing conferences, and in 2014 she co-presented a workshop about VSED at the Management and Leadership Conference of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Program. She earned a PhD in nursing research from New York University, a MSN from Lehman College, and an RN from St. Luke’s School of Nursing.

David C. Leven, JD

Senior Consultant, Policy & Advocacy
Pronouns: he/his


David C. Leven was the Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York from 2002 until July 1, 2016. A leading advocate for patients and an expert on advance care planning, patient rights, palliative care and end-of- life issues, David has played a key role in having legislation introduced and enacted in New York to improve pain, palliative and end-of- life care, including the Palliative Care Information Act. David lectures frequently to diverse professional groups, students and the general public, and is a regular guest lecturer at College of New Rochelle School of Nursing and Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. A graduate of the University of Rochester and Syracuse University College of Law, he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Public Interest Law Award of the New York State Bar Association, Public Interest Law Committee.

Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES

Senior Consultant, Education and Outreach
Pronouns: she/her

Lillian Mehran has fifteen years of experience in public health, including community outreach and needs assessments, program development and implementation, and community-based research. Her work has served diverse populations including solo seniors, LGBTQIA+ patients, individuals with chronic health conditions, intimate partner violence survivors, and older adults in under-served communities.

She has worked with a variety of organizations including academic medical centers, colleges, community health centers, advocacy groups, research foundations, and national professional organizations. She has a PhD in Community Health and Health Policy, a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, and a BA in Psychology and Women’s/Gender Studies. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.