Meet Our Team
Dale L. Wilcox
Executive Director and General Counsel
Mr. Wilcox joined IRLI in 2014 as its chief executive officer and is responsible for the overall management of the organization. He is a distinguished litigator who has dedicated his career to protecting civil rights and promoting accountability, transparency, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. Prior to joining IRLI, he served as State and Local Director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) where he developed and executed a successful legislative program to advance FAIR’s mission to stem unlawful immigration and promote legal immigration levels consistent with the national interest.
Prior to FAIR, Mr. Wilcox worked with Judicial Watch, Inc. (JW) for more than ten years where he served as counsel and Executive Director of Judicial Watch’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. In this regard, he was involved in several seminal JW investigations that uncovered government corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse, including the Filegate, Chinagate, Commercegate, and Pardongate scandals, litigated numerous FOIA lawsuits that forced release of important government records, including the CCTV camera footage of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 and documents establishing government abuse and incompetence relating to the handling of the anthrax letters sent to members of Congress, and successfully litigated a variety of high-profile cases, including a whistleblower and discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a Hispanic Immigration and Naturalization Service special agent involved in the Elian Gonzalez matter and a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of a senior government official whose waste, fraud, and abuse disclosures caused Congress to suspend paying its United Nations dues in the latter 1990s.
Prior to joining JW, Mr. Wilcox’s law practice mainly concentrated on civil rights where he successfully challenged as unconstitutional the newly enacted campaign finance schemes in the states of Arkansas, Colorado, and North Carolina. In addition, he successfully represented members of the United States House of Representatives and Indiana House of Representatives in actions before the Federal Election Commission on campaign finance issues and in recount and contest proceedings.
He is a cum laude graduate of the Regent University School of Law and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in philosophy from the University of Louisville. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits, United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, Supreme Court of the State of Indiana, and District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Ralph L. Casale
Mr. Casale joined IRLI as Senior Counsel in 2018. Mr. Casale worked in traditional law practice for years and represented clients in a wide variety of disputes and proceedings, including in federal and state courts and at arbitrations.
Mr. Casale also has significant experience working at a non-profit organization and was an attorney at the Center for Individual Rights (CIR) in Washington, DC. While at CIR, he represented litigants who asserted claims based on federal civil rights statutes and the U.S. Constitution. In a prominent action against the federal government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Mr. Casale served as counsel for a plaintiff that challenged federal legislation and regulations on equal protection grounds. As part of his advocacy, Mr. Casale also served Freedom of Information Act requests on federal departments and agencies.
Mr. Casale earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he studied political science, and his law degree from Cornell Law School. He is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut, as well as the Bars of various federal courts.
Public Affairs Specialist
Ms. Greenwald joined IRLI in 2019. Having worked on federal and statewide campaigns, she brings a diverse background and thorough understanding of today’s political environment. Prior to joining IRLI, Ms. Greenwald worked for a digital media firm that specialized in political campaigns and issue advocacy.
Ms. Greenwald is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University where she received a B.A. in Political Science and Communications, concentrating in Journalism with a minor in Legal Studies.
Christopher J. Hajec
Director of Litigation
Mr. Hajec joined IRLI in 2017 as its Director of Litigation, and is responsible for overseeing IRLI’s public interest litigation. He has focused his career on constitutional and other civil rights law in the public interest, and has had an abiding concern about the many adverse effects of illegal and excessive legal immigration on American jobs and communities.
Prior to joining IRLI, Mr. Hajec was an attorney at the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), where he litigated a string of high-profile cases, including the defense of videographer James O’Keefe in suits brought by former ACORN employees, a class action suit on behalf of Asian American students discriminated against by the New York City public schools, and a case that resulted in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Texas’s psychologists licensing statute as an overbroad restriction on free speech.
Before CIR, Mr. Hajec was an officer in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he served as a defense counsel before courts-martial and then as Appellate Government Counsel, arguing over 100 appeals before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal on the basis of “superior performance.”
He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Miami, and studied philosophy and sociology at Oxford University in England. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits.
Michael M. Hethmon
Mr. Hethmon is IRLI Senior Counsel, where he has worked on public interest advocacy litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative tribunals since 2006. He has designed, drafted and defended immigration-related legislation and regulations in federal, state and local jurisdictions throughout the United States.
Mr. Hethmon earned a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from UCLA, an M.I.M. from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, and received his J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School in 1999. He is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia state and federal bars, and admitted to practice before the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh federal appellate courts as well as the United States Supreme Court, and has appeared pro hac vice in other jurisdictions.
Mr. Hethmon worked his way through law school while a qui tam relator in a federal foreign corruption case, and has litigated pro bono land use and sustainable development cases in Maryland. Prior to practicing law he worked and travelled widely overseas. He has written on a range of immigration law and policy topics, from amnesty to xenophobia.
Director of Communications
Mr. Lonergan joined IRLI in 2017 as Director of Communications. He has a wide array of experience in television, print media, podcasting and digital marketing. Mr. Lonergan is a veteran of corporate communications in the Washington, D.C. market and has worked at several trade associations in and around the nation’s capital. Most recently he directed communications at the Media Research Center, one of the nation’s premier media watchdog organizations. He started his career as a journalist and has interviewed a long list of public figures from the world of business and politics.
A native of Scranton, Pa., Mr. Lonergan earned a Master of Science degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.
John M. Miano
Mr. Miano is a nationally known advocate for American workers. He is a co-author with Michelle Malkin of the book entitled, Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers, that documents how the immigration system has been hijacked by political elites to become a weapon against ordinary Americans. He has testified before Congress several times on the adverse effects foreign labor has on American workers and has been a frequent guest on cable news and radio shows. He is also a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Mr. Miano received his J.D. degree cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law and a B.A. in mathematics from the College of Wooster. He is a former computer programmer-turned-lawyer and has written three books on computers. Mr. Miano is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, New York, and New Jersey and is admitted to the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Third Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and New Jersey.
Lew J. Olowski
Lew Olowski joined IRLI in 2019 as Staff Counsel. Lew is an attorney admitted to practice in Washington, DC and in Maryland. He was previously General Counsel at The Daily Caller News Foundation, General Counsel at Gabriel Network, and Assistant General Counsel at the Center for Class Action Fairness. Lew also served as a clerk to Radovan Karadzic, president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Lew graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law as a Global Law Scholar. There, Lew earned a J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree in International Business & Economic Law. He fulfilled Georgetown Law’s pro bono pledge by volunteering as a Mandarin Chinese language interpreter both for asylum-seeking immigrants at the Center for Applied Legal Studies and for indigent immigrants at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center.
Prior to law school, Lew taught International Trade Policy and International Business Practice at the Hebei University of Engineering. He studied history and economics at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Lew graduated magna cum laude from Rockhurst University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and in Political Science.
Lew is a first generation American whose parents immigrated to the United States from Poland. He is husband to Heather Olowski, and father to Victoria and Gabriel.
C. Craig Samtmann
Director of Investigations
Mr. Samtmann joined IRLI in 2019 as its Director of Investigations. His broad management experience of complex and sensitive national and international investigations includes the FBI, corporate security, principal consulting, municipal government and municipal police.
Mr. Samtmann is the recipient of the prestigious FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Investigation for his hand-selected leadership role in the global investigations of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. He was also hand-selected for the following high-profile investigation roles: The sole representative of his FBI state field office on the Unabomber Task Force in San Francisco, developing and managing a judicial district-wide Violent Crimes Gang Task Force for the U.S. Attorney and managing all investigative interviews in New York City for campaign contributions involving the re-election of the President and Vice-President. He served as an Acting Section Chief for the FBI Director’s 9/11 Executive Watch Desk with daily reports to the White House, Senate, Congress and federal agencies for investigative progress. Mr. Samtmann conducted background investigations on Presidential appointees before Senate confirmation. He managed investigations in all FBI investigative programs, including civil rights and public corruption.
As the Director of Global Security for a multi-national corporation, Mr. Samtmann managed myriad investigations, including employee whistleblower matters and workplace violence incidents and, after observing the need, developed Workplace Violence Response Procedures for employees and visitors.
As one of five Federal Physical Security Consultants in the Nation for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Samtmann exposed $6.5M in fraud, waste and abuse and improved security measures at federal courthouses and federal office buildings in 14 Mid-Atlantic and Southeast States.
As a Municipal Police Officer, Mr. Samtmann was awarded two Distinguished Service Bars for his investigative abilities that solved violent multi-jurisdiction cases. His investigation report style was used as a model for other officers and he was commended by the President of the County Bar Association for consistent comprehensive investigations and court presentations.
After earning his Master’s Degree in Public Safety Management, Mr. Samtmann was recruited by his alma mater as Adjunct Faculty to develop and teach the first graduate course in Homeland Security, including border security, and its success launched a full program of courses for the university.
Mr. Samtmann is board certified in security management and has direct experience with violations of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Mark S. Venezia
Mr. Venezia joined IRLI in 2017 as Staff Counsel. After a career in investment management, he earned his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In his third year of law school, he moved to the D.C. area to finish his studies at the Antonin Scalia Law School.
Mr. Venezia brings to IRLI a wealth of experience in management, country analysis and the securities business. During his nearly 30 years as Director of Global Fixed Income at Boston based Eaton Vance, he visited over 40 countries, his group traded the foreign exchange and securities of nearly twice as many, and he developed interests in foreign political systems and immigration. Mr. Venezia was previously Vice President of Network Utilities, the first options pricing provider to run off of a personal computer network. He left in 1984, to start Eaton Vance’s first mortgage-backed securities fund and, years later, the Global Macro Absolute Return Fund.
Mr. Venezia earned his M.B.A from the University of Chicago, M.A. in Philosophy (all but dissertation) from the University of Illinois, and B.A. in Economics from Stanford. Mr. Venezia is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Virginia and D.C. Bar.
Lorraine G. Woodwark
Director of Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA)
Ms. Woodwark joined IRLI in 2019 as its Director of AUSA and is responsible for managing all aspects of IRLI’s network of attorneys. Her legal career focused on business, corporate (including contract negotiations), employment, environment, real property and other general law in California. She has also represented clients regarding constitutional and other civil rights law violations by governmental entities, including drafting ballot measures. As a Pro Tem Judge (2005-2017), she presided over numerous small claims, temporary restraining orders, traffic, unlawful detainers, etc. Throughout her career, she has seen the harmful effects of unfettered illegal immigration on Americans and communities across this nation.
Ms. Woodwark received her J.D. from the Santa Barbara College of Law. She is admitted to practice law in California (District of Columbia Bar pending, under direct supervision by D.C. Bar member Dale L. Wilcox). Prior to passing the California State Bar, she worked in various government agencies assisting the public and businesses through the endless maze of governmental regulations. She is passionate about protecting all Americans and our national sovereignty.