Darcy Olsen founded Gen Justice in 2017 with a foster baby in her arms and a mission: to end the bureaucratic failures, violence, and death she had seen children suffer in our nation’s broken child protection system.
Six months later, Gen Justice’s inaugural reforms passed in a bipartisan landslide, improving safety for 15,000 abandoned and abused kids in her home state of Arizona. Gen Justice reforms now have taken root in state and federal law and are helping hundreds of thousands of children.
It all started in 2010 when Darcy felt inspired to foster. “We have newborns sleeping in government office buildings,” the social worker told her. “If you could open a crib, we’d be thankful.” So, instead of fostering a teen as she’d planned, she left the hospital cradling an abandoned infant, meth exposed. In a few short years, she’d taken home ten.
In case after case, Darcy saw criminals receive more protection than their child victims. The criminally accused have the constitutional right to an attorney; kids don’t. Criminals have the constitutional right to a speedy trial; kids don’t. And while criminals have the right to a public trial and due process, child welfare hearings routinely are held in the dark with records sealed, protecting public agencies from oversight, accountability, and reform.
In 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services presented Darcy with the Adoption Excellence Award for her impact helping waiting children get adopted. She was also named an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. That same year, she was also recognized by the Arizona Capitol Times for innovation and leadership during the pandemic. In 2019, Gen Justice was honored to win the inaugural Gregor G. Peterson Prize in Venture Philanthropy.
Prior to launching Gen Justice, Darcy served as CEO of the Goldwater Institute. Among her achievements was spearheading the Right to Try movement, which gives Americans with terminal illnesses a fighting chance at a longer life. With her seminal book as a bipartisan blueprint, a majority of states adopted the law and paved the way for the federal law three years later. Darcy received the 2014 Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for her work vindicating constitutional rights.
She has testified before Congress, lectured on children’s interests at Harvard Law School, written for outlets from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today and appeared on countless public affairs shows.
Darcy, a single mom, adopted her four children from foster care, now ages 9, 8, 7 and 4.
Senior Vice President and Legal Director
Tim’s heart for pursuing justice on behalf of abused and neglected children stems from experience. The Keller family fostered a neglected child who had spent her formative years moving between shelters, group homes, and foster families.
“As a father, I would have given anything to protect our foster daughter from what she endured,” said Tim. Through Gen Justice's public interest legal work, Tim seeks to vindicate the constitutional interests of children to be free from severe abuse, and he fights for their right to be safe, secure, and promptly placed with permanent parents.
Prior to joining Gen Justice, Tim worked for nearly twenty years at the Institute for Justice, most recently as a Senior Attorney where he led the firm’s educational choice team. In that role, he served as lead counsel in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, a U.S. Supreme Court victory that protected Arizona’s pioneering tax-credit-funded private school scholarship program. Tim also led the legal team that secured a victory in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a U.S. Supreme Court precedent that prevents states from discriminating against religious families and schools in the operation of educational choice programs.
Tim earned his law degree from Arizona State University. Upon graduation, he clerked for then-Presiding Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, Robert D. Myers. After leaving the Superior Court, Tim clerked for the Honorable Ann A. Scott Timmer on the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Tim and his wife, Lisa, have four sons, Daniel, Benjamin, Ethan, and Noah. They enjoy traveling, sports, and spending time together. Tim is also an avid old-school reader, no Kindles allowed!
REBECCA SMITH MASTERSON
Rebecca Masterson, an experienced attorney and entrepreneur, is a founding member of Gen Justice. While litigating at one of Phoenix’s busiest litigation and trial firms, Rebecca was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star and invited for membership into Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. After several years in the court room, she founded a successful boutique firm, specializing in special education and disability law. She continues to be a sought-after speaker about the legal rights of disabled children. In 2019, Rebecca was honored for her legal work with Gen Justice and joined the Arizona Capitol Times' inaugural class of Women Achievers of Arizona.
Rebecca is a published writer and creator of the popular blog, Sincerely Becca. She is a small business owner, a volunteer lawyer for foster children with disabilities, and the mom to two teen boys. Her oldest son spent most of his childhood in foster care. Rebecca first met him during a school meeting when he was sixteen, and he became part of her family just before turning 18.
Prior to joining Gen Justice, Ann served as group vice president of communications and development at the Goldwater Institute. From 2012 - 2016, Ann was the chief development officer and president of Hamot Health Foundation in Erie, Pennsylvania. In that role, she directed philanthropic initiatives and provided community outreach. Ann also served for ten years in various roles for The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Ann is an active member of her community and specifically enjoys being involved with her alma mater, Mercyhurst University, and supporting Emma’s Footprints, an organization which supports infant loss families.
Ann and her husband Tom enjoy skiing, swimming, and taking walks through the woods with their two young daughters.
Manager of Donor Relations
Prior to joining Gen Justice, Laura spent a decade strengthening the institutional capacity of multiple private schools, including playing a key role in launching a successful $45 million campaign for Westover School’s centennial. She has served several public policy organizations including the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.
Laura enjoys cooking for family and friends, reading to her children and serving on the Advisory Board of the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools in New England. She speaks Portuguese and Spanish.
Director of Technology
Tara Glass understands the technology needs of small business and loves using her skills to help these businesses grow. She founded GM Technology in 2011 and supports dozens of local businesses.
Tara is a mom of two, enjoys DIY home projects – the messier, the better! - and loves trying new restaurants.
Brittany’s passion for child advocacy began during her own time in foster care. Born substance-exposed to biological parents struggling with addiction, Brittany spent a month in the NICU experiencing withdrawal, prior to entering Arizona’s foster care system. She spent nearly seven years in the same foster home; experiencing one attempt to reunify her with her biological family just before her fourth birthday that lasted for only two short months, though those seemed extremely long months at the time. Brittany ultimately returned to her prior foster home and told her then-foster parents (now parents), “Just go and tell the Judge, ‘She’s MY little girl!” She was adopted a few months shy of her seventh birthday.
Brittany has focused her education and career decisions on advocating for abused and neglected children and providing a voice for those children in the courtroom. Brittany is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she majored in Family Studies and Human Development, and attended New York’s Hofstra University School of Law as a recipient of their Child Advocacy Fellowship. In law school, she held several internships relating to child welfare, and practiced as a student-lawyer in the school’s Child Advocacy Clinic representing children in foster care in their court cases and was selected as her class’s graduation speaker.
Brittany returned to Arizona to practice law and she spent six years at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office representing the Department of Child Safety. She then moved over to other public-interest work in the Office of the Public Advocate representing psychiatric patients. However, Brittany is grateful to be focused once again on her true passion of advocating on behalf of children.
Brittany loves spending time with her nieces and nephews, Claire, Jackson and Ava, and also acting as a bonus-aunt to her close friends’ children. She also enjoys traveling, dancing, reading, and Selena music.