After graduating Hofstra law school in 1982, Mr. Spelke began his legal career with a law firm in Long Island, New York litigating transportation issues. In 1983, he joined the United States Department of Justice with the Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section. There, Mr. Spelke protected the federal constitutional rights of institutionalized individuals. This included those incarcerated in state institutions as well as patients housed in state mental health facilities. In 1987, Mr. Spelke joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted a variety of local and federal crimes committed in the District of Columbia. He served in the Appellate Division, Misdemeanor Trial, Felony Trial, Grand Jury, Violent Crimes, Narcotics Section and the Homicide Unit. He completed well over fifty jury trials, twenty non-jury trials and countless motion hearings/arguments. In 1997, Mr. Spelke accepted a position with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) where he was appointed chief of the Domestic Criminal Law Section. This section was responsible for providing legal advice to DEA Special Agents, Chief Counsel of DEA, United State’s Attorney’s Offices and other key Department of Justice components on current law, DEA operations, policy and procedures. In January of 2003, Mr. Spelke took a position with the Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice. In this position, Mr. Spelke investigated and prosecuted high-level commanders and those in control of international drug organizations. He would work with both national and international law enforcement to break criminal syndicates that were equally coordinated, international in scope, violent and well financed. In 2011, Mr. Spelke left the federal government and started his own law firm in Washington, DC that focuses on foreign nationals accused of crimes in the United States.
Mr. Spelke is no stranger to the goals of the Pheo Para Alliance. His first tumor appeared in 1975, when he was just 18 years old. After surgeries for a tumor in his stomach, a carotid body tumor, a pheo in his adrenal gland, radiation for a glomus jugulare tumor, Mr. Spelke was accepted at NIH in 1988. He underwent chemotherapy and has been a patient for the past 26 years. In this time, Mr. Spelke has seen the number of patients, research and treatment for our disease at NIH grow exponentially. Mr. Spelke has expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve this worthy cause.