Andrea Northwood is the Director of Client Services at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT),
an international NGO based in Minnesota that works to heal the wounds of torture and to end torture worldwide. CVT currently operates clinical programs in Minnesota and Atlanta, as well as Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda. She has worked at CVT since 1995 in a variety of roles, including the provision of healing services to survivors, training, research, and program development and administration. In 2015, she worked with colleagues at CVT and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to start a partnership extending healing services to refugee torture survivors in Atlanta. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and child development from the University of Minnesota.
Ilhan Omar is the newly elected, Minnesota House Representative for District 60B.
She is the first Somali-American, Muslim woman in the nation to hold an office at this level. She is an experienced policy analyst, progressive DFL activist, coalition builder and community educator. Most recently, she served as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowered East African woman to take civic leadership roles in their community. Ilhan lives in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis with her husband and their three children. Ilhan's interest in politics began at the age of 14 when she was as an interpreter for her grandfather at local DFL caucuses. Watching neighbors come together to advocate for change at the grassroots level made Ilhan fall in love with the democratic process. Ilhan’s steadfast belief in the American dream of democracy has driven her to make our district, city, and community a better place for everyone. Through her work as a policy analyst and community advocate, Ilhan has advanced important issues, including support for working families, educational access, environmental protection, and racial equity.
Anshantia "Tia" Oso is the National Organizer at Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
and a member of BAJI’s senior leadership team. Tia is responsible for developing and implementing strategy for BAJI's national campaigns, coalitions and program initiatives, including public education and trainings. Tia manages BAJI’s flagship project—the Black Immigration Network (BIN)—a national network of over 40 organizations in communities serving African-Americans and immigrants of African descent to build relationships, develop skills, and advance an agenda for immigrant rights and racial justice. Mobilizing thousands of advocates for various issues in the public interest, Ms. Oso is a dynamic social justice champion, organizing campaigns such as “PHX For Trayvon” and leading the historic "Say Her Name" action at the Netroots Nation 2016 Presidential Candidate Townhall. A community engagement specialist experienced in social change initiatives, Ms. Oso is a firm believer in the ability of everyday people to become change-makers in their communities.
rhonda ortiz is the managing director of the program for environmental and regional equity at the center for the study of immigrANT INTEGRATION AT USC.
In her role, she manages the Centers, leads research projects and conducts research. She has co-authored numerous reports, including California Immigrant Integration Scorecard; Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them; Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles: Strategic Directions for Funders with Manuel Pastor; Connecting at the Crossroads with Manuel Pastor and Jennifer Ito; The Color of Change: Interethnic Youth Leadership for the 21st Century with Manuel Pastor and Jennifer Ito; and Sustainable Advocacy for Fair Credit and Fair Banking with Manuel Pastor and Vanessa Carter. Fluent in Spanish, she has lived in Mexico and worked with a team of researchers to develop economic development projects between immigrant Hometown Associations in Los Angeles and their communities in Jalisco, Mexico. Ortiz was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Rockwood Fellowship for a New California. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Angel Padilla, Policy Analyst at the National Immigration Law Center
Angel Padilla works closely with other health project staff to develop and implement NILC’s federal immigrant health policy agenda. Prior to joining NILC in February 2014, he was an immigration policy consultant at National Council of La Raza. Before that, he was a legislative assistant for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), advising on issues related to health care and the Affordable Care Act, among others. Mr. Padilla also has interned with the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Matthew Parks is a Director and CRA Officer at Discover Bank,
overseeing all of the bank’s community development activities. In that role, he oversees the Bank’s CRA investments, mortgage and community development loan portfolios and works closely with area nonprofits to meet the needs of low and moderate people in Delaware.
Daranee Petsod is President of GCIR,
where she develops and leads new areas of work, in addition to providing programmatic, fiscal, and administrative oversight. She has worked on immigration and social and economic justice issues since 1987. Prior to joining GCIR, Daranee was a program and communications consultant for foundations and nonprofits. She previously held leadership positions at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and was a Program Officer at the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. and the Sophia Fund, one of the first women’s funds in the United States. She has served on the boards of the Donors Forum and the Heartland Alliance, both in Chicago, and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C.. Daranee has authored and co-authored numerous research reports on a range of immigration issues, as well as opinion pieces on the role of philanthropy in supporting immigration and immigrant integration issues. Daranee earned an MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago, and is a recipient of the 2014 Professional Development Fellowship from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.
Angelica PeÑa is the California deputy director of civic engagement for naleo education fund,
leading their statewide community programs. She joined the NALEO team in 2012 and has since worked extensively on the organization’s significant civic engagement efforts related to elections and naturalization for the Latino community. Based in Los Angeles, CA she is responsible for the strategic development, planning and implementation of the California portfolio to further the organization’s mission of facilitating the full participation of Latinos in the American political process. Angelica holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Karen Philippi, Deputy Director of the Office for New Americans at State of Michigan
Bio coming soon.
lizabeth (Betsy) Plum is the Director of Special Projects at the New York Immigration Coalition
where she oversees a number of initiatives to better serve and engage immigrant families and communities in New York. Betsy joined the NYIC in 2013 as the DACA Outreach Coordinator following a tenure in the direct legal services field at Central American Legal Assistance (CALA) in Brooklyn, New York. During her time at CALA, Betsy honed her knowledge of immigration policy, federal programs, and administrative advocacy. She sits on CALA's Junior Board as well as the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s Emerging Leaders and Outreach Committees.
Betsy holds a B.A. in Political Studies from Bard College, a Certificate of International Relations and Global Affairs from the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program, and an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics and Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Jennifer Podkul is an international human rights lawyer and expert on child migration in the United States
Prior to joining KIND, Jennifer Podkul was a senior program officer at the Women’s Refugee Commission where she researched issues facing vulnerable migrants seeking protection in the United States and advocated for improved treatment. She is a national expert on issues affecting immigrant children, has published articles, handbooks and reports on U.S. immigration law, and she presents regularly as an expert at various conferences, briefings, and professional trainings. She co-authored “Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls from Central America” and was a contributing author to “Childhood, Migration, and Human Rights in Central and North America: Causes, Policies, Practices, and Challenges.” Jennifer has taught child migration at Georgetown Law Center’s Human Rights Institute. Jennifer began her legal career as an attorney at Ayuda in Washington, D.C. first as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and later as a KIND Fellow. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, holds a B.A. in American Studies and Spanish from Franklin and Marshall College and a J.D. with honors from the Washington College of Law, American University, where she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar.
Ilse Pollet is the Program Coordinator for the Alliance for Language Learners’ Integration, Education and Success (ALLIES),
bringing over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of adult education and immigrant integration. In her current role, she strengthens and expands the multi-sector collaborative network between ESL providers, workforce development boards, public agencies and community-based organizations championed by ALLIES. She also supports the development and implementation of an Immigrant Integration Framework across ALLIES partners. Before joining ALLIES, she oversaw the ESL program at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, serving refugees and immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ilse was born in Belgium and moved to California in 2006.
Andy Posner is the Founder & CEO of Capital Good Fund,
a nonprofit, U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has helped the organization grow to a 21-person staff, a $2 million budget, and with operations in Rhode Island, Florida, and Delaware. Andy is a firm believer in the dream of Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the so-called father of microfinance, to put poverty in museums. When not working, he can be found writing poetry and essays, cycling, and hanging out with his beautiful wife, Bianca, and his Beagle, Chance.
Luis a. quiÑones is the director of the education and workforce department at the latin american YOUTH center (LAYC) and ADJUNCT professor in psychology at ana g. mèndez UNIVERSITY system.
Witnessing firsthand the opportunities that education provided his family, he was inspired to dedicate his career toward the advancement of underserved communities. He serves as one of the organizational trainers for Racial Equity, Cultural Competency, LGBTQ and Positive Youth Development trainings at LAYC, and on various committees and panels regarding education, college access, equity and advocacy. He was awarded the Mustard Seed Community Service Award by the Siembra First Education Foundation, Maryland. A native of Puerto Rico, Luis received his Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and his Masters of Counseling Psychology at Bowie State University, Maryland.
Suman Raghunathan, SAALT's Executive Director,
joined the organization in February 2014. As Executive Director, Suman coordinates SAALT’s overall efforts to amplify diverse South Asian voices advocating for progressive change in the US. Suman is a passionate and seasoned immigrant rights advocate with extensive experience on the range of issues addressed by SAALT, deep connections to South Asian communities, and relationships with key partners in the racial justice and immigrant rights movements. She has experience in leading non-profit organizations, having first served as Interim Executive Director and then as a long-time member of the Board of Directors of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, one of SAALT’s close partners.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Suman has a keen understanding of the issues affecting South Asian and other immigrants in the United States. She has deep experience conceptualizing and coordinating multifaceted and multi-issue campaigns that span numerous proposals and stakeholders, and assembling the coalitions critical to advancing them. Through her work at organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Progressive States Network, and the New York Immigration Coalition, Ms. Raghunathan has developed expertise on policy issues, directed immigrant leadership development programs, launched newcomer civic engagement campaigns, and implemented capacity-building and advocacy campaigns.
Suman received her undergraduate degree in international relations from Brown University and has a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy in New York City.
Tara Raghuveer is the Deputy Director of the National partnership for New Americans (NPNA).
Tara leads NPNA’s policy and advocacy work. In 2015 she led the development of NPNA’s New American Dreams Platform, an immigration agenda for 2016 and beyond. Tara also oversees NPNA’s communications team, internship program, and the National Immigrant Integration Conference. With the support of a broad coalition, she developed the Community Navigator curriculum which has trained over 7,800 immigrant leaders to deliver community-driven legal services. Tara has been cited in publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, NPR, and Slate. Her research on eviction and poverty in Kansas City is cited in Evicted. She graduated from Harvard College, where she was the student body president. Tara is an Australian-born Indian-American who came to the US with her family in 1996, has since lived in New York, St. Louis, Iowa City, Kansas City, Boston, and is now based in Chicago. She tweets @taraghuveer.
Ricardo Ramirez serves as Advancement Project's Deputy Communications Director,
where he manages the communications team and directs communications for the organization’s immigrant justice and right to vote portfolios. Previously, Ricardo worked with social justice and immigrant rights groups, where his work included helping the nation’s largest immigration advocacy coalition shape its communications strategies in an effort that led to President Obama's executive relief for immigrant families. Ricardo got his start as a communications professional through years of work in political press offices, including Capitol Hill, the Democratic National Committee, and President Obama’s 2012 campaign in Florida.
Susan E. Reed is Managing Attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.
Susan has practiced immigration and immigrant rights law since 2003, having served as a Staff Attorney at Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan and as a Regional Attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors, the immigration legal services program of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Her particular interests include the intersection of family and immigration law, the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children, immigrant eligibility for public benefits and programs, and civil rights matters. Susan is Secretary of the Steering Committee for the Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (MCIRR) and co-chairs the Advocacy Committee of the Michigan Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). In 2013, Susan was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Foreign Language Board of Review and she serves as a committee member of the Court's Limited English Proficiency Implementation Advisory Committee. She is also on the Detroit City Council Immigration Task Force, and is a proud member of the first class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellows. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and Marquette University.
Amy Richardson, MPH is Community Health Outreach Director at Siloam Health,
a faith-based, volunteer-supported primary and specialty care clinic that provides affordable, high-quality health care to the uninsured. She has worked for over a decade in community and global health outreach and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations locally and globally. She currently serves as the Chair of Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment, a local refugee- and immigrant-serving agency, and was Chair of the Nashville Task Force on Refugees and Immigrants. Amy has also spent extended time with community development and English teaching organizations in Nepal and Thailand.
Melissa Rodgers is the Director of Programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), based in San Francisco.
She directs the New Americans Campaign (NAC), a national initiative bringing together national and local organizations, in partnership with a funder collaborative, to increase naturalization among eligible lawful permanent residents. She also contributes to ILRC’s manual, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide. Melissa brings more than a decade of non-profit leadership experience to her role. Prior to joining the ILRC, Melissa was the Director of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Health Care and Coverage program, Directing Attorney of the Child Care Law Center, Associate Director of the UC Berkeley School of Law Center on Health, Economic & Family Security, and a Directing Attorney and Director of the Health Consumer Center at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. She also founded a medical-legal collaboration program with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, created and co-taught medical-legal courses at both Stanford Law School/Stanford Medical School and University of California at Berkeley School of Law/University of California at San Francisco. Melissa has a Master’s of Education as well as a law degree with honors from Harvard University.
Maria Rodriguez is Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition,
which she founded in 2005. She has worked to defend basic human rights of low-income and migrant peoples for 25 years. She has worked to defend public health care coverage and promoted the growth of award-winning free clinics—La Clinica del Pueblo in Washington, D.C. and Good News Care Center in Florida. She also served as Deputy Director of the Human Services Coalition in South Florida. Maria has been a Board Member for Florida New Majority, ACLU of Florida, New World Foundation Board in New York, and the Highlander Center in Tennessee. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she was active in the anti-apartheid and Central America solidarity movements.
Mayor Madeline Rogero is Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee.
She was sworn in as the 68th Mayor, and the first woman to hold the office, in December 2011 and is currently serving her second term, winning re-election with 98.8% of the vote. Her career includes serving as the city’s community development director, Knox County commissioner, non-profit executive, urban and regional planner, community volunteer and neighborhood champion. She is a former consultant to Capital One and America’s Promise, and former executive director of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation and Knoxville’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. Mayor Rogero postponed her college studies in the mid-'70s to work with Cesar Chavez to help farm workers improve their living and working conditions. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Mayor Rogero was elected to the Advisory Board for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Smart Growth America Local Leaders Council. She previously served on President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and also on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Task Force on Aging.
Vilma Rozen organizes immigrant workers on staten island and works in home elder care,
advocating for it to be seen as a profession and be paid a living wage. Vilma was born and lived much of her adult life in Costa Rica, raising five children and running a catering business. In her 40’s, she fell in love with an American man who planned to move to Costa Rica. When he became ill, they both moved to the U.S. so that he could keep his health insurance. Vilma and her husband married, but she earned too little—first cleaning houses, then providing elder care—to pay the fees to apply for a green card. She became involved with the immigrant rights movement and served on the Board of Domestic Workers United. In 2010, Vilma began taking care of Dolores, a 90-year-old former independent businesswoman whose dementia required 24-hour care, seven days a week. Dolores had no family nearby so Vilma became her lifeline and primary caregiver until she died this year. Vilma finally received her green card in 2014, was able to bring her daughter to the U.S. in 2015, and will soon be joined by her youngest son.
Ambassador Carlos Sada is the mexican Ambassador to the U.s.
Ambassador Sada has been working most of his life for the Mexican public sector, including as Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles (2013-2016), Consul General of Mexico in New York (2011-2013), Minister for Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, DC (2007-2011) Consul General of Mexico in Chicago (2000-2007), Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio (1995-2000), Mayor of the City of Oaxaca, State of Oaxaca, Mexico (1993-1995), Consul General of Mexico in Toronto, Canada (1989-1992), and Secretary of Social and Economic Development of the State of Oaxaca (1986-1989). Consul General Sada holds a degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He completed graduate studies at the University of Newcastle in Great Britain, at the University of Deft in the Netherlands, and from the Public Administration Institute of The Hague, in the Netherlands.
REVEREND ALEXIA SALVATIERRA IS THE FOUNDER OF THE FAITH-ROOTED ORGANIZING UNNETWORK AND A CO-AVSFOUNDER OF THE NATIONAL EVANGELICAL IMMIGRATION TABLE AND THE 2007 NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT.
In addition to coordinating the Welcoming Congregations/Guardian Angels Network for the Southwest California Synod and assisting at Hope Lutheran Church, she serves as a consultant for national and international organizations, including: World Vision, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Christian Community Development Association. She is the co-author of Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World with Dr. Peter Heltzel. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Rev. Salvatierra is an adjunct faculty member at national and international seminaries including: the New York Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Universidad Teologica de la Iglesia Apostolica, and Duke Divinity School Summer Intensive, and has lectured at a variety of academic institutions, including the University of Southern California and UCLA. She has been awarded the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, the Giants of Justice award from CLUE LA and the Prime Mover fellowship from the Hunt Alternatives Fund.
Ralph J. Schulz, Jr. is President and CEO of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce
During his ten years of leadership, the Chamber played a key role after the 2007 recession to secure a period of unprecedented growth in the region with a business relocation and expansion strategy called “Partnership 2020.” Additionally, the Chamber was the lead organization that created the nationally recognized Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the passage of a public referendum supporting construction of the Music City Center convention facility. Schulz also led the movement to improve public school performance through the creation of the Academies of Nashville and becoming a respected publisher of data on the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area with the annual publication of the Vital Signs report. He joined the Chamber after a 30-year career in nonprofit management, marketing and fundraising, including six years of those years as CEO of the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. Schulz is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and currently serves on numerous civic and nonprofit boards, including the Center for Nonprofit Management, Nashville Health Care Council, Alignment Nashville, Tennessee Business Roundtable and Father Ryan High School, as well as on the MTA Strategic Plan Advisory Committee.
Sonya Schwartz is a Research Fellow at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy's Center for Children and Families (CCF)
where she works with advocates at the state level to improve access to health coverage for low-income children and families. She leads CCF’s work on coverage for immigrant families, monitoring and analyzing policy issues related to health reform implementation, Medicaid, CHIP, health insurance marketplaces, the basic health program, and more.
Sonya was most recently a program director at the National Academy for State Health Policy, where she led State Refor(u)m, an online network for health reform implementation. Sonya has designed and led projects, written papers, produced events, and provided technical assistance on a broad range of health reform and state health policy issues, including implementation of health reform, health insurance exchanges, essential health benefits, coverage expansions through Medicaid and CHIP, and commercial insurance reforms. Sonya speaks regularly to a wide variety of state and national audiences such as provider and consumer groups, patient advocates, academic institutions, and other think tanks. She also has experience speaking to a variety of news media, appearing on the Diane Rehm Show, Marketplace, and in US News Health, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Bloomberg BNA.
Prior to joining NASHP in 2005, Sonya worked as an advocate to expand access to health care and nutrition benefits for low-income populations such as immigrants and people living with HIV and AIDS. She holds a JD from the UCLA School of Law Program in public interest law and policy, and a BA in political science and Italian from Middlebury College. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two small boys
AZADEH SHAHSHAHANI IS LEGAL & ADVOCACY DIRECTOR WITH PROJECT SOUTH.
Azadeh has worked for a number of years in North Carolina and Georgia to protect the human rights of immigrants and Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities. She previously served as National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director with the ACLU of Georgia. Azadeh is a past president of the National Lawyers Guild. Through the NLG, Azadeh has participated in international delegations, including to post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt, a delegation focused on the situation of Palestinian political prisoners, and election monitoring delegations to Venezuela and Honduras. She has also served as a member of the jury in people’s tribunals on Mexico, the Philippines, and Brazil. Azadeh also serves as Chair of Georgia Detention Watch, Co-chair of the US Human Rights Network Working Group on National Security, and on the Advisory Council of the American Association of Jurists. She is the author or editor of several human rights reports, including a 2012 report titled “Prisons of Profits: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia,” as well as law review articles and book chapters focused on racial profiling, immigrants’ rights, and surveillance of Muslim-Americans.
Lindsay Shubiner is Interim Advocacy Director at the Center for New Community,
a national research and advocacy organization based in Chicago. At CNC, Lindsay leads efforts to equip and mobilize grassroots organizations and national coalitions to challenge organized nativism and racism in policy and media. She previously served as a Congressional staffer handling housing, health, and immigration policy, and managed advocacy for sexual health and rights at American Jewish World Service. Lindsay has advocated with directly impacted community members to fight for driver’s licenses for all DC residents, regardless of immigration status, and to stop deportations of local residents. Lindsay holds a Master of Science degree from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Heather Skrabak is the Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).
She helps to support policies and programs that benefit the health of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in AAPCHO’s 35 members clinics. Heather’s immigrant health work includesensuring access for immigrants in health care, through language access, right to health, and ACA enrollment policy.
She leads a multi-year 15-site civic engagement program in AAPCHO’s community health centers. Her policy focus areas also include appropriations, payment reform, and the needs of Limited English Proficient populations.
Heather comes to AAPCHO from the American Diabetes Association, where she assisted with developing the ADA’s health disparities policy platform. She supported the capacity-building and advocacy efforts of a 30-member volunteer council of health disparities experts and advocates. Previously, Heather was a Community Healthcorps member at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, where she tackled food access and childhood obesity in Boston.
Heather studied Migration & Public Health at Boston University.
Debbie Smith is an Associate General Counsel at the headquarters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
where she is the immigration counsel for the International Union. She works on immigration issues impacting SEIU’s 400,000 immigrant members. Debbie has specialized in immigration law during her more than 30 years of practice in the non-profit, private and public sectors. Prior to working at SEIU, she was a senior attorney at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), a staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, a partner at the immigration law firm Simmons & Ungar, the national coordinator of the landmark American Baptist Churches (“ABC”) class action settlement, and a staff attorney at the International Institute of the East Bay
Rich Stolz is the Executive Director of OneAmerica
Washington State’s largest immigrant rights advocacy organization. Rich brings more than 15 years of experience at the intersection of policy, politics and organizing across a broad spectrum of issues impacting low-income communities and communities of color, including jobs and income support policy, immigration policy, infrastructure investment and environmental justice. At the Center for Community Change, he coordinated the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a national coalition of immigrant rights organizations responsible for some of the largest mobilizations and protests in American history in the work to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. He managed the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign, a multi-million dollar, cross sector campaign with more than 900 organizational endorsers. He also helped to found and staff the Transportation Equity Network, a multi-ethnic organizing strategy focused on the impact of transportation policy on job access, community development, and environmental justice. Rich was born in Seoul, South Korea. Growing up in California, he was always conscious of his bi-racial identity and what it means to be a citizen, ideas which were framed by his and his mother’s experience as newcomers to the United States.
Dr. Julie Sugarman is a policy analyst at migration policy institute's (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.
She focuses on issues related to immigrant and English Language Learner students in elementary and secondary schools, including policies, funding mechanisms, and district- and school-level practices that support high-quality instructional services. She also works on the particular needs of immigrant and refugee students who first enter U.S. schools at the middle and high school levels. Prior to MPI, Dr. Sugarman worked for 15 years at the Center for Applied Linguistics, specializing in the evaluation of educational programs for language learners and dual language/two-way immersion programs. Dr. Sugarman earned her Ph.D. in second language education and culture from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Kate Syfert is a Community Relations Officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Customer Service and Public Engagement Directorate (CSPED).
She works on the citizenship portfolio, in close cooperation with the USCIS Office of Citizenship, and supported USCIS’ efforts around the Task Force for New Americans. Kate is currently detailed as the Branch Chief for Customer Access, working on expanding access to the Agency for our stakeholders and customers, particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations.
Kate was formerly the Community Relations Officer for the USCIS Central Regional Office, where she managed the agency’s community engagement program for 21 states. She has also served as the Community Relations Officer for USCIS in Denver, and covered the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Kate began her career with USCIS in 2005 at the Denver Field Office as an adjudications officer. She has completed the Graduate School’s Executive Leadership Program and New Leader Program, and has served as a mentor to USCIS colleagues in the USCIS Mentoring Program. She was recently detailed as the Acting Assistant Regional Director for Adjudications in Central Region and to assist the Public Engagement Division Deputy Division Chief. She has also participated in details with the USCIS Office of Citizenship and Denver Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Kate holds MA and BA degrees in Anthropology and Religion. Prior to her government service, she was a member of academic research groups at the National Science Foundation and Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan.
Sabrina Terry is the Senior Strategist for the Wealth Building Initiative within NCLR's Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation.
She currently oversees a national financial inclusion program, that integrates financial capability resources and immigrant legal services, to assist Latinos plan for their financial future when they seek legal assistance to become U.S. citizens. Mrs. Terry also works with affiliates and financial institutions to increase safe and affordable small dollar loan products within immigrant communities.
Nadia Tonova serves as Director of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC),
a project of ACCESS that brings together 23 independent Arab American nonprofit organizations in 11 states. The network's primary mission is the development of Arab American nonprofit organizations that focus on the needs and issues impacting their local community, while collectively addressing those issues nationally. Nadia oversees all aspects of programming within NNAAC, including advocacy and civic engagement, capacity building, and youth and community development. She also oversees NNAAC governance, fundraising, member relations and partnerships. Prior to serving in this position, Nadia led the Advocacy & Civic Engagement program with NNAAC for four years. She led a variety of policy initiatives, campaigns, and activities pertaining to immigrant rights, civil liberties and human rights, and civic engagement. She continues to offer technical assistance to organizations across the country in these areas. Nadia currently serves as the chairwoman of Michigan United, as an executive committee member of the Rights Working Group, and as a board member of Mothering Justice. She is a graduate of Leadership Detroit, Class XXXIII. Before coming to ACCESS, she worked with the Democratic Communications Office for the Michigan House of Representatives. She received her bachelor’s degree in political theory from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from Wayne State University.
Kathy Tran, POLICY AND ADVOCACY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR SKILLS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Kathy KL Tran brings a wealth of experience in issues pertaining to immigrants in the workforce to her role as policy and advocacy assistant director for skills and workforce development. At the National Immigration Forum, Kathy advocates for policies and programs that prepare workers, including immigrants, to reach their full potential and meet employers’ talent needs. This includes improving immigrants’ English-language acquisition and ensuring they have opportunities to gain skills, credentials, professional licensures and work experience in the United States.
Before joining the Forum in 2015, she served in several leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. She helped lead the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and coordinated a national technical assistance strategy to help state and local workforce leaders prepare for and implement the law. In 2003, she was named a Presidential Management Fellow.
Raised in Downey, California, and San Diego, Kathy graduated from Duke University and earned her master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan.
Laura Vazquez in the Program Manager for Immigration initiatives at the National Council of La Raza.
In her role, Laura works closely with NCLR Affiliates and other advocates to increase the capacity of immigration legal service providers. She also monitors immigration policy and conducts legislative and administrative advocacy in order to advance just and humane reforms to the immigration system.
Joseph Villela, Director of Policy of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Joseph Villela is an immigrant, political junkie who sees policy change possible through direct engagement from disenfranchised communities. Joseph is a dedicated and accomplished government relations professional with more than a decade of experience in monitoring, analyzing legislation, including a successful track record in developing and managing legislative campaigns. Joseph graduated from the University of Los Angeles California (UCLA) and is a proud parent of a 5 year old.
Jessica Vosburgh is the Executive Director of Adelante Alabama Workers Center,
a worker-led community organization dedicated to defending and expanding the rights of day laborers, domestic workers, and other low-wage and immigrant workers in the Birmingham area. Jessica is also a Staff Attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Her focus areas include lawyering in support of social movements and the intersections of immigration, criminal justice, employment and labor, and civil rights law. Jessica received her JD from Yale Law School.
Elandria Williams is a member of the Education Team at the Highlander Research and Education Center.
She helps coordinate the Economics and Governance program that includes supporting the Southern Grassroots Economies Project; providing technical assistance and accompanying burgeoning cooperatives across the south; developing and implementing a popular education economics and governance curriculum; and co-editing a global project and upcoming book, Beautiful Solutions. Elandria is especially proud to have been at the founding meeting of the Black Immigration Network and served on its initial board, as well as having served on the board of the Southeast Immigrant and Refugee Rights Network. Her relationships with friends that were undocumented, and to her Afro-Brasilian partner who committed suicide rather than be deported back to the worst favela in his home country, cemented her passion to work at the nexus of the root causes of migration, capitalism, and globalization. She was born and raised in Powell, TN but her roots and family are in Florida and the Gulf Coast.
Hannah Winnick is Program Director for Transatlantic Dialogues on Democracy and Social Policy at the Heinrich Boell foundation North America.
The program aims to enhance transatlantic policy exchange on two core issues: 1) Migration & Integration, which promotes responsible policies for the humane and dignified treatment of migrants and refugees, as well as their comprehensive integration into schools, workplaces, and societies, and 2) Digital Societies, which promotes a nuanced dialogue on both the challenges to civil liberties and the opportunities for innovation of digital technologies.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Hannah worked as Transnational Liaison at Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), an organization dedicated to strengthening the Latino non-profit sector in the US and Latin America. She has also worked with LEAD, the Mercator Capacity Building Center for Leadership and Advocacy in Berlin, to examine new models of leadership in German diplomacy. She has a broad range of international experience, having lived, worked, and studied in Germany, France, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Israel and Portugal. Hannah holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she focused on international negotiation and conflict resolution, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Amherst College.