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Anna Marie Gallagher has practiced immigration and refugee law for more than three decades, working in the United States, Central America and Europe. Her experience includes private practice, advocacy and several years in academia.
Immediately before joining CLINIC in February 2019, Gallagher was a shareholder and head of the litigation practice area for Maggio, Kattar, Nahajzer + Alexander. Prior to her time with the firm, she worked as a consultant in Europe to organizations with a focus on policy planning and analysis, training and research on refugee and migration issues. She was a member of the Extended International Team of the Jesuit Refugee Service’s International Office and of the Policy Team of the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe.
Gallagher was a co-founder and former president of the board of directors of the International Coalition on the Detention of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion of human rights for refugees and migrants around the world who are subject to administrative detention. She helped found the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos, known as CALDH), in the early 1990s. The international nonprofit focused on advocating for the rights of internally displaced persons and returned refugees in Guatemala.
Upon her return to the United States, Gallagher was Deputy Director of the Legal Action Center for the American Immigration Law Foundation. She was a Teaching Fellow at the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she taught asylum law and procedures in a clinical setting. She also was the Pedro Arrupe Tutor of Migration and Refugee Law at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, teaching courses on human rights, migration and refugee law.
She has written extensively on issues of immigration and refugees in the United States and abroad. Born in Philadelphia, she is the daughter of Irish immigrants.
Gallagher received her juris doctorate from the Antioch School of Law, her Masters in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center, and her bachelor’s from Temple University.
Jeanne M. Atkinson was the Executive Director of CLINIC from March 2013 until February 2019. Her passion for immigration was sparked while interning with Catholic Charities in 1987, during which time she focused on legalization. Atkinson served as the long-time director of Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services program for the Archdiocese of Washington, where she directed their highly active and successful legal services program, as well as the Catholic Charities’ Refugee Center. Atkinson was a partner in establishing the Family Justice Center in Montgomery County and is a member of the board of directors of Catholics for Family Peace. She holds a J.D. from American University's Washington College of Law and is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.
Sardone is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for CLINIC. Legalization Program Director for CLINIC.
In previous roles at CLINIC, she headed the Legalization Program and provided training and technical assistance to CLINIC affiliates on program management and capacity building. Before joining CLINIC, Sardone was the legal services group manager at Hogar Immigrant Services of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.
She is a fully accredited representative who managed a program made up of both attorneys and BIA-accredited representatives. That program served clients with cases ranging from relative petitions to removal defense as well as providing group processing naturalization workshops.
Sardone holds a master’s degree in Latin American studies from American University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.
Haasenritter joined CLINIC in October 2014 to support the executive director with internal and external priorities and initiatives. Prior to working at CLINIC, she lived in South Korea while teaching English education at a national university of education. Additional experience includes project coordination at a think tank that focused on futures research.
Haasenritter earned a master’s degree in social work degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied macro-social work in conjunction with community organizations. Her internships focused on serving international populations and she spent significant time interning and volunteering abroad.
Geleta joined CLINIC as a Human Resources and Advancement Intern in November 2016. In February 2017, she started working at CLINIC full time as an Administrative Coordinator.
Geleta graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Arabic Studies. As a student, she dedicated much of her spare time to volunteering, with organizations such as World Relief, in Nashville, and CASA de Maryland. Prior to joining CLINIC, she also worked as a Political Sales Coordinator at National Cable Communications.
Geleta is originally from Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, and is fluent in Amharic and Oromiffa, the two most spoken languages in the country.
Clomera joined CLINIC in 2004 as an Accountant. Her performance in handling CLINIC’s accounting and grant financials earned her positions of increased responsibility within the organization, first as Controller and later as Director. In her current post, she oversees CLINIC’s annual audit and works closely with the Finance and Audit Committee of CLINIC’s board of directors.
Clomera has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from George Mason University School of Management and vast experience in grants and nonprofit financial management and accounting. She completed an internship as an auditor with Hoffman, Fitzgerald & Snyder PC in McLean, Virginia.
Dagdag came to CLINIC with more than 15 years of accounting experience gained from both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. His career started at the International Rice Research Institute, where he was responsible for the financial reporting requirements of projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and United Nations Development Program.
Dagdag also worked with diverse multinationals and held senior positions until he relocated to Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is an inactive member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Fesuh joined CLINIC in 2005 as an Office Administrator in the Office of Finance and Operations. She is originally from Ethiopia, but also has lived in Zimbabwe.
A trained educator, she worked as a school principal in Ethiopia for four years and was responsible for more than 600 students from kindergarten through grade 9. Fesuh earned a diploma in religious education and attended the teacher training course at the Wadzanai Training Center in Zimbabwe. She also completed the Development Education Leadership Teams in Action yearlong training program offered by the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat.
She speaks five languages in addition to English. These include Amharic, Tigrina, Oromo and Saho.
Habtemariam joined CLINIC in March 2014 as an Accounting Assistant. An experienced professional in the field of accounting and office management, she was an office manager for an IT company in Silver Spring prior to joining CLINIC. Habtemariam holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Strayer University, and a bachelor’s degree in language and literature from Addis Abeba University, in Ethiopia, her home country.
Habtemariam is fluent in Amharic.
Chenoweth is CLINIC’s Director of Capacity Building within the Center for Citizenship and Immigrant Communities, which helps nonprofits start, expand and sustain charitable legal immigration services for low-income immigrants and refugees. He supervises Field Support Coordinators assigned to work with affiliates to expand and professionalize their program management and direct legal services. He also supervises Project Coordinators working on specific initiatives to serve the most vulnerable immigrant populations.
Chenoweth holds a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on administration and family/child welfare. He has worked in the field of nonprofit immigration services since 1986 at the local, national and international level.
Before joining CLINIC, he managed refugee resettlement projects in the United States and in Saudi Arabia for Immigration and Refugee Services of America. He also served as a refugee resettlement case manager for Jewish Family Services and Lutheran Social Services.
Arista joined CLINIC as a Project Attorney in March 2011. She previously worked at Morrison Child and Family Services in Portland, Oregon, where she managed the cases of detained unaccompanied children and assisted them with family reunification. During her free time she volunteered at Catholic Charities where she helped immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Oregon in 2002, Arista spent a year living and traveling in Costa Rica and Panama. There, she worked as a reporter focusing on Central American politics for the journal Mesoamerica. While in San Jose she taught English to business executives and volunteered at a women’s shelter.
After those experiences, Arista returned to Oregon where she attended Lewis and Clark Law School. While there, she was awarded a public interest law project grant to work at the Office of the Public Defender in Alexandria, Virginia. Arista is originally from Lima, Peru, and speaks Spanish fluently.
Burdick provides training and technical assistance to CLINIC affiliates on immigration program management and capacity building as Field Support Coordinator. Since coming to CLINIC in 1997, she has managed national, state and local citizenship and integration projects and provided naturalization training, technical assistance and policy advocacy.
Most recently, she was the Project Coordinator for two national capacity-building grants from the Office of Citizenship and CLINIC’s National Asylee Information and Referral Line, which operated from 2001 to 2012. Other projects have included a national immigrant organizing project in 15 cities and a national project for technical assistance to more than 130 agencies serving elderly refugees in 27 states.
Prior to joining CLINIC, Burdick worked for refugee resettlement agencies in Texas and Virginia. She holds a master’s degree in social work administration, policy and planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Massachusetts.
As a Field Support Coordinator, Chen provides assistance to CLINIC affiliates in matters related to program management and capacity building. She joined the organization in 2007 as a VAWA attorney, providing training and technical support to domestic violence relief organizations.
A graduate from the City University of New York School of Law, Chen is licensed to practice in Connecticut and the District of Columbia.
Luis Guerra is a Strategic Capacity Officer for the Capacity Building section based in El Cajon, California. Prior to working at CLINIC, Guerra was involved in developing the legal capacity of farm worker-serving organizations. He was the acting executive director at Causa Oregon, a statewide immigrant rights organization where he developed Causa's first legal services program. Most recently, he was director of operations at the United Farm Workers Foundation as it grew into one of the largest and most successful legal services immigration programs in the country.
Guerra is a fully accredited representative. He holds a bachelor's degree from Willamette University, having double majored in international relations and Spanish with a minor in Latin American studies.
Perez helps provides training and consultation on program management and capacity building to CLINIC’s network of charitable immigration service providers. She developed her leadership skills through service on numerous nonprofit boards including the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and Tennessee Immigrant Empowerment Solutions. She has also served as the Southeast regional representative for the Diocesan Advisory Committee of CLINIC since October 2009.
Perez worked as program manager and partial BIA-accredited representative to the Office of Immigrant Services of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee for seven years. While there she managed a diverse client caseload, conducted numerous community outreach presentations in both English and Spanish to various audiences about immigration law topics, implemented and expanded the use of LawLogix’s EDGE case management system, and developed detailed program policies and procedures to manage a staff of four in three office locations serving 36 counties.
She attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international business.
Rahman is a Field Support Coordinator for CLINIC, based in Eugene, Oregon. She provides training and consultation on program management and capacity building to CLINIC’s network of charitable immigration legal service providers.
Before joining CLINIC, Rahman consulted for the Vera Institute of Justice and, prior to that, worked at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project where she was the managing attorney for the Detainee Rights Workgroup. While at Esperanza, she represented people in all types of immigration matters including removal defense in immigration court, taught legal education classes and helped develop and oversee several projects.
She received her law degree from UCLA School of Law.
Speasmaker serves as a Field Support Coordinator and Integration Program Manager for CLINIC. As a Field Support Coordinator, she provides training and consultation to organizations on program management and capacity building. As the Integration Program Manager, she coordinates CLINIC’s resources and technical support on integration within the CLINIC network.
Speasmaker is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master of teaching degree. She is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned master’s degrees in public affairs and Latin American studies.
Prior to working at CLINIC, she taught English as a second language in Virginia, Ecuador and Texas, and she speaks Spanish.
Brokaw is the Project Coordinator for CLINIC’s Capacity Building Section, working to coordinate CLINIC’s work in the New Americans Campaign and supporting the activities of the Center for Immigrant Integration. Before joining CLINIC, Brokaw served two years with AmeriCorps with Telamon Corporation and CASA de Maryland, working on immigrant advocacy issues surrounding health and safety, employment, education, and citizenship promotion. He also worked with Catholic Charities of Arlington to provide ESOL and citizenship classes and services throughout Northern Virginia. He has a masters degree in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from George Washington University. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and speaks Spanish.
Bussey is Director of Advocacy with CLINIC. She works with the Executive Director and senior staff to develop policy recommendations and designs, evaluates and executes strategies to promote the dignity and protect the rights of immigrants. She joined CLINIC in April 2015 as an Advocacy Attorney, working closely with CLINIC affiliates and coalition partners to monitor the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, identify and address individual and systemic problems with application processing, and research and develop policy and advocacy recommendations.
Bussey has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of immigration and earned her Juris Doctor degree with a concentration in business law, cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law and her bachelor’s in law and society from American University. She was in private practice prior to joining CLINIC.
She is also actively engaged in her community, serving as chair of the Howard County Consumer Protection Board, representing economically disadvantaged groups in Maryland.
Parisio joined CLINIC in January 2017 as an Advocacy Attorney for Policy and Outreach. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a law degree from the City University of New York School of Law, a public interest law school.
While in law school, she focused on immigration, mental health and poverty law. She participated in the Economic Justice Project, representing fellow CUNY students in public benefits hearings and directed CUNY Law’s chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project. She also completed three legislative internships, including a federal internship where she specialized in immigration-related casework.
Following law school, Parisio worked as the legal programs development officer for the International Refugee Assistance Project, which provides legal assistance to refugees and displaced persons from the Middle East and North Africa. She is a member of the New York state bar.
Sullivan began her career in immigration legal services more than 12 years ago. She earned her Juris Doctor cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, and her bachelor's degree in international relations from American University. She has been working in private practice, first as a paralegal and then as an attorney, covering the areas of family-based and employment-based immigration, as well as removal defense. Today, she represents CLINIC and its network in national coalitions, working groups and agency stakeholder engagements.
Sullivan has been an active volunteer, providing her services to Catholic Charities, the Norwegian Refugee Council, HIAS, the Dulles Justice Coalition, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. She is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Williams joined CLINIC in January 2016 to lead the State and Local Immigration Project. She provides legal and technical support to CLINIC affiliates who advocate for immigrants on state legislative matters. She also leads the organization's national campaign for policies that protect families against immigration services fraud.
Prior to joining CLINIC, Williams worked for a private firm in Maryland where she handled affirmative and defensive asylum cases, VAWA petitions, as well as family-based immigration matters. Before that, she was a solo practitioner in Detroit, Michigan where she represented clients in immigration and state court proceedings.
Williams is a graduate of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan and is a member of the Michigan bar. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Bar Association (ABA).
Wheeler is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, and has practiced and taught immigration law for two decades. He oversees CLINIC’s Training, Litigation and Support section, managing support and advocacy work on immigration law and related issues affecting immigrants.
Wheeler directed the National Immigration Law Center for more than 10 years. He has served on boards of the National Immigration Forum, American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and other leading organizations.
He is a member of the state bars of California, Colorado and Maryland.
Arya is a Training, Litigation and Support Attorney with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, where she provides technical assistance and trainings to CLINIC affiliate agencies around the country. Prior to joining CLINIC, she was most recently an asylum officer at the San Francisco Asylum Office, where she trained new asylum officers and interviewed and adjudicated asylum cases. She has also represented immigrants and asylum seekers in removal proceedings and before USCIS as a staff attorney at HIAS, Human Rights First and in private practice. She was a staff attorney in the immigration and asylum section at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for four years .
Arya has worked in various UNHCR field offices in Africa and the Middle East as a protection and resettlement consultant. She is a 1999 graduate of Penn State Law School and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin. She speaks French and Spanish.
Schreiber is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and has been practicing immigration law in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. As a CLINIC attorney, she provides technical assistance and training to member agencies and other organizations and practitioners across the country.
After law school, Schreiber worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago for eight years, and then became managing attorney at the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center from 1988 to 1998.
Before joining CLINIC in 2001, Schreiber worked at the DePaul Law School legal clinic as a supervisor of law students representing asylum applicants and providing technical assistance to community-based organizations. She is a member of the Illinois state bar.
Arevalo manages all aspects of CLINIC’s internet-based training programs, including rapid e-courses, multi-week e-courses, and webinars. Prior to joiningCLINIC, he worked as an accredited representative at Catholic Charities of Chicago. Arevalo also has a background in instructional design and implementation, having served as a consultant and site manager for a private learning center.
He graduated from DePauw University, with a concentration in biology.
As Senior Attorney, Bronstein provides training and technical assistance on immigration law to CLINIC members and other community-based organizations. Prior to joining CLINIC’s Training, Litigation and Support section, she supervised the legal work of the attorneys in CLINIC’s national detention representation project from 2004 to 2007.
Bronstein also ran CLINIC’s detained children’s representation project in San Francisco from 2002 to 2004 and served from 2000 to 2002 as a detention fellow in CLINIC’s Los Angeles office, representing detained adults and children in removal proceedings. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington and is member of the California state bar.
Gauto is a Senior Attorney for CLINIC, based in Los Angeles. He provides training and technical assistance on immigration law, with an emphasis on matters relating to unaccompanied minors.
In 2013 he joined CLINIC after several years at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, where he was the interim program director and lead immigration attorney. During his time at Esperanza, Gauto oversaw a large expansion of legal services to unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings.
He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars and was an adjunct professor at La Verne College of Law in Ontario, California, where he taught immigration law. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
A graduate of American University Washington College of Law, Karpinski has practiced immigration law for over 20 years. She has worked for CLINIC since 1994 and currently provides training and technical assistance to member agencies and other no-profit organizations across the country. She also provides direct representation of clients in the Boston area.
Prior to joining CLINIC, she worked as an associate with the law firm of Wildes and Weinberg in New York and as a staff attorney with the Catholic Migration Office in Brooklyn, New York. She is a member of the New York and Connecticut state bars.
Mira is a Staff Attorney in CLINIC's Oakland, California, office, where her focus is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. She provides training and legal support to member agencies and other organizations nationwide.
Prior to joining CLINIC, Mira was a clinical research attorney fellow at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. During her fellowship she conducted outreach and education to rural communities, provided support to group application workshops and developed informational and best practices materials for both the public and legal service providers. She provided legal assistance to individuals applying for DACA and naturalization and represented U-visa and asylum applicants.
Mira is a graduate of the University of California, Davis School of Law and is a member of the California bar.
Riddle provides training and legal support to member agencies and other organizations nationwide and is based in CLINIC’s Asheville, North Carolina, office. She previously worked as an Advocacy Attorney for CLINIC’s State and Local Immigration Project.
Prior to joining CLINIC in 2013, Riddle advocated for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington. She represented immigrants in private practice for five years in San Francisco and led legislative advocacy efforts for immigration reform as volunteer advocacy liaison for her local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Riddle is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and California. Before law school, she worked on refugee resettlement projects as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan.
Naranjo is the Director of the Religious Immigration Services section of CLINIC. He leads a group of immigration attorneys who assist more than 170 archdioceses, dioceses and religious communities throughout the U.S. in bringing international priests, brothers, sisters, novices, seminarians and other religious workers into the U.S. to serve the church.
Naranjo joined CLINIC in 2006 and has been practicing immigration law since 2002. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Sylla is a legal assistant in the Religious Immigration Service section. Prior to joining CLINIC, she worked with Enhesa INC, as an environmental health and safety regulatory consultant.
While attending law school at Indiana University, she served as a student advocate with the Child and Youth Advocates. Sylla also worked with the International Student Office as a student ambassador.
Originally from Ivory Coast, she holds a bachelor's degree in law and political science from the University of the Sahel in Senegal, and an LLM from Indiana University. Sylla is fluent in French.
Mateo is a Staff Attorney in the Religious Immigration Service section. Prior to joining CLINIC, she spent two years clerking for an immigration firm in North Carolina, focusing on deportation cases and family-based visa petitions.
While attending law school in North Carolina, Mateo served as a student attorney representing clients in the Charlotte Immigration Court. Her cases primarily focused on asylum, deferred action and family-based petitions. In addition to working as a student attorney, She served as committee chair for the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Program and volunteered with the Latin American Coalition. She also took pride in serving as president of the Immigration Law Society and as a pro bono student ambassador.
Mateo holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Adams, a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, has been working as a Staff Attorney in the Religious Immigration Services section at CLINIC since 2010. In her previous work at a law firm in Virginia, she was exposed to a variety of immigration law issues. Adams is admitted to practice law in the state of Virginia.
Bonjean joined CLINIC as an Attorney in March 2013. While attending the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, from which she graduated in 2012, Bonjean interned at CLINIC with the Religious Immigration Services section.
Bonjean holds a bachelor’s degree in history from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and is a member of the Virginia state bar.
Dhakal, a Legal Assistant in the Religious Immigration Services section, worked from 1994 to 2004 as an information officer for such nonprofits as Save the Children, Oxfam, the Danish International Development Agency and Netherlands Development Assistance in Nepal. She also has worked for refugee settlement and community-based organizations.
Dhakal has a paralegal certificate from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2007-2008 she worked for the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington translating and reviewing materials in English and Nepali intended for use in refugee cultural orientation. Before joining CLINIC she worked with Greenberg Traurig in Fairfax and with the law offices of Rajiv S. Khanna, where she provided administrative and legal support to immigration attorneys, including preparing visa petitions for clients.
She volunteers at Legal Services of Northern Virginia where she helps interview clients for case intake and placement, reviews cases and prepares narratives for attorneys.
An immigration paralegal for 10 years, McCormick joined CLINIC in August 2014 and is a Legal Assistant in the Religious Immigration Services section. Prior to joining CLINIC, she worked for a law firm in New York as an immigration paralegal focusing on non-immigrant visa applications, employment-based immigrant visa applications and family-based immigrant visa applications.
McCormick obtained her associate degree in paralegal studies in 2012. She has more than 20 years of experience as a legal assistant working for law offices in London and in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ohm is a Staff Attorney with the Religious Immigration Services section of CLINIC. Prior to joining CLINIC, she was an associate attorney at Carliner & Remes in Washington and practiced immigration law in a variety of areas, including asylum, family-based visa petitions and business immigration matters.
She joined CLINIC in 2008 and has been exclusively practicing religious immigration law. She graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2003. While in law school, she worked at Tahirih Justice Center providing immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence and served as a student advocate with the Washington College of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic.
Ohm holds a bachelor’s degree in English and French from Wellesley College and is a member of the New York state bar.
Setiabudi has been as an immigration and naturalization paralegal for over 11 years. Prior to joining CLINIC she was a paralegal for various law firms, nonprofit organizations and private immigration law offices in the Washington metropolitan area.
A BIA-accredited paralegal, she speaks five languages and serves as an interpreter for the immigration courts, other courts and hospitals for the Indonesian language and some Chinese dialects.
Turngren is a Staff Attorney with the Religious Immigration Services section of CLINIC. She has been exclusively practicing religious immigration law since she joined CLINIC in 2012.
A 2005 graduate of the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Turngren worked after law school as an associate with the immigration law firms of Siskind Susser in Memphis, and later David S. Jones & Associates in Las Vegas.
In 2008, Turngren chose to leave private practice in order to work directly with indigent clients as an assistant district public defender in Johnson City, Tennessee. During this time, she remained devoted to the cause of immigrants by working to educate the criminal defense bar regarding the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and is a member of the Tennessee state bar.
Abella is a journalist and editor with more than 15 years of experience writing news and features for mainstream, trade and advocacy publications in California and the Washington metropolitan area. Until joining CLINIC as Development Officer and Grants Administrator, he was the senior bilingual editor for AARP VIVA and associate editor and Washington correspondent for Diagnostic Imaging magazine.
As a global activist, Abella has volunteered for human rights and social justice campaigns with a focus on immigration and indigenous rights in the U.S. and South America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State University and a certificate in broadcasting from Universidad Andrés Bello-AIEP in Chile.
Amaya joined CLINIC in February 2004. As Development Officer, she coordinates donor services and handles state and federal charitable registrations and CLINIC’s participation in workplace campaigns. Before taking her present position, she provided several years of legal assistance to attorneys in CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Services section.
Amaya brought 21 years of management and marketing experience to CLINIC. She has worked for companies like Inova Fairfax Hospital, Jones Lang LaSalle, Universal Outdoor and the former Woodward & Lothrop retail group. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Maryland University College and an associate degree in business management, marketing and merchandising.
Fluent in Spanish, Amaya has taught both the language and the culture to preschoolers and assists immigrant families by acting as the liaison for and with the public school system.
As Communications Director, Zapor oversees a range of communications functions including: working with reporters who need information or an interview, managing press releases and public statements; producing materials including issue backgrounders, conference programs, press releases and CLINIC’s annual report; and supervising the CLINIC web page and social media.
Zapor previously worked as federal government reporter for Catholic News Service, a Washington-based wire service for national and international Catholic news outlets. In that job, she covered immigration extensively for more than two decades. Her prior experience includes positions as an editor and/or reporter for daily and weekly newspapers in Massachusetts and Arizona. Zapor joined CLINIC in October 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.
Brown serves as the Web Resource Coordinator, maintaining the day-to-day aspects of the website including its content, users, and design, ensuring everything stays current and accessible.
Brown is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, having earned a degree in English communications and technology. He joined CLINIC in June 2015 after spending many years working in a similar role at another nonprofit geared toward mental health.
As Communications Outreach Manager, Flores-Marquez focuses on creating informational resources for immigrants and their allies. Much of her work centers around fostering relationships between faith communities and qualified legal service providers in order to expand the reach of services for migrant communities. She also functions as a liaison between CLINIC and other Catholic organizations, seeking new ways to support one another’s efforts.
Flores-Marquez worked directly with foster youths from Central America prior to joining CLINIC. In that role, she was responsible for aiding their adjustment to the United States by organizing educational and cultural support groups.
Flores-Marquez previously worked for the Los Angeles Youth Network in Los Angeles, California, organizing educational and cultural support groups for unaccompanied minors. She received her BA in communication, culture, and public affairs from California State University, Long Beach in 2012.
Before directing the Defending Vulnerable Populations section, Mendez oversaw CLINIC's role in the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas, which focuses on providing legal assistance to detained asylum-seeking mothers and children. Prior to joining CLINIC, she served as senior managing attorney in the Immigration Legal Services Program at Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, where she began as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by DLA Piper. Mendez has taught the Immigration Litigation Clinic at Catholic University Columbus School of Law, served as a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and assisted the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Mendez was awarded the 2015 American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award, recognized as one of the “Very Important Professionals Successful by 40” by Maryland’s Daily Record in 2014, chosen as one of 25 “Women to Watch in 2017” by The Baltimore Sun, awarded the 2018 Rising Star Award by the Maryland Francis King Carey Law School for her exemplary contributions of service and leadership, and chosen as a 2018 National Law Journal Immigration Trailblazer. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy has selected Mendez for its faculty and appointed her program director for its immigration public programs. Mendez received her law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond. She also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University and a professional certificate in peace and conflict resolution through the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Medellín, Colombia, and also speaks French.
Scholtz is a Senior Attorney with the Defending Vulnerable Populations section. Prior to joining CLINIC, Scholtz worked with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid's Immigration Law Project, first as a Liman Fellow and then as a staff attorney. Her work at MMLA focused on representation of unaccompanied children, and she also provided training, technical assistance, pro bono program development, and advocacy on children's immigration issues.
Scholtz received her J.D. from Yale Law School and was a judicial clerk for the Honorable Diana Murphy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She is a Faculty Fellow at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Prior to law school, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica.
Razaghi is originally from Iran, where he maintained a successful legal practice. Upon his resettlement in the United States, he graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Razaghi focuses primarily on President Trump's ban on entry of citizens of certain nations to the U.S. and has been helping the families who have been affected by the travel ban.
Razaghi is fluent in Persian, Farsi and French, and can read and write in Arabic.
Neilson came to CLINIC from the Immigrant Justice Corps, where she served as the legal director from 2014 to February 2018. Prior to this Neilson worked in the Office of Chief Counsel of USCIS Refugee and Asylum Division, as the legal director of Immigration Equality, and as the legal director of the HIV Law Project. She chairs the Immigration Committee of the New York City Bar Association, co-chairs AILA’s New York Ethics Committee, and is a member of AILA’s National Asylum Committee. She is a contributing author to AILA's Guide to U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Law. Neilson has also taught as an adjunct professor at CUNY School of Law and New York University School of Law. She is a graduate of CUNY School of Law and Harvard University and is a member of the New York state bar.
Naggar holds a B.S. in family studies from the University of Maryland, College Park and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. During law school, she was a summer clinical fellow at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Naggar then worked as a staff attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona from September 2009 to May 2011, before transitioning to the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in the Immigration Defense Practice, from June 2011 to June 2015. Thereafter, Naggar was an associate attorney at Glickman Turley LLP, handling immigration and criminal matters, including federal criminal appeals, and then a staff attorney at Project Citizenship. She is a member of the Maryland and Massachusetts bars. She will represent CLINIC in a new pilot project in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign. She works from Brookline, Massachusetts.
Castro graduated in 2017 from the University of Maryland, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a focus on institutions and organizations. At the University of Maryland, she participated in the Global Public Health Scholars Program and was active in Students Helping Honduras, a humanitarian service project seeking to eradicate extreme poverty and violence through education and youth empowerment by building schools in Honduras. During the summer prior to her senior year, Castro interned at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. There, she assisted the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians of Unaccompanied Minors program.
Hernandez joined CLINIC in August 2017 as a Legal Assistant in the Religious Immigration Services section. Prior to joining CLINIC, she worked in three immigration law firms in Florida, focusing on criminal defense, deportation defense, and family-based immigrant visa applications.
The daughter of migrant farmworkers from Homestead, Florida, Hernandez graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science. During her time at the University of Florida, she was included in the Hispanic-Latino Hall of Fame and was a Guardian ad Litem volunteer.
She continues to serve her community through her involvement with Lucha Latina, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing scholarships and mentorship to Latina students.
Garcia is an Attorney with the Defending Vulnerable Populations section. Garcia came to CLINIC from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, known as RAICES, where she was as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Her work at RAICES focused on removal defense of vulnerable detained individuals. Prior to that, Garcia was an immigration policy analyst with the Center for American Progress.
Garcia is a graduate of Middlebury College and the American University Washington College of Law. During law school, she served on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Review and participated in the Immigrant Justice Clinic. Garcia is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
The daughter of a Cuban refugee father and Texan mother, Garcia is a native Spanish speaker. She volunteers with the Colorado Lawyers Committee and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network.
Zambrano is a Legal Assistant in the Defending Vulnerable Populations section where she assists CLINIC’s federal litigation efforts. Prior to joining CLINIC, Zambrano served as a coordinator with Aldea–the People’s Justice Center, where she facilitated universal representation to detained families at the Berks County Residential Center. During law school at Michigan State University, she served as a student advocate in the Immigration Clinic. Prior to law school, she worked at Catholic Charities Legal Services of Miami as a Volunteer Programs Manager Assistant and at the International Rescue Committee in Miami Springs as a Volunteer Caseworker Assistant.
Originally from Colombia, Zambrano holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University and a J.D. from Michigan State University.
Jenkins is manager of the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project, which provides appellate representation to hundreds of vulnerable immigrants in removal proceedings.
Prior to joining CLINIC, Jenkins represented immigration detainees as an accredited representative at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. In addition to managing the Pro Bono Project, Jenkins frequently contributes to CLINIC’s manuals, practice advisories, and trainings—principally on the subjects of removal defense, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and appellate procedure. He is a frequent author of merits and amicus briefs before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the federal courts.
Jenkins is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School.
Brayman is an Attorney with the Defending Vulnerable Populations section based in CLINIC’s Los Angeles office where she oversees CLINIC’s role in the LA Justice Fund.
Prior to joining CLINIC, she represented immigrants and asylum seekers in removal proceedings and before USCIS, including minors from Central America who fled gang recruitment and violence. She also represented numerous Detroit-area Iraqis who are subject to longstanding final orders of removal and current class members in the Hamama v. Adducci federal lawsuit.
Brayman received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and her B.A from the University of Michigan. After law school, she was a public interest fellow with the Immigrant Defense Project in New York and then moved to the Middle East for two years where she worked as an editor for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Brayman has been published in Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, Reuters, the Guardian, National Geographic, among others. During her time abroad, she earned a Public Policy Master’s Degree in International Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Tel Aviv University and volunteered with Syrian refugees in Gaziantep, Turkey and Amman, Jordan and in refugee camps in Israel and the West Bank.
Brayman is the daughter of two Soviet refugees and she speaks fluent Russian. In her spare time, Brayman serves as the managing editor of the American Society of International Law’s (ASIL) refugee interest group blog.