Staff

Across the country, the Center’s staff reflects our belief that great leadership potential exists in the communities we seek to serve.kat

We are from red states and blue; we are both youthful and seasoned; and we represent the rich diversity of America’s immigrants, recent and from decades past, as well as its native population. Together, we work with vigor and vision to end poverty and exclusion in America.

Organizing Team Electoral Team Executive Office Public Policy Team Communications Team Institutional Advancement Team Operations Team

Organizing Team

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  • Michael Anderson

    Michael Anderson | Director, Housing Trust Fund Project

    Quote

    “Concentrate not on the eradication of evil, but the cultivation of good.  Evil is not driven out, but crowded out” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Sulma Arias

    Sulma Arias | Immigration Field Director

    Quote

    “I realized that they could take everything from me except my mind and my heart.  Those things I still had control over, and I decided not to give them away!” – Nelson Mandela

  • Drew Astolfi

    Drew Astolfi | Senior Organizer

  • Salvador Cervantes

    Salvador Cervantes | FIRM Regional Organizer

    Quote

    “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

  • Alma Couverthie

    Alma Couverthie | Deputy Field Director of Immigration

    Quote

    “Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible” -Ernesto Ché Guevara

  • Katy Heins

    Katy Heins | Senior Field Organizer

    Quote

    “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage.  Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” –St. Augustine

  • Cesar Hernandez

    Cesar Hernandez | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.” ― Marcus Garvey

  • Wendoly Marte

    Wendoly Marte | Senior Field Campaign Manager

    Quote

    “If we have learned anything in life is that the primary factor in everything is the human being, as well as his or her quality and spirit. Those who have faith and hope in the possibilities of humankind are those who will push it forward” – José María Arizmendiarrieta

  • Kica Matos

    Kica Matos | Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice

  • Mayron Payes

    Mayron Payes | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “The rose blinds the sharpshooting champions.” – Roque Dalton

  • Deirdra Reed

    Deirdra Reed | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “My philosophy is such that I am not going to vote against the oppressed. I have been oppressed, and so I am always going to have a vote for the oppressed, regardless of whether that oppressed is black or white or yellow or the people of the Middle East, or what. I have that feeling.” – Septima Clark

  • Evonne Tisdale

    Evonne Tisdale | Senior Field Organizer

  • Aida Cuadradro

    Aida Cuadradro | Field Organizer

    Quote

    “Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,
    to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
    making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.” Isaiah 10

  • Byron Hobbs

    Byron Hobbs | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” – Malcolm X

  • Isaias Guerrero

    Isaias Guerrero | Immigration Regional Organizer

    Quote

    “Never forget that love is what justice looks like in public” by Dr. Cornel West

  • Elsa Barboza

    Elsa Barboza | Senior Field Organizer

  • Ben Hanna

    Ben Hanna | National Political Field Director

    Quote

    “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” -Nelson Mandela

  • Rommel Sandino

    Rommel Sandino | Northeast Regional Organizer

    Quote

    “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” –
    Cesar Chavez

  • Chris Genese

    Chris Genese | Senior Organizer, Housing Trust Fund

    Quote

    “Life is beautiful. Life is a struggle. Life is a beautiful struggle.”

Electoral Team

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  • Grecia Lima

    Grecia Lima | Political Director

    Quote

    “Baila, baila Zarite por que esclavo es libre…mientras baila. Yo eh bailado siempre.” – La Isla Bajo el Mar, Isabel Allende

    Translation: “Dance, dance Zarite because slave that dances is free…while dancing.. I have always danced.” – The Island under the Sea, Isabel Allende

  • Dorian Lockett

    Dorian Lockett | Deputy National Political Director

    Quote

    “Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of people; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.”
    ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

  • Erika Grohoski Peralta

    Erika Grohoski Peralta | Electoral Organizer

  • Mike Griffin

    Mike Griffin | Electoral Organizer

  • Gilbert Nuñez

    Gilbert Nuñez | Electoral Data Manager

    Quote

    “The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights.” –Dolores Huerta

Executive Office

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  • Deepak Bhargava

    Deepak Bhargava | President

    Quote

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” – Frederick Douglass

  • Dorian Warren

    Dorian Warren | Vice President

    Quote

    “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

    Read Dorian full biography here.

  • Emily Andrews

    Emily Andrews | Director of Project Management

    Quote

    “Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

  • Seth Borgos

    Seth Borgos | Director of Research and Program Development

    Quote

    “Without contraries there is no progress.” – William Blake

  • Susan Wefald

    Susan Wefald | Economic Justice Program Director

    Quote

    we have chosen each other
    and the edge of each other’s battles
    the war is the same
    if we lose
    someday women’s blood will congeal
    upon a dead planet
    if we win
    there is no telling.
     
    Audre Lorde
  • Lilia Cherchari

    Lilia Cherchari | Executive Coordinator

    Quote

    “A government or a party gets the people it deserves, and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves.” – Frantz Fanon

  • Emily Fischer

    Emily Fischer | Senior Project Manager

    Quote

    “The cords of bigotry and prejudice here can be cut with the same blade. We have to keep that blade sharp and share it with one another.” –Malcolm X

  • Kyle Grassi

    Kyle Grassi | Senior Project Manager

    Quote

    “Ignorance allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

  • Mary Lassen

    Mary Lassen | Managing Director

    Quote

    “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

  • Julia Foster

    Julia Foster | Director of Organizational Planning & Management

    Quote

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,/Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

  • Deepak Pateriya

    Deepak Pateriya | Chief of Staff

    Quote

    “Only people with hope will struggle. If people are in trouble, if people are suffering and exploited and want to get out from under the heel of oppression, if they have hope that it can be done, if they can see a path that leads to a solution, a path that makes sense to them and is consistent with their beliefs and their experience, then they’ll move. But it must be a path that they’ve started clearing. They’ve got to know the direction in which they are going and have a general idea of the kind of society they’d like to have.” – Myles Horton (from The Long Haul)

  • Trish Tchume

    Trish Tchume | Leadership Program Director

    Quote

    “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” – Angela Davis

  • Derek Johnson

    Derek Johnson | Executive Coordinator

Public Policy Team

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  • Allegra Baider

    Allegra Baider | Deputy Director of Public Policy

    Quote

    “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams

  • Kate Kahan

    Kate Kahan | Legislative Director

    Quote

    “If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege.” – Bell Hooks

  • Rita Medina

    Rita Medina | Senior Legislative Associate

    Quote

    “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Chirag Mehta

    Chirag Mehta | Senior Policy Advisor

    Quote

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

  • Jaimie Worker

    Jaimie Worker | Policy Analyst

    Quote

    “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” – Wangari Maathai

  • Steve Savner

    Steve Savner | Director of Public Policy

Communications Team

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  • Marisol Bello

    Marisol Bello | Director of Content Strategy and Development

    Quote

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  • Anh Kim Hoang

    Anh Kim Hoang | Senior Software Developer

    Quote

    “If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • Jasmine Nazarett

    Jasmine Nazarett | Senior Media Specialist

    Quote

    “We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.” -Dolores Huerta

  • Jeff Parcher

    Jeff Parcher | Director of Communications

    Quote

    “It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” – Robert Kennedy

  • Cristina Rayas

    Cristina Rayas | Content Creator

    Quote

    “It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.
    The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” – Wendell Berry
  • Nancy Trevino

    Nancy Trevino | Digital Campaigns Manager, Immigration

    Quote

    “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beautiy to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try to understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” – Arundhati Roy

  • Marcella Vitulli

    Marcella Vitulli | Director of Digital Strategy

    Quote

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

  • Tarah Walsh

    Tarah Walsh | Campaign Project Manager

    Quote

    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” — Emily Dickinson

  • Devontae Torriente

    Devontae Torriente | Digital Campaigns Associate

    Quote

    “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” – Bayard Rustin

Institutional Advancement Team

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  • Beth Rayfield

    Beth Rayfield | Director of Institutional Advancement

    Quote

    We must change the world, we must change ourselves, and we must change ourselves in order to change the world.

    –Kenneth Kraft, The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism

  • Katherine Ollenburger

    Katherine Ollenburger | Director of Brand Strategy and Chief Writer

    Quote

    “You can’t write poems about trees when the woods are full of policemen.” – Bertolt Brecht

  • Susan Rightsell

    Susan Rightsell | Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement

    Quote

    “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”― Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Sandy Elkhoury

    Sandy Elkhoury | Senior Development Strategist

    Quote

    “Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”

    14th Dalai Lama

  • Janice Wielinski

    Janice Wielinski | Donor Database Manager

    Quote

    “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” – Albert Einstein

  • Ghazala Salam

    Ghazala Salam | Major Gifts Manager

    Quote

    “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Frederick Douglass

  • Judy Woods

    Judy Woods | Institutional Advancement Coordinator

    Quote

    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

    Arthur Ashe

  • Kristin Witting

    Kristin Witting | Deputy Director of Development Strategy and Senior Writer

  • Karla McLean

    Karla McLean | Donor Communications and Marketing Manager

    Quote

    “I come as one but stand as ten thousand.”– Maya Angelou, To Our Grandmothers

Operations Team

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  • Ryan Young

    Ryan Young | Chief of Operations and Organizational Sustainability

  • Stefan Perazich

    Stefan Perazich | Project Manager: Contracts & Compliance

  • Trevor Bass

    Trevor Bass | Senior Accounting Manager

    Quote

    “If there is no struggle there is no progress” – Frederick Douglass

  • Marcia Glasgow

    Marcia Glasgow | Facilities & Administrative Services Manager

    Quote

    “I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.” ― Maya Angelou

  • Amber Hobbs

    Amber Hobbs | Senior Technology Support Manager

    Quote

    “You are the somewhere you are trying to get to.” – Mooji

  • Darnetta Hollis

    Darnetta Hollis | Operations Coordinator

    Quote

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

  • Kathy Mor

    Kathy Mor | Senior Events Manager

    Quote

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams

  • Tony Nam

    Tony Nam | Project Finance Manager

    Quote

    “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening/that is translated through you into action,/ and because there is only one of you in all time,/this expression is unique./If you block it,/it will never exist through any other medium/and be lost./The world will not have it./It is not your business to determine how good it is;/nor how valuable it is;/nor how it compares with other expressions./It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,/to keep the channel open.” – Martha Graham in a letter to Agnes DeMille

  • Linda Nguyen

    Linda Nguyen | Director of Talent Acquisition & Development

    Quote

    “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action,
    And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. 
    If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
    The world will not have it.
    It is not your business to determine how good it is,
    Nor how it compares to other expressions.
    It is simply your business to keep the channel open.”  – Martha Graham

  • Irma Rivera

    Irma Rivera | Director of Campaign Compliance & Risk Management

  • Petra Smith

    Petra Smith | Director of Human Resources

  • Clement Sinclair

    Clement Sinclair | Administrative & Technology Support Specialist

    Quote

    “Without commitment you will never start and without consistency you will never finish.” – Denzel Washington

  • Nader Ghorban Zadeh

    Nader Ghorban Zadeh | Talent and Organizational Sustainability Coordinator

  • Victoria Ward

    Victoria Ward | Director of Operations & Finance

    Quote

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

  • Carlos Vahos

    Carlos Vahos | Budget Manager

  • Koshan Jelani

    Koshan Jelani | Human Resources Coordinator