People

Staff

 

Executive Director

Maria Woltjen, Executive Director (Chicago office)

 

Program

Elizabeth FrankelAssociate Director (New York office)

Sarah Diaz, National Case Director (Chicago office)

Gladis Molina Alt, Deputy Case Director (Phoenix office)

Danielle Salgado, Deputy Case Director (Harlingen office) 

 

Policy

Jennifer Nagda, Policy Director (Remote)

 

Operations and Development

Sarah Waxman, Managing Director (Chicago office)

Jessica Brown, Development Director (Chicago office)

Jairo Villalobos, Operations and Legal Manager (Chicago office)

Paulette Jones, Bookkeeper (Chicago office)

Madeline Witters, Development and Executive Assistant (Chicago office)

 

Field Offices

 

Chicago

Xiaorong Jajah Wu, Supervising Attorney 

Marisa Chumil, Senior Social Worker 

Marcy PhillipsSenior Staff Attorney 

Kelly Albinak Kribs, Immigrant Child Rights Fellow

Geoff Wood, National Volunteer Program Coordinator 

 

Harlingen

Olivia Peña, Staff Attorney

Brenda Piñero, Staff Attorney

Ashely Mariscal, Staff Attorney

Thomas D’Adamo, Volunteer Coordinator 

 

Houston

Lauren Fisher Flores, Supervising Attorney

Pamela Nickell, Staff Attorney

Rachel Wootten, Volunteer Coordinator

 

Washington DC

Ursela Ojeda, Staff Attorney

Mari Dorn-Lopez, Staff Attorney

Emily Verburg, Volunteer Coordinator

 

New York

Riquelmi Gomez, Staff Attorney  

Shaina Simenas, Social Worker

Rubi Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator

 

San Antonio

Bessie Muñoz, Staff Attorney 

JonCarlo Serna, Staff Attorney

Nicole Cooper, Volunteer Coordinator

 

Phoenix

Vanessa Pineda, Staff Attorney

Ana Camila Colón Villafañe, Staff Attorney

Priscilla Guadarrama, Volunteer Coordinator

 

Los Angeles

Patricia Aguirre, Staff Attorney

Diana Lopez, Staff Attorney

Kelly Rose Garza, Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

Advisory board

 

Elissa Steglich (President). Ms. Steglich is Clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Law’s Immigration Clinic. Previously, Ms. Steglich was the Legal Services Director at the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey. She also taught Immigration Law as an adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ. She was the managing attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, Illinois from 2002-2006, and Trafficking Project Officer at DePaul College of Law, where she conducted extensive field research on trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Steglich received a BA in English from Haverford College and a JD (with honors) from the University of Texas School of Law.

Robert Krebs (Vice President). Mr. Krebs is Senior Corporate Counsel at the Northern Trust Corporation in Chicago.  He previously work as a corporate restructuring attorney with Jones Day.  He obtained his JD from the University of California, Davis and a BA in Political Science from Trinity College-Hartford.

Richard Naponelli (Treasurer). Mr. Naponelli is an associate with Perkins Coie’s Trust & Estate Planning practice.  Mr. Naponelli has extensive experience creating business and estate plans for both individuals and family groups to facilitate succession planning and wealth preservation. He also has represented clients during Illinois Attorney General and IRS tax investigations and prosecutions, state and federal tax audits, IRS appeals and Illinois Department of Revenue administrative hearings.  Mr. Naponelli previously worked at Winston & Strawn LLP and Madden, Jiganti, Moore & Sinars LLP.  He has a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and an MSA from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business. He obtained a NNA from the University of Notre Dame.

Tatiana Canaval (Secretary). Ms. Canaval immigrated from Chile in 1990 and is currently a Marketing Executive in Chicago. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism/Advertising & Integrated Marketing from Southern Illinois University in 2005.

Sandy Black. Ms. Black is a residential Broker with RE/MAX in Chicago for 24+ years.   She is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame with designations in Distressed Property (CDPE) and Negotiation Skills (CNE) and a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. Sandy has volunteered for the past 15+ years with VOSH (Volunteers in Optometrics in Service to Humanity) traveling to Central American cities to support free eye clinics and provide to those in need.   Sandy is a Board and Executive Committee member of the Aquitania Cooperative in Chicago. Sandy served 12 years on the Board of the Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing in Chicago.  She also served as a Council member for Lutheran Memorial Church.

Julian Dibbell. Mr. Dibbell is a Chicago attorney in the Technology Transactions practice of Mayer Brown LLP. Before joining Mayer Brown in 2014, Julian worked as a journalist and author covering the Internet and other digital technologies. Julian received his JD degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his BA from Yale. 

Richard Levy. Mr. Levy is a litigator and a senior corporate advisor at Jenner & Block LLP.  He has served as a director of three New York Stock Exchange Companies.  His extensive corporate practice has focused on corporate reorganization, debt restructuring, bankruptcy litigation, bank regulation, and corporate transactions and governance.  He has been involved as lead counsel in scores of major insolvency matters, in and out of court, and he has argued and tried numerous cases as principal attorney in State and Federal Courts throughout the country. He also successfully argued a major anti-trust case in the Supreme Court of the United States.  Mr, Levy serves on the firm Pro Bono Committee.  He has been a lecturer on bankruptcy issues for the Practice Law Institute, ALI-ABA and the Illinois State and Chicago Bar Association.

Anita Maddali. Ms. Maddali is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of Clinics at Northern Illinois University College of Law.  Professor Maddali’s primary research and teaching interests are in immigration law, specifically the intersection of immigration and family law, and clinical legal education. Following law school, Professor Maddali was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and later clinical professor at Northwestern University School of Law’s Children and Family Justice Center.  She represented unaccompanied immigrant minors fleeing persecution and developed a clinical course focusing on the representation of immigrant minors with delinquency issues.  Additionally, Professor Maddali litigated education, employment, and immigration cases in federal and state court for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and developed a poverty law clinic while working as a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at DePaul University College of Law. Professor Maddali is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law.  She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with distinction.

Sophia Park. Sophia Park is a corporate tax lawyer.  She has been in-house with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s tax department for the last ten years.  As Director Tax Planning, Sophia is responsible for the company’s global tax planning matters.  Prior to going in-house, she practiced with the Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie in California and New York and with the international tax services group of Coopers & Lybrand/PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Sophia received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. 

Teresa Sullivan. Teresa Sullivan is a staff attorney with the Children and Families Practice Group of LAF, the Legal Assistance Foundation, in Chicago. Prior to joining LAF, Teresa spent five years as a commercial litigator in private practice. Teresa received her JD degree from the University of Chicago, during which time she was proud to serve as a child advocate with the Young Center. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis. Between undergrad and law school, Teresa spent one year as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs followed by three years as a healthcare consultant with Epic Systems. Teresa is also active on the Leadership Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago, having served as the VP of Fund Development from 2014-2016. 

Simone Tseng. Ms. Tseng is currently Strategic Advisor in the strategic planning group of Rush University Medical Center after serving twelve years as Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Program Development.  Prior to joining Rush, she worked in strategic and program planning at University of Chicago Medical Center.  She received a B.A. In Biological Sciences from Brown University and a Master’s in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan.  During the past two years, she has served as a Child Advocate with the Young Center in Chicago

Carlos Vaca Valverde. Carlos Vaca Valverde is an international tax manager in the New York office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He previously worked as a corporate and tax attorney both in a Latin American subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and a Law Firm. He also served as a Law & Economics Professor at the University of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA), Bolivia. He obtained an LLM in International Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College Of Law and a Master in Law & Economics from the University Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Lori Wittman. Lori B. Wittman currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at Care Capital Properties, Inc. (NYSE:  CCP) since the spin-off from Ventas, Inc. (“Ventas”) in 2015.  Prior to joining Care Capital Properties, Inc., she served as Senior Vice President, Capital Markets and Investor Relations at Ventas, Inc., from March 2013 to August 2015, after serving as Vice President, Capital Markets and Investor Relations from July 2011 to March 2013. Prior to that, Ms. Wittman was the Chief Financial Officer and Managing Principal of Big Rock Partners, a real estate private equity firm with over $500 million of assets under management at its peak. Ms. Wittman previously served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer for General Growth Properties and held various capital markets and finance positions with Heitman, Homart Development Company, Citibank and Mellon Bank. Ms. Wittman received a B.A. in Geography and Sociology from Clark University, a Masters in City Planning from University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.  Ms. Wittman is on the Board of Directors of IMH Financial Corporation and Chairs the Compensation Committee.