Staff

Learn about what each department at the AILA national office does and how to contact staff within each department.

Executive Office

The Executive Office is responsible for the overall management of the organization, national office, and staff. Staff execute the policies and priorities as determined by the Board of Governors and work closely with the Executive Committee.

  • Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson, Esq.
    Implements association goals as determined by the Board of Governors. Works with the Executive Committee to develop and carry out strategies to achieve organizational goals. Oversees the operation of the national office and its staff. e-mail
  • Chief Operating Officer, Torey Carter-Conneen
    Leads AILA's executive team in planning and executing the strategic vision of the association. e-mail
  • Senior Advisor, Robert P. Deasy, Esq.
    Strategic partner and advisor to the Executive Director and AILA leadership on issues that shape the association. e-mail
  • Executive Assistant, Sarah Kissel
    Provides administrative support to the Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Senior Advisor. e-mail

Communications and Outreach

The Communications and Outreach Department is charged with promoting the mission of the association and the expertise of the 15,000-plus member attorneys to media and the general public. The department staff works strategically to identify and prepare media spokespeople on key immigration issues of national interest. Staff also develops effective outreach and materials for various media markets, assists members in reaching out to local media, and provides members with substantive and rhetorical tools for use in public presentations to multiple audiences and constituencies.

  • Senior Director of Communications and Outreach, George Paul Tzamaras
    Develops association's communications and outreach strategies. e-mail
  • Associate Director of Communications and Outreach, Belle Woods
    Develops press releases, talking points, opinion pieces and blog posts, PSAs, and other messaging materials. e-mail
  • Communication Specialist, Tessa Wiseman
    Responsible for supporting a variety of communications activities, with a focus on producing content for the Justice Campaign. e-mail
  • Video/Audio Producer, Duygu Eruçman
    Provide video/audio expertise across the association to support AILA departments on their video/audio needs/projects. e-mail
  • Digital Media Coordinator, Mary Cunningham
    Responsible for developing AILA's digital media strategy. e-mail

Education and Resources

AILA's Education and Resources Department develops and administers the content of the association's educational programs, including continuing legal education (CLE) conferences, audio and web seminars, podcasts, online CLE initiatives, and conference handbooks. The Education and Resources Department also oversees the CLE accreditation program and provides customer service support to members and other practitioners seeking information relating to AILA's educational programming.

  • Senior Director of Education, Grace Woods, Esq.
    Develops and directs the association's educational programs and resources. e-mail
  • Associate Director of Meetings, Kathryn Y. Chong, CMP
    Responsible for all meeting planning and conference administration for the association. e-mail
  • Education Process Manager, Barry Collins
    Responsible for developing and managing education processes. e-mail
  • Education Program Manager, John Area
    Develops, plans, and implements the association's continuing legal education (CLE). e-mail
  • Senior Legal Editor, Rizwan Hassan, Esq.
    Serves as lead legal editor for all conference handbooks and select AILA publications, materials, and resources. e-mail
  • Continuing Legal Education Associate, Sarah Schwarz
    Responsible for the administration of association's continuing legal education accreditation programs. e-mail
  • Meetings Associate, Eunice Lee
    Provides extensive support to members seeking information relating to AILA's educational programs. e-mail
  • Learning and Development Specialist, Kate Molski
    Responsible for developing, standardizing, and implementing learning and development programs for the association. e-mail
  • Education and Resources Assistant, Meagan McIntyre
    Provides customer service support to members and practitioners seeking information relating to AILA's Education. e-mail

Finance

The Finance Department is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the association's financial data processed through the accounting system according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). On a regular basis, the finance staff perform critical functions such as collecting cash from sales and other sources, preparing cash disbursements, interfacing with external treasury management systems and performing account reconciliations, maintaining the general and subsidiary ledgers within the accounting system, and adhering to and administering effective systems of internal controls. In addition, the Finance Department plays a leading role in preparing and monitoring the annual budget, developing the accounting and finance policies and procedures, preparing internal financial reports, and issuing annual financial statements for audit and tax compliance.

  • Controller, Scott Van Den Berg
    Responsible for all in-house financial management. e-mail
  • Financial Associate, Arnita Jones
    Responsible for managing all operating transactions for the Association. e-mail

Government Relations

The Government Relations Department advocates for immigration-related legislative, regulatory, and policy reforms before Congress and the agencies, consistent with AILA's principles and priorities. Working with member-based committees, the AILA Executive Committee and the Board of Governors, the department draws upon the knowledge and expertise of the members to provide lawmakers and policymakers with the best and most current information to advance AILA's policy and legislative goals. The department also organizes AILA's National Day of Action and handles member requests for AILA assistance on individual cases pending at USCIS Service Centers and other agencies.

  • Director of Government Relations, Gregory Z. Chen, Esq.
    Directs AILA's agency, congressional, grassroots, and coalition strategies with a focus on immigration enforcement, due process, and removal defense. e-mail
  • Director of Government Relations, Betsy Lawrence, Esq.
    Directs AILA's agency, congressional, grassroots, and coalition strategies with a focus on employment-based immigration and immigration benefits. e-mail
  • Associate Director of Government Relations, Diane Rish, Esq.
    Works with the Director of Government Relations to advance AILA's policy and advocacy objectives relating to employment-based immigration. e-mail
  • Associate Director of Government Relations, Kate Voigt, Esq.
    Works with the Director of Government Relations to advance AILA's policy and advocacy objectives relating to immigration enforcement, due process, and removal defense. e-mail
  • Senior Policy Counsel, Laura Lynch, Esq.
    Engages with federal agencies, Congress, and designated AILA committees on immigration issues with a focus on interior enforcement, due process, and removal defense. e-mail
  • Senior Legislative Counsel, Alyson Sincavage, Esq.
    Lobbies Congress and the administration on immigration issues with a focus on border enforcement, due process, and removal defense. e-mail
  • Policy Counsel, Jason Boyd, Esq.
    Works to advance AILA’s administrative and congressional advocacy goals by working with AILA staff, coalition partners, AILA members, and AILA volunteer committees on assigned issues. e-mail
  • Policy Associate, Paul Stern
    Collaborates with and provides support to designated agency liaison committees with a focus on employment-based immigration. e-mail
  • Grassroots Advocacy Associate, Melina Roche
    Coordinates grassroots activities related to AILA's advocacy agenda. e-mail
  • Liaison Coordinator, Elsa Flores
    Receives, screens, and processes requests for individual case liaison assistance. e-mail
  • Liaison Coordinator, Jonathan Valdez
    Receives, screens, and processes requests for individual case liaison assistance with a focus on the National Benefits Center and USCIS Lockboxes. e-mail

Governance, Board Operations, and Component Relations

  • Senior Director of Governance, Board Operations, and Component Relations, Jennifer English Lynch, CAE
    Responsible for managing relationships with the Board of Governors and with component volunteer leadership. e-mail
  • Associate Director of Membership and Component Relations, Paul Leahy
    Serves as the primary link between AILA's chapter leadership and the National Office. e-mail
  • Component Relations Coordinator, Jessica Del Villar
    Responsible for component and Chapter outreach and support. e-mail

Information Technology

The Information Technology Department is responsible for the health and security of internal network services (servers and desktops, "helpdesk" support and training for staff, and support for users of the association's AMS); and identifies emerging technologies to meet the association's ever-changing needs.

  • Senior Associate Director of Technology Services, Matt Pedroso
    Manages internal network and computer system operations for the National Office. e-mail
  • Technology Services Manager, Sara Jones
    Provides technical support to the National Office staff. e-mail
  • IT Support Specialist, Karina Caro De Gruppelaar
    The IT Support Specialist assists the Technology Services Manager in providing technical support and expertise. e-mail

Marketing and Business Development

The Marketing and Business Development Department provides leadership and coordination of all marketing functions. It develops, implements, and evaluates marketing strategies and tactics in support of association-wide goals and initiatives. The department is responsible for growing revenue streams by promoting products, services and programs; identifying new product opportunities; identifying and valuing specific target audiences; driving comprehensive marketing and branding initiatives; developing and nurturing strategic alliances, identifying and analyzing market data; enhancing the organization's image and broadening its appeal to new and more diverse market segments; and ensuring that marketing activities are aligned with organizational goals.

  • Director Marketing and Member Experience, Vacant
    Primarily responsible for leading the overall brand, positioning, and marketing strategy for AILA.
  • Associate Director of Marketing and Business Development, Mary Johnson
    Creates and manages cross-organizational, integrated marketing strategies. e-mail
  • Manager of Creative Services, Robert Bequeaith
    Oversees the design and production process for graphic design work for the National Office. e-mail
  • Marketing Associate, Daniel Presser-Kroll
    Responsible for non-dues revenue. e-mail
  • Marketing Associate, Brian Markowitz
    Develops fresh ideas and winning creative copy for AILA's emails, direct mail, and online marketing campaigns. e-mail
  • Member Services Manager, LaJuan Campbell
    Runs the membership service center. e-mail
  • Database Analyst, Tizita Wasihun
    Leverages a range of data mining and statistical analyses approaches to identify marketing opportunities. e-mail
  • E-Commerce Customer Service Coordinator, Andrew Gilkes
    Responsible for e-commerce customer service including sales, product inquiries, and user support. e-mail
  • Member Service Coordinator, Kenia Majano
    Responsible for member customer service. e-mail
  • Member Service Coordinator, Tonya Reeves
    Responsible for member customer service. e-mail

Online Services

The Online Services Department uses web technology to improve communications, enhance programs, and distribute information to staff, members, constituents, and the public.

  • Associate Director of Online Services, Andrea M. Chempinski, Esq.
    Project manager for all association online technology. e-mail
  • Online Services Manager, Jorge Cardona
    Serves as the principal manager of the Agora e-commerce site. e-mail
  • Website Specialist, Walter Rust
    Serves as the primary person responsible for posting materials to the association's website (AILA.org). e-mail
  • Web Specialist, Cristina Kouri
    Serves as the primary person responsible for maintaining the website of the Immigration Justice Campaign. e-mail

Operations

The Human Resources (HR) and Administration Department is committed to attracting, motivating, and retaining the best and the brightest employees in support of its professional members and programs. We are strategic partners, change champions, employee advocates, and administrative experts. As part of our total rewards program and philosophy, the HR department works throughout the year to ensure all benefits programs support the mission and culture of the organization. The department also is responsible for managing administrative support functions for the organization.

  • Director, HR and Administration, Janet Parker
    Responsible for human resources and facilities. e-mail
  • Facility Manager, John Robinson
    Charged with the day-to-day implementation of policies, procedures, and programs that will assure a well-managed and well-maintained building. e-mail
  • Manager, HR and Administration, Tania DaSilva
    Develops and implements people strategies that support the mission of the organization and its management philosophy. e-mail

Practice and Professionalism Center

The Practice and Professionalism Department (PPC) is dedicated to the shared ideals of the legal profession, including service to clients, ethical conduct, increasing competence and respect of the legal system, and pursuit of the public good. The PPC focuses on providing assistance with developing our members' practice, resolving ethical dilemmas, providing ideas on improving firm management, and help meeting pro bono commitments.

  • Senior Director, PPC, Reid F. Trautz, Esq.
    Serves as centralized staff resource for members in areas of practice management and development, ethics, UPL, mentoring, and pro bono coordination. e-mail
  • Counsel, Pro Bono Program, Jocelyn Dyer, Esq.
    Coordinates, promotes, and manages AILA pro bono activities. e-mail
  • Senior Technical Assistance Attorney, Ilana Greenstein, Esq.
    National resource for attorneys and mentors engaged in pro bono detained removal defense (including release from detention, substantive relief, motions to reopen, and related federal court litigation). e-mail
  • PPC Associate, Erin Lynum
    Provide extensive staff support on various components of the Practice and Professionalism Center, including Consumer Protection Programs, Military Assistance Program (MAP), Mentor Program and other practice management related activities. e-mail
  • PPC Associate, Charity Anastasio, Esq.
    Coordinates existing practice management and ethics resources for AILA members. In addition, helps develop and organize new resources using a variety of media and provides general support to volunteer committees. e-mail
  • Practice and Professionalism Center Coordinator, Lisa Ward
    Provide extensive staff support on various components of the Practice and Professionalism Center, including Practice Management, Military Assistance Program (MAP), Consumer Protection, and other professionalism related activities. e-mail
  • Mentoring Coordinator, Mara Ohorodnik
    Provide administrative and logistical support to all aspects of the Justice Campaign's Innovative Mentorship Program. e-mail

Publications and Online Resources

The Publications and Online Resources Department is responsible for AILA's publishing program and for the association's overall online content strategy, ensuring that both AILA's publications and its online resources (including the website (AILA.org), the online immigration research database (AILALink), and the daily electronic newsletter (AILA8)) are aligned with the needs of the membership and with the association's goals.

  • Director of Publications and Online Resources, Danielle M. Polen, Esq.
    Oversees the association's publishing program and its online resources. e-mail
  • Senior Online Editorial Manager, Rachel Pulda
    Responsible for the overall content and vision of AILA's website and daily electronic newsletter. e-mail
  • Publications Manager, Sarah Redzic, Esq.
    Manages the association’s publishing program to best serve the AILA membership. e-mail
  • Legal Editor, Vacant
    Responsible for editorial and production processes associated with publication of print and electronic practice resources.
  • Online Legal Publishing Specialist, Sarah Loor, Esq.
    Serves as editor for AILALink, the association’s online immigration law research database. e-mail
  • Digital Publishing Product Specialist, Kathleen Burnett
    Responsible for digitizing AILA publications and developing new digital products. e-mail
  • Online Editorial Associate, Laura Embree-Lowry
    Responsible for content of regular e-mail communication to members regarding immigration law news. e-mail