Sarah Paoletti

Board President

Practice Professor and Director of Transnational Legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Sarah Paoletti founded and directs the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. From 2003-2006, she was a Practitioner-in-Residence in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the Washington College of Law American University. Her areas of expertise include international human rights, immigrant and migrant rights, asylum law, and labor and employment law. She has presented on the intersection of migration and international human rights before Committees of the United Nations and the Organization of American States among many others. Sarah served as staff attorney at Friends of Farmworkers, Inc., a statewide legal services program serving migrant workers in Pennsylvania, and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the organization. From 1999 to 2000, she was a law clerk for the Hon. Judge Anthony J. Scirica, U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit. She is a graduate of the Washington College of Law American University (summa cum laude) and Yale University.

Cori Alonso-Yoder

Practitioner-in-Residence, Immigrant Justice Clinic

Prior to joining the faculty of Washington College of Law, she was the supervising attorney at Whitman-Walker Health, the country’s longest serving medical-legal partnership. In her public interest legal practice, Professor Alonso-Yoder has worked on a variety of equal justice issues, with a special emphasis on advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. Early in her legal career, Professor Alonso-Yoder represented low-income immigrants at Ayuda, where she established an innovative project to meet the civil legal needs of notario fraud victims. In her work to promote immigrants’ rights, she has collaborated on transnational labor policy and worker outreach in central Mexico, provided legal orientation and advice and counsel to inmates in U.S. immigration detention facilities, and served as an assistant to the chair of the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva. Professor Alonso-Yoder’s commentary on immigrants’ rights has been featured by ABC News, The Atlantic, and Washington Monthly magazine, among others.

Originally from Mexico City, she grew up in Denver, Colorado and speaks English, French, and Spanish.

Laurie Burgess

Attorney, Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP

As a union, labor, and plaintiff’s employment lawyer, Laurie has litigated cases at the state and federal level in areas including ERISA, constitutional challenges to employment practices, the ADA, FMLA, and Title VII employment discrimination. A tireless advocate for the labor movement, she established her own firm, Burgess Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago in 2008, representing public and private sector unions in traditional labor law matters and litigating civil rights cases in federal and state court. In December 2013, Laurie joined the California Teachers Association as in-house counsel, where she advocated on behalf of union members. Laurie currently serves as co-editor of the ABA’s Labor and Employment newsletter. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Labor Lawyers Committee.

Gabriela Domenzain

Director, Latino Policy Center

Gabriela was appointed Director of the Latino Policy Center in 2017. She is a leading expert on Hispanic media and community engagement with experience in Hispanic activism, journalism and political communications. She worked as deputy campaign manager for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign, serving as his chief spokesperson on immigration policy and Latino issues. She was a principal in The Raben Group, the nation’s largest majority-minority progressive consulting firm, based in Washington, D.C. and she was the principal spokesperson on immigration and the Latino vote for the Obama for America 2012 campaign. In 2010 and 2011, Domenzain was the communications director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. From 2006 to 2010, she worked for the Univision National Network, the most-watched Spanish-language network in the United States, and while there she was founding producer for the country’s first Spanish-language Sunday political talk show, “Al Punto” with Jorge Ramos. She began her career at the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil-rights organization, where she served as a media advisor and advance specialist to the former President and CEO Raul Yzaguirre. Gabriela is originally from Mexico City. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and her Master’s Degree in Journalism from New York University. She is a native Spanish and English speaker and proficient in French.

Agnieszka Frysman

Partner at Cohen Milstein

Agnieszka is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, and is Chair of the firm’s Human Rights practice group. She has been recognized as leading one of the best private international human rights practices in the world. Agnieszka represents individuals who have been victims of torture, human trafficking, forced and slave labor and other violations of international law. A recognized expert and leader in the field of human rights law, Agnieszka was a member of the legal team that successfully represented survivors of Nazi-era forced and slave labor against the German and Austrian companies that allegedly profited from their labor. These cases were resolved by international negotiations that resulted in multi-billion dollar settlements. She also represented, pro bono, Holocaust survivors suing Swiss banks that collaborated with the Nazi regime during World War II. This litigation led academics to revise their assessment of Switzerland’s relationship with Nazi Germany and exposed the extent of business participation in the Holocaust. Agnieszka has litigated trafficking cases, and earned the National Law Journal Pro Bono Award for efforts on behalf of Nepali laborers injured or killed at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. As an immigrant herself, Agnieszka is proud to serve on the CDM board.

Liliane Loya

Deputy Director, MacArthur Foundation

Liliane Loya is the Deputy Director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Mexico office, and is in charge of its human rights program. Since 2011, Liliane Loya has been working with the MacArthur Foundation on human rights and reproductive health programs, and was in charge of the migration program until 2015. She has worked with civil society organizations in Mexico and the United States in project coordination and liaison with regional agencies. Prior to working with the MacArthur Foundation, Liliane served as Labor Affairs Attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa, overseeing the implementation of the Canada-Mexico Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. At the beginning of her career she worked as coordinator of outreach and liaison at Sin Fronteras, a Mexican civil organization advocating for migrant workers’ rights. Liliane has a master’s degree in development and social change from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C. and has collaborated with experts on topics including justice, human rights, and migration in research for academic publications.

Elizabeth O’Connor

Strategy Consultant, UNI Global Union Project in Mexico; and Ph.D. Candidate, CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)

Elizabeth O’Connor has spent nearly 18 years working with labor and social movements in the US, Mexico and Central America. Most recently, she worked with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she opened the union’s Mexico office and coordinated a campaign to improve working conditions for janitors and service sector workers in Mexico City. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Government and Public Policy at the Facultad Latino Americano de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).

Ana Polanco

CEO, Polanco Consulting; and Co-Founder, Si Tú Quieres, LLC

Ana is a certified professional coach and organizational development strategist working to strengthen and advance purpose-driven missions. Using a wide range of campaign, organizational development and coaching techniques, Ana guides leaders to develop values driven approaches to the change they want to create in the world. She has been widely recognized for her efforts to advance worker’s rights, gender and racial equality, immigration reform, and other important social causes. Before becoming a social entrepreneur, she worked at Amnesty International USA, UNITE HERE International Union and the AFL-CIO’s Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, DC and a Juris Doctor from the University Of Wisconsin Law School in Madison.  

Cynthia L. Rice

Director of Litigation, Advocacy and Training, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA)

Cynthia is Director of Litigation, Advocacy and Training for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and a part-time litigation coordinator for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation Labor and Civil Rights Litigation Project. Ms. Rice received her B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1976 and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1979. Ms. Rice has represented thousands of workers in administrative and court proceedings involving labor and employment rights and successfully litigated cases against a variety of state agencies.

Joseph Thurakal

Senior Portfolio Manager, Tigmera, LLC

Joseph has managed portfolios for the last decade with a focus on long/short equity and quantitative investment managers.  He is also a seed and angel stage investor in political progressive technology and cleantech companies.  Joseph graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College where he studied Mathematics and Physics; he earned his MA in Physics from University of California, Berkeley.