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Our People

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Meet us

Our staff, law clerks, and fellows are rooted in the communities we serve and advance legal, policy, and strategic campaigns informed by those relationships. As a team, we strive to be courageous and collaborative in long-term work to reimagine the status quo and drive systemic change.

Visit our careers page to see available positions.

Leadership Team

Aarti Kohli

Executive Director

Aarti Kohli

Executive Director

Aarti Kohli is the Executive Director of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, the first organization in the country to represent and promote the legal and civil rights of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Aarti leads ALC with a vision of increasing the power of low-income immigrant communities to help advance economic and racial justice in our democracy. She currently leads a national table of Asian American leaders addressing anti-Asian hate with a focus on policy, messaging, and solidarity work. Aarti is committed to advancing local, state, and federal policy solutions that recognize and address the needs of Asian American and Pacifc Islander communities.

Aarti is an experienced leader with over twenty years of experience working at the intersections of immigration, civic engagement, criminal justice, economic equity, and national security. Prior to joining Advancing Justice – ALC, Aarti led her own consulting practice where she advised philanthropy and managed a project on the politics of demographic change and immigration reform at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Aarti also served as the Director of Immigration Policy at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law where she led the institute’s immigration initiative on issues of equity for immigrant families. Formerly, she worked on a range of issues, from bankruptcy to voting rights, as Judiciary Committee counsel to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). Before working for Congress she served as Assistant Legislative Director at UNITE union in Washington, DC where she lobbied on behalf of low-income garment workers.

Jacob Smith Yang

Director of Human Resources and Administration

Jacob Smith Yang

Director of Human Resources and Administration

Jacob Smith Yang is the Director of Human Resources and Administration at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Previously, he was the Senior Director of Capacity Building at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). Jacob is a nonprofit administrator with more than twenty years of experience working on Asian American and Pacific Islander health equity and inclusion, LGBTQ rights, and HIV. Jacob is a certified professional coach.

For 10 years Jacob served as Executive Director of Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as a commissioner and chair of the Massachusetts Commission on GBLT Youth and a member and chair of the Boston EMA Ryan White HIV Services Planning Council. Jacob has also served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Public Health Association. His first job was a reporter at Boston’s Gay Community News.

Lily Wang

Deputy Director

Lily Wang

Deputy Director

Lily Wang is the Deputy Director at Asian American Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. Previously, she was the Deputy Campaigns Director at United for Respect, where she led a national Wall Street accountability campaign that resulted in a $20 million hardship fund for laid off former Toys ‘R’ Us workers and catalyzed the introduction of groundbreaking federal legislation to regulate private equity’s predatory practices.

Lily is an experienced campaigner, strategist and organizer with 20 years of experience in community and labor organizations, and spent more than a decade developing policy, corporate accountability and organizing campaigns grounded in transformative organizing principles, scaled engagement and grassroots leadership of immigrants, communities of color and low-wage workers. She began her movement journey in Oakland’s Chinatown, where she organized with low-wage women workers and youth.

Programs

Aisa Villarosa

Manager, Asian American Leaders Table

Aisa Villarosa

Manager, Asian American Leaders Table

Aisa Villarosa (she/her) is Manager of the Asian American Leaders Table at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.

Previously, as Director of Youth Organizing and Programs at Stop AAPI Hate, she led coalition building, educational equity initiatives, and healing justice infrastructure support to social justice groups and campus activists. As a civil rights advocate, narrative strategist, and artist, she has uplifted Ethnic Studies and other liberatory frameworks for over two decades.

A licensed attorney in Michigan (‘11) and California (‘15), her legal expertise includes juvenile justice, immigration, housing, mental health, and civil rights law, as well as analyzing the harms of surveillance and policing on Black and Brown communities. As Senior Director of External Affairs at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Aisa implemented a coalition-based guaranteed income program for Bay Area artists. She also served as Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Insight Center in Oakland, California, where she took on racial wealth inequality and the criminalization of debt.

A former Skadden Public Interest Legal Fellow, Aisa has roots as a youth and community organizer, forging local-to-national collaborations on policy campaigns, legal clinics, and voter outreach. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Wayne State University.

Shiu-Ming Cheer

Director of Programs

Shiu-Ming Cheer

Director of Programs

Shiu-Ming Cheer is the Director of Programs at ALC. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Programs & Campaigns at the California Immigrant Policy Center where she managed state and local campaigns and policy priorities across a range of issue areas. Prior to that, she was the Director of Movement Building and Strategic Partnerships at the National Immigration Law Center. During her time there she engaged in administrative advocacy, legislative advocacy, and coalition-building on the local, state, and federal levels; litigated against anti-immigrant laws in federal courts; and provided trainings, technical assistance, and webinars for a range of audiences.

Shiu-Ming has over 25 years of experience at the intersection of immigrant rights, criminal reform, and anti-state violence work, including direct representation of immigrants facing deportation. Apart from her day jobs, she has continuously participated in volunteer organizing projects and left leadership building. Shiu-Ming has served as a Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Filipino Migrant Center and the UndocuBlack Network.

Daisy Quan

Policy Manager

Daisy Quan

Policy Manager

Daisy Quan is the Policy Manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (ALC). She previously served as Legislative Aide at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, working on affordable housing, homelessness, public safety, and municipal budget issues in the neighborhood and City where she grew up. Daisy earned her Master of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is passionate about the intersection of progressive policy, social justice, faith, and joy.

Gabriela Villareal

Policy Director

Gabriela Villareal

Policy Director

Gabriela Villareal is the Policy Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (ALC). She is responsible for the oversight and direction of ALC's policy priorities on local, state, and federal issues impacting low-income Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Gabriela has guided successful campaigns to enact state legislation in California, New York, Texas, and Washington. As an immigrant rights advocate, she spent nearly a decade working on legislative and administrative reforms at the federal and local levels. She was raised in California, after immigrating with her family from the Philippines.

Megan Vees

Litigation Staff Attorney

Megan Vees

Litigation Staff Attorney

Megan Vees is a Litigation Staff Attorney. Her work focuses on advocating for the rights of immigrant communities and communities of color subjected to injustices in the criminal legal system. Prior to joining Advancing Justice-ALC, Megan worked as a staff attorney on Public Counsel’s Consumer Rights & Economic Justice Project, where she had a special focus on bail and other forms of criminal debt. Megan began her legal career clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Jesus Bernal in the Central District of California, followed by a fellowship at The Bail Project. While in law school, she participated in the Criminal Justice Policy Program’s bail reform project and the International Human Rights Clinic. Prior to law school, Megan worked at the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, where she informed detained children of their rights in deportation proceedings. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru and worked for a refugee rights organization in Cameroon. Megan holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Sallie Lin

Community Advocacy Manager

Sallie Lin

Community Advocacy Manager

Sallie Lin is the Community Advocacy Manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus. Previously, she was a Senior Community Advocate for the Housing Rights Program at ALC and worked at other affiliates, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California and Asian Americans Justice Center in Washington, D.C. She is committed to supporting marginalized, underrepresented communities and seeks to learn from the experiences and wisdom of those she serves. Sallie holds a Master of Laws degree in International Relations from Peking University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Genesis Fabian

Paralegal, Immigrant Rights

Genesis Fabian

Paralegal, Immigrant Rights

Genesis is a Paralegal at Asian Law Caucus. Genesis comes with over seven years of experience in supporting attorneys. Prior to joining ALC, Genesis was part of a non-profit law office in Oakland, CA where she collaborated with attorneys in immigration affirmative and removal defense cases. Genesis' passion in immigrants' Rights stems from her personal experience.

Genesis' graduated from San Francisco State University with a bacherlor's degree in Children and Family studies. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new places to explore with her two children and family.

Matt Lemus

Paralegal

Matt Lemus

Paralegal

Matt (he/they/she) is a paralegal at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. Passionate about an intersectional approach in his work, Matt works across programs, providing legal and administrative support to attorneys and other staff.

Originally from Southern California, Matt graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with his bachelor’s degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Matt enjoys writing poetry and criticism about literature, music, and other art forms.

Tatiana Cheong

Paralegal

Tatiana Cheong

Paralegal

Tatiana is a Paralegal who works across programs providing legal and administrative support. Prior to ALC, she worked for a law office in Oakland Chinatown, supporting a small legal team and providing Cantonese interpretation to the community.

Since the age of 11, she was involved and supported by local nonprofits, such as Girls Inc and the Achieve Program. Tatiana roots her work in giving back to the people as a way of saying thank you to the community that raised her.

Carl Takei

Program Director, Community Safety

Carl Takei

Program Director, Community Safety

Carl Takei is the Community Safety Program Director at the Asian Law Caucus. Previously, he was a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he co-led the national organization’s shift toward divesting from police and reinvesting in communities, and fought abuses at the intersections of criminal legal and immigration enforcement systems. He led the ACLU’s successful advocacy work to terminate the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Criminal Alien Requirement” contracts with private prisons, culminating in that agency’s 2016 decision to phase out all of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ private prison contracts.

Carl is also a longtime co-chair of Tsuru for Solidarity, working with other Japanese American advocates and allies to end detention sites and support directly impacted communities. Carl is a graduate of Boston College Law School, and began his legal career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

Devon Matsumoto

Senior Program Coordinator, Community Safety

Devon Matsumoto

Senior Program Coordinator, Community Safety

Devon Matsumoto (he/him) is the Senior Program Coordinator in the Community Safety Program at Asian Law Caucus. Previously he worked at Fresh Lifelines for Youth as the Leadership and Middle School Program Coordinator working to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. Devon draws from his own family's history of displacement, incarceration, and advocacy to guide his work.

Devon has also been an organizer in San Jose Nikkei Resisters, which works to educate, mobilize, and unite the San Jose Japanese American community around social justice issues. Devon is a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Social Work.

Eileen Kim

Staff Attorney, Community Safety

Eileen Kim

Staff Attorney, Community Safety

Eileen Kim is the Staff Attorney for the Community Safety Program at the Asian Law Caucus. She previously worked as an attorney adviser with the Social Security Administration Office of Hearing Operations in San Bernardino, California.

Eileen is an experienced advocate across Black, Brown, and AAPI spaces. She has spent the last decade studying prison-industrial complex abolition and the Black liberation movement and has since offered her personal time, voice, and skill set to advocating for an abolitionist world where community-driven public safety would make the carceral state obsolete. Namely, she has taught a college-level seminary course at a men’s state prison in California’s Inland Empire and spoken on panels and podcasts about mass incarceration, abolishing the police in the social psyche, internalized racial oppression, white supremacy in the church, and America’s xenophobic racism toward the AAPI community – in tandem with the AAPI community’s complicity in anti-Black racism. She has also marched at multiple protests, performed spoken word at a BLM rally at Los Angeles City Hall, and written two books for charity – The Language of Abolition and a children’s book, Grandfather and Simon the Bear, aimed at helping Asian American youth navigate racism. She has also worked with outreach programs and non-profits overseas in Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, England, and Benin.

Eileen is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and has interned with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Greater Boston Legal Services, the Boston Juvenile Court, and Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services.

Nicole Setow

Community Advocate, Community Safety

Nicole Setow

Community Advocate, Community Safety

Nicole (she/her) is a Community Advocate in the Community Safety Program. Previously, she conducted research on the politics of defunding police and has worked as a community organizer advocating for education justice in Massachusetts.

Nicole was born and raised in greater Boston. She earned a BS from Tufts University in Biopsychology and minored in Sociology.

In her free time, she enjoys reviewing books, hiking, and going to concerts.

Tatiana Guardado

Community Advocate, Community Safety

Tatiana Guardado

Community Advocate, Community Safety

Tatiana is a Community Advocate in the Community Safety Program. Prior to ALC, Tatiana worked as a client advocate at a non-profit law firm solely representing and advocating for the needs of survivors of human trafficking.

Tatiana is a fluent Spanish speaker, she was born and raised in the Bay Area. She earned a BA in Sociology and a BA in Latin American and Latinx Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Aseem Mehta

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

Aseem Mehta

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

Aseem Mehta is a Staff Attorney in the Immigrant Rights Program. His work focuses on supporting incarcerated immigrants and seeking repair for individuals harmed by the state’s violence. Aseem previously advocated alongside immigrant communities against detention and deportation in New York and South Texas as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow. Before joining Advancing Justice – ALC, Aseem clerked for the Hon. Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Hon. Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Aseem received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. He was awarded the P.D. Soros Fellowship, Reinhardt Fellowship, and Stephen J. Massey Prize in recognition of his excellence in and commitment to lawyering in the public interest.

Lee Ann Felder-Heim

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

Lee Ann Felder-Heim

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

Lee Ann is a staff attorney in the Immigrant Rights program. Her work focuses on providing direct legal services to immigrants who are detained and facing deportation. Lee Ann previously worked alongside currently and formerly detained individuals to end their prolonged detentions and to hold private detention operators accountable for their abusive practices as a Justice Catalyst Fellow.

Lee Ann is a graduate of Berkeley Law and received her Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

So Young Lee

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

So Young Lee

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

So Young is a staff attorney in the Immigrant Rights program. She provides direct legal services to immigrants who are detained and facing deportation. So Young first joined Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in 2013 to organize undocumented API youth and rejoined in 2019 as a Bridge Fellow. In law school, she interned with the Immigration Defense Unit of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and at a private public interest firm in its deportation defense practice. So Young received her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law.

Trevor Kosmo

Staff Attorney, Immigrants' Rights

Trevor Kosmo

Staff Attorney, Immigrants' Rights

Trevor is a staff attorney in the Immigrants' Rights program. He represents detained immigrants before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and federal district courts. He also works alongside detained organizers and community partners to uplift the demands of detained and incarcerated people, with the ultimate goal of abolishing immigration detention. Trevor believes that immigration detention is violent, dangerous, inhumane and unnecessary, and envisions a world where all are free to move as needed and remain with their communities.

Trevor holds a BA in Government (with Honors) from Georgetown University, and a JD from Berkeley Law, where he was a Supervising Editor of the California Law Review.

Caroline Marks

Staff Attorney, National Security & Civil Rights

Caroline Marks

Staff Attorney, National Security & Civil Rights

Caroline Marks is a Staff Attorney in the National Security and Civil Rights program at Asian Law Caucus. Caroline’s work focuses on, among other things, state legislative and administrative advocacy challenging surveillance and counterterrorism programs and narratives that harm Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities and other communities of color.

Before coming to ALC, Caroline worked on litigation and advocacy with the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law, to hold the United States responsible for its extraordinary rendition program—whereby the U.S. kidnapped and transferred individuals to black sites and proxy governments for their subsequent torture and secret detention. Specifically, Caroline participated significantly in litigation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case Mohamed et al. v. United States.

Caroline graduated from NYU School of Law and holds a BA in International Relations from Brown University. During her time at Brown, Caroline spent a semester Amman, Jordan learning the Levantine dialect and expanding her knowledge of modern standard Arabic.

Aashika Srinivas

Community Advocate, Voting Rights

Aashika Srinivas

Community Advocate, Voting Rights

Aashika (she/her) is a Community Advocate in the Voting Rights Program at Advancing Justice - ALC.

Prior to ALC, she worked as a Voting Rights & Policy Fellow with the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, an organization that advocates for the rights of immigrants and refugees. Additionally, Aashika participated in democracy-based internship programs at Common Cause and the Center for American Progress.

She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science: Public Policy from the University of California, San Diego.

Aashika was raised in Southern California - during her free time she enjoys playing tennis and trying new food spots.

Deanna Kitamura

Managing Attorney, Voting Rights

Deanna Kitamura

Managing Attorney, Voting Rights

Deanna Kitamura is a Managing Attorney with the Voting Rights Program. Her work focuses on protecting the vote and expanding access to the polls for AAPI voters. Before joining Advancing Justice-ALC, Deanna was a Senior Staff Attorney at Partnership for Working Families where she provided legal support to grassroot organizations. For nearly a decade before that, Deanna worked at Advancing Justice-Los Angeles – first as the Statewide Redistricting Manager and later as Senior Staff Attorney and Voting Rights Project Director. She has filed lawsuits resulting in cities converting from at-large to district elections and has co-authored various reports, including Voices of Democracy: The State of Language Access in California’s November 2016 Elections. Deanna has worked on legislation involving California’s automatic voter registration process, the administration of vote centers, and language access improvements for voters. She has served on several local and state election-related committees and is a member of the California Secretary of State’s Language Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Deanna has dedicated her legal career to working on social justice issues. In addition to the nonprofits listed above, she has worked at Western Center on Law & Poverty, the National Consumer Law Center, and California Rural Legal Assistance. She began her career working on employment discrimination cases at a civil rights litigation firm. Deanna graduated from Pomona College and UCLA School of Law.

Eileen Ma

National Democracy Initiative Director

Eileen Ma

National Democracy Initiative Director

Eileen has helped lead voting rights strategy at the Asian Law Caucus since 2020. She has worked for over 25 years as a community organizer, campaign director and non-profit executive, serving primarily low-income, immigrant and LGBTQ communities of color. Her professional experience includes working as a voting rights staff attorney for the Advancement Project and Advancing Justice LA and serving as executive director for several years at API Equality-LA. She is originally from Somers, New York, is Chinese American and speaks Mandarin and Spanish. She earned a JD from Loyola Law School (2013) and a BA from Columbia University (1993).

Kimberly Leung

Staff Attorney, National Democracy Initiative

Kimberly Leung

Staff Attorney, National Democracy Initiative

Kim is a staff attorney for the National Democracy Initiative. Kim works with community organizations and nonprofits on voting rights and civic engagement. She has experience investigating, litigating, and advocating against violations of voting rights and election laws. She earned her J.D from the University of Wisconsin, where she interned at the Wisconsin Innocence Project. She received her B.A from the University of Michigan.

Kim grew up in a multilingual and limited-English-speaking household, and is passionate about the intersections of language and disability access, and racial justice.

Kim lives in Chicago, Illinois. She serves on the board of directors for the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC), the professionals board for CARPLS legal aid, and the board for the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago.

Noah Kim

Research Assistant, Voting Rights

Noah Kim

Research Assistant, Voting Rights

Noah Kim is a research assistant on the Voting Rights team at Advancing Justice–ALC. Noah is a recent graduate of Pomona College where he double-majored in Politics and English. Prior to the ALC, he worked for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, processing public input data and delineating map submissions on the data management team. As an aspiring attorney, Noah hopes to give back to the AAPI and underserved communities both in and after law school. In his free time, he can be found writing music, volunteering at church, or landscaping his new aquatic snail tank.

Amalia Macias-Laventure

Community Advocate, Housing Rights

Amalia Macias-Laventure

Community Advocate, Housing Rights

Amalia Macias-Laventure (they/elle) is a Community Advocate in the Housing Rights program. They are born and raised in the Bay Area, and have been a part of housing justice movements for the past 8 years. They earned their B.A. and M.A. in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State, which shaped their understanding of anti-displacement, settler-colonialism, and land reform, both locally and internationally.

In their spare time, they enjoy organizing with their neighbors, community bonding through mutual aid, and spending time with their dog, Loba.

Faustina Ngo

Community Advocate, Housing Rights

Faustina Ngo

Community Advocate, Housing Rights

Faustina (they/she) is a Community Advocate in the Housing Rights Program.

They are born and raised in Oakland, and have deeply rooted love for the Bay Area, its people, and its cultures. Faustina is committed to supporting working class communities and communities of color in their fights against gentrification and displacement. Previously, Faustina worked at La Cocina, a nonprofit supporting women of color and immigrant chefs with their food businesses. They graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a B.S. in Public Health and actually learned of Asian Americans Advancing Justice through one of their Ethnic Studies courses.

In their free time, you can find them preserving Vietnamese and Cantonese recipes from their family, taking care of their plants and cat, and re-watching comfort Asian dramas from their childhood for the hundredth time.

Julie Lemmer

Senior Staff Attorney, Housing Rights

Julie Lemmer

Senior Staff Attorney, Housing Rights

Julie Lemmer is a senior staff attorney in the Housing Rights Program. Before joining ALC, Julie was a staff attorney at Legal Assistance to the Elderly where she defended senior and/or disabled tenants against eviction. Before LAE, Julie was a staff attorney at Home Base, a nonprofit dedicated to building community capacity to prevent and end homelessness. And before that, Julie spent many years as a litigation attorney in private practice. Julie earned her J.D. from Florida State University College of Law and a B.A. from Kenyon College. Before law school, Julie spent two years living, studying, and teaching in China, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria.

Shelby Nacino

Program Director, Housing Rights

Shelby Nacino

Program Director, Housing Rights

Shelby Nacino is Program Director for the Housing Rights Program. Prior to joining ALC, Shelby was a supervising attorney at Legal Assistance to the Elderly where she represented San Francisco seniors facing eviction. While in law school, she interned at the East Bay Community Law Center and the Legal Aid Society's Harlem Community Law Offices. Shelby is committed to fighting against the displacement of low-income communities and communities of color.

Shelby received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard is the Senior Program Coordinator on the Voting Rights team at Advancing Justice – ALC. His work focuses on fair redistricting and voter empowerment. Sietse previously worked on affordable housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs for the City of Boston. He also spent several years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) leading projects to tackle racial discrimination in housing and lending. His research and articles have been published by the Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, US-China Perception Monitor, and National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition, Sietse is an avid public transportation enthusiast and served on the advisory council of Washington D.C.’s transit system to advocate for more equitable metro and bus coverage.

Sietse completed his graduate studies at Harvard Kennedy School and at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, where he served as class president and co-led a citizenship mentoring program for elderly Asian immigrants.

Ammad Rafiqi

Staff Attorney, Workers' Rights

Ammad Rafiqi

Staff Attorney, Workers' Rights

Prior to joining ALC’s Workers’ Rights team, Ammad worked as a civil rights advocate serving members of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities on a broad range of issues, including employment discrimination/unemployment insurance benefits, religious accommodation issues, law enforcement harassment and anti-Muslim bullying in schools. Through previous roles, Ammad also has experience from his time in New York (and Canada) on immigration matters, including refugee, asylum, and DACA issues. A native of Kashmir, Ammad works with Americans for Kashmir to engage political stakeholders in finding a permanent internationally mediated solution to the Indian-occupation of Kashmir. In his spare time, Ammad plays in cricket/soccer leagues and often finds that most of his planned hikes are far beyond his lung capacity.

Mei Mei Chan

Community Advocate, Workers' Rights

Mei Mei Chan

Community Advocate, Workers' Rights

Mei Mei is a Community Advocate with the Workers’ Rights Program where she supports the legal counseling clinic and works on “Know Your Rights” trainings and materials.

She was born in Kaiping, Guangdong and grew up in Bakersfield as the child of low-wage immigrant workers. Her experience living as a first generation immigrant household is one of Mei Mei's reasons for her commitment to social justice. Another reason is her desire to survive in a world headed towards climate disaster. In her free time, she maintains her morning pages streak and studies peoples' movements against U.S. imperialism.

Winifred Kao

Senior Counsel, Impact Litigation & Program Manager, Workers' Rights

Winifred Kao

Senior Counsel, Impact Litigation & Program Manager, Workers' Rights

Winifred Kao is Senior Counsel for Impact Litigation at ALC. She also leads ALC’s Workers’ Rights Program. She served as ALC’s Litigation Director from 2011 – 2020 during which time she helped provide direction and support on ALC’s impact litigation across program areas. Prior to coming to ALC, Winnie worked at a union-side labor and employment law firm where she primarily represented hotel, restaurant and food and commercial workers and unions in a wide variety of labor, employment, constitutional, and class-action cases. Winnie was previously a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division where she litigated housing and public accommodation discrimination cases. She also served on detail as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, and was an extern for the Honorable Gladys Kessler in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Winnie has worked as a community organizer for labor and civil rights groups. She is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Michigan Law School where she was a member of the Michigan Law Review.

She has won commendations and awards for her work from numerous organizations including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the University of Michigan Law School.

Development & Communications

Andie Zhang

Development Manager

Andie Zhang

Development Manager

Andie is the Development Manager at Advancing Justice-ALC. Previously, Andie fundraised for Oakland public school students with the Oakland Public Education Fund and did development work for KAN-WIN, a Chicagoland-based organization offering services targeted to API survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University where she also minored in Asian American Studies. She spent eight years competing in speech and debate for which she researched issues including Asian American gender politics and the history of reproductive rights in the US.

Andie is 2nd generation Chinese-American and can speak conversational Mandarin. She spends her free time roller skating, doting on her cat, Choo Choo, and thrifting.

Audee Kochiyama-Holman

Director of Alumni Relations

Audee Kochiyama-Holman

Director of Alumni Relations

Since 1994, Audee Kochiyama-Holman has worked at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus as the Director of Alumni Relations focusing on individual giving, event planning (in-person and virtual), direct mail and other fundraising activities.

She has been a Board member of EastSide Arts Alliance in Oakland since 2000, which is a community-based arts organization dedicated to advocating for progressive, systemic social change. Currently, Audee is also the Co-Director of the Yuri Kochiyama Archives Project. She has been a social justice activist since the 1960's and has worked for nonprofit organizations in New York and Bay Area throughout her career (including the New York Public Library, the Population Council, the Institute for Food and Development Policy. and the National Center for the Early Childhood Workforce). In 2004 -- she co-edited "Passing It On", a memoir written by her mother Yuri Kochiyama, which was published by UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press). Audee received her Master's Degree in Social Research from Hunter College in New York.

Darin Wong

Development Associate

Darin Wong

Development Associate

Darin (he/him) is the Development Associate at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. He is a 4th-generation Chinese American from Calexico, California. Prior to joining ALC, he interned at the National Coalition for Asian-Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), where he focused on coalition engagement with AAPI community-based organizations across the US. Additionally, he held internship positions with Karis Consulting Group specializing in political fundraising, the US Department of Agriculture handling operations and database management, and worked under Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang providing social services case management. He holds a BSW degree from the University of Michigan and a MSW degree from UC Berkeley.

In his free time, Darin regularly volunteers at food pantries in SF Chinatown and Japantown and with foster youth at Seen52. When he's not drinking protein shakes, you can find him at the gym powerlifting or bouldering.

Darlene Bos

Grant Writer and Content Specialist

Darlene Bos

Grant Writer and Content Specialist

Darlene is the Grant Writer and Content Specialist for Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. She comes to the organization after 23 years in public service. Darlene's passion for advocacy work began early and has been a constant in her life and career. She has worked in many capacities in the nonprofit sector including development, administration, and marketing. Organizations she has served include: Special Olympics, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Buckelew Programs, UCSF, and most recently, Not One More Vet. She also teaches Anthropology (remotely) at a community college in Montana and is a published fiction novelist.

Darlene was born in the Central Valley of California but largely raised in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University and her Master of Arts in Anthropology from Western Michigan University.

Irma Aronce

Grants and Administrative Manager

Irma Aronce

Grants and Administrative Manager

Irma Aronce is the Grants and Administrative Manager at Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. She works on Government and City and County of San Francisco Grants. Prior to joining ALC in 2009, Irma was the Job Cost Accountant at Fisher Development, a general contractor/construction company for 8 years.

Katie Furuyama

Director of Institutional Partnerships

Katie Furuyama

Director of Institutional Partnerships

Katie is the Director of Institutional Partnerships for Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. Prior to joining ALC, she was the Grants Director at Compass Family Services, where she led the strategy and execution of grant processes. She also supported the agency's diversity, equity, and inclusion work and was an active member of the working group to address the needs of undocumented families.

Katie has a BA in anthropology from Yale and a PhD in sociology with a graduate concentration in Asian American studies from UC Irvine. Her dissertation research focused on the intersections of race, immigration, politics, and citizenship.

Paul Ocampo

Development Director

Paul Ocampo

Development Director

Paul Ocampo started at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus as the Development Coordinator and is currently the Development Director. He remains committed to the work of social justice. In 2006, he assisted Maxine Hong Kingston in editing an anthology of writings by veterans titled Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. While attending graduate school in Arizona, he co-wrote a petition responding to SB 1070 and other anti-immigrant legislation and demanding universities in Arizona maintain the classroom as safe spaces for all students. He also codirected a reading titled Out of Silence that featured Afghan women’s poems and essays found on the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. He comes to Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus with a broad experience in education and the non-profit sector.

Paul was born in the Philippines and came to the U.S. at the age of eleven. He earned a B.A. in English at U.C. Berkeley, an M.A. in Asian American Studies at UCLA, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Sarah Lau

Events Manager

Sarah Lau

Events Manager

Sarah Lau is the Events Manager at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Prior to this role, Sarah had the pleasure of supporting the organization as a consultant, volunteer, and, many years ago, intern.

Most recently, Sarah provided consulting services in fundraising events, recruiting and operations to San Francisco Bay Area and China-based non-profits and companies.

Previously, while based in Beijing, Sarah was Director of Strategy & Operations at a start-up consulting firm and Product Development & Operations Associate at a luxury travel company.

Sarah was raised in San Francisco and serves on the boards of Eth-Noh-Tec and Mount Holyoke Club of Northern California, and on the Phillips Academy Alumni Council Equity & Inclusion Committee.

Erin Williams

Senior Communications Associate

Erin Williams

Senior Communications Associate

A trained media professional in multiple arenas, Erin has spent over a decade working as a writer, communicator, and public relations manager for several organizations including Faith in Action, The Washington Post, TV One, and in performing arts and online media.

She holds degrees from The University of Alabama and Washington University in St. Louis.

Lauren Nguyen

Communications Associate

Lauren Nguyen

Communications Associate

Lauren Nguyen is the communications associate at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. Prior to joining ALC, she led digital strategy at Restoring Justice, a criminal defense organization, and focused on social media and advocacy at the ACLU of Texas. Lauren has also served as an PIVOT Election Fellow for Rise AAPI and volunteered as an ESL teacher in her hometown of Houston. She loves cheering for the Astros and hanging with her dog Eddie.

Nashwah Akhtar

Senior Communications Associate

Nashwah Akhtar

Senior Communications Associate

Nashwah has been part of mobilizing grassroots movements on issues including racial justice and civil rights. She was most recently on Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, conducting digital organizing and fundraising on their digital team. Previously, she was also a Communications Associate at Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, DC, where she led social media initiatives to promote programs and events to get more AAPIs into elected office. She was also at Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as their Communications Coordinator, where she registered Bay Area community members to vote.

She holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, as well as a Masters of Public Diplomacy.

Niketa Kumar

Communications Director

Niketa Kumar

Communications Director

Niketa Kumar is the communications director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Previously, she served as director of communications at the Water Foundation, a California-based public foundation focused on water advocacy and policy. Niketa created and led the organization’s first external and internal communications program, and served as a strategic communications partner and advisor to partners across a variety of campaigns for clean, reliable water for people and nature.

Before joining the Water Foundation, Niketa served as a vice president at BerlinRosen Public Affairs where she led comprehensive communications programs for national and local campaigns to reduce income inequality and improve the economic security of families across the country. Niketa also served as deputy press secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy during the Obama Administration, focusing on the agency’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and the administration’s initiatives to address climate change. She received a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Nina Phillips

Communications Associate

Nina Phillips

Communications Associate

Nina Phillips is a communications professional with a background in journalism and mission-driven storytelling. She hails from Adelaide, Australia, and serves as a communications associate at the Asian Law Caucus. Most recently, Nina led the marketing and communications efforts at HIP Housing, a Bay Area-based affordable housing nonprofit. Prior to her move to the US, Nina worked in Australia as a journalist and brand ambassador across commercial radio, podcasting, print and short-form video.

Nina is dedicated to shedding light on key societal issues and advocating for change with a trauma-informed approach. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Australia. In her down time, Nina enjoys hosting dinner parties and making art. Her latest obsession is linocut printmaking!

Zoha Raza

Communications Associate

Zoha Raza

Communications Associate

Zoha Raza serves as the communications associate at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Prior to this position, she led and managed communications work statewide for CAIR, coordinated youth leadership programs, and aided different social justice efforts around the Bay Area and beyond.

She has been published by a number of different news outlets including San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Spotlight. She also volunteered as a NextGen Councilmember for ABC7, where she shared insight from local communities to contribute to story development.

Zoha graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Communications. Outside of work, Zoha enjoys writing, playing basketball, and trying new food spots.

Administration

Beck Chow

Executive Assistant

Beck Chow

Executive Assistant

Beck Chow is an executive assistant at ALC. Prior to joining ALC, Beck was involved in several collectives targeted at dismantling carceral practices towards undocumented community members. Beck is passionate about about supporting the legacy Asian American-led community building and strong coalition building.

Cameron Lee

Executive Assistant, Special Projects

Cameron Lee

Executive Assistant, Special Projects

Cameron (she/her) is the Executive Assistant, Special Projects at Advancing Justice– Asian Law Caucus. Prior to joining the team full-time, Cameron worked as the Development Intern at ALC during the summer of 2019. In this position, she assisted with fundraising, alumni outreach, and ALC’s housing clinic. She also volunteered at the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, where she helped low-income families complete their applications for subsidized housing. During her junior year, Cameron interned for the Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth (D – IL) in Washington, D.C.

Cameron graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Human Geography. As an undergrad, Cameron focused her studies on developing an intersectional understanding of structures of racial and economic inequality. As an Ambassador for Dartmouth’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership, she facilitated workshops for various student organizations to address issues of social identity, power, and oppression. She also researched Justice Alito’s judicial philosophy under the Presidential Scholars program.

Crystal Kuang

Intake & Referral Coordinator

Crystal Kuang

Intake & Referral Coordinator

Crystal Kuang is the Intake and Referral Coordinator at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. Crystal is a recent graduate of UC San Diego where she received a BA in Psychology. Prior to ALC, Crystal worked in various roles such as legal administrative assistant, lead teacher, and research assistant. As an aspiring immigration attorney, Crystal wishes to provide high-quality legal services to underserved communities. In her free time, she likes to explore new food places or stay in and watch Korean/Chinese dramas.

Fay Li

Director of Finance

Fay Li

Director of Finance

Fay is the Director of Finance for Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. In 2007, Fay is a graduate of San Francisco State University majoring in Finance and International Business. While in school, Fay was a Finance Tutor for 1 year in SF State University and a part-time afternoon teacher for 5 years in a private elementary school. Prior to joining Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Fay was an Outreach Coordinator in San Francisco Elections Department for 1 year.

In 2001, Fay migrated from Canton, China to the United States. She is fluent in conversation in Cantonese and Mandarin and writing in Chinese.

Isabell Wu

Accounting Supervisor

Isabell Wu

Accounting Supervisor

Isabell graduated from Accounting and Hospitality Management from San Francisco State University, and has been working in the Hospitality industry for more than 15 years. She has worked for many different departments besides the Accounting Department in hotels to learn and understand other department operations. Isabell has two boys who love outdoor activities. Her passion is my family. Her favorite quote is 'Where there's a will, there's a way'.

Philip Van

Intake Coordinator

Philip Van

Intake Coordinator

Philip Van has been with ALC for 27 years. His job is to meet with and translate for clients on the front line. Before joining ALC, he worked at another non-profit law firm for eight years. He feels very grounded and happy that his work can help seniors and new immigrants in the community overcome their legal challenges. His favorite hobby is landscape photography, and every year he donates his work to auction at the ALC Fundraising Gala in order to raise donations for the communities we serve.

Samira Shifteh

Finance Assistant

Samira Shifteh

Finance Assistant

Samira Shifteh (she/her) serves as the Finance Assistant at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Samira brings with her over ten years of non-profit finance and administrative experience to her role. Beyond this work, she has been involved with movements to end gender- and state-based violence since 2003, primarily working at the intersections of immigrant rights, economic justice, and feminist internationalism. Originally from the city of Los Angeles, as part of a family of immigrants from Iran, she speaks conversational Persian. In her free time, she enjoys practicing creative photography, spending time outdoors, and being a beloved auntie and cat lady.

Sue Williams Kim

Legal Operations Manager

Sue Williams Kim

Legal Operations Manager

Sue Williams Kim is the Legal Operations Manager at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. Prior to joining ALC, she was the Client Advocate Program Manager at a nonprofit law firm serving the legal needs of human trafficking survivors. There she developed and implemented an interdisciplinary program designed to support survivors with trauma-informed, client-centered, and human-rights based case management services. Her prior work also includes experience providing support to sexual assault survivors, including in her capacity as a volunteer and then Director of Recruitment and Training at San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR).

Sue was raised in San Francisco and received her Masters in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University.

Bhuvaneswari Ramiya

Human Resources Associate

Bhuvaneswari Ramiya

Human Resources Associate

Bhuvaneswari Ramiya is the HR Associate at Asian Law Caucus. She has earned her degree in Human Resource Management from Lucas College School of Business at San Jose State University. Prior to joining ALC, she worked as a HR Assistant in the Human Resource Shared Services department at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

Originally from India, Bhuvaneswari is multi-lingual and speaks up to 3 languages. She is a strong advocate to help people hindered by a language barrier. In her free time, she likes to read and try new recipes to cook/bake!

Susan Yun

Human Resources Manager

Susan Yun

Human Resources Manager

Susan Yun is the Human Resources Manager at Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. Susan has more than nine years of experience in People Operations, Recruitment, and Total Rewards. She has worked in various industry sectors scaling and developing their HR functions. She is an experienced administrator that is aligned with shaping HR policy and implementation. Most recently she was an Independent HR Consultant assisting emerging companies with creating their Compensation, Benefits, and Employee Engagement strategies.

Susan is also a strong champion of building company culture. As an HR Professional, she strives to cultivate a robust, diverse, and inclusive working environment for all. She graduated from UCLA with BA in European History and is an avid reader, writer, and cook.