Our Staff
Robin Phillips
Executive Director
Robin Phillips, The Advocates’ executive director and an attorney, has written about human rights, including trafficking in women, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. She has also led delegations to Ghana and Liberia as part of The Advocates’ work with Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and she has conducted fact-finding missions to document human rights violations in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Nepal, and Mexico.

Executive Administrative Assistant: Shannon McKeever 612-746-4680 Read more

You may contact Robin by email or by telephone at 612-341-3302
Michele Garnett McKenzie
Deputy Director, Director of Advocacy
Michele Garnett McKenzie serves on the senior leadership team at The Advocates for Human Rights. She also leads the organization's research, education, and advocacy team and is responsible for advocacy on The Advocates' domestic priority issues including migration and human trafficking. Read more
You may contact Michele by email or by telephone at 612-746-4685
Jennifer Prestholdt
Deputy Director, Director of International Justice Program
Attorney Jennifer Prestholdt directs organizational operations at The Advocates and supervises the development and administration of The Advocates’ International Justice Program. She also practiced asylum law for The Advocates as the director of its Refugee and Immigrant Program. Before teaming with The Advocates, Jennifer worked on refugee and asylum issues for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Read more
You may contact Jennifer by email or by telephone at 612-746-4681
Deena Anders
Director of Development

Deena Anders holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota and a Master in Public Affairs degree with a Concentration in Human Rights from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs program.Throughout her career she has pursued positions that combine research and evaluation with opportunities to design and implement novel responses to persistent issues. She adheres to the principle that a proper definition of the problem at hand is essential to the creation of a solution with the intended outcome. Getting to the proper definition requires the ability to hear the stories of those most affected, to apply critical analysis to identify the gaps of existing responses, and to explore the potential causal and mitigating factors. She is also passionate about building the capacity of the organizations and individuals best positioned to address the issue, believing that community generated intervention to community identified issues are the most effective.  She finds it energizing and rewarding to use her skills within organizations that work for social justice.

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You may contact Deena by email or by telephone at 612-746-4677
Amy Bergquist
Staff Attorney, International Justice
Amy Bergquist coordinates advocacy at the UN and with regional human rights bodies. Focus areas include LGBTI rights, discrimination based on sexual orientation/gender identity, rights of minorities and non-citizens, and the death penalty. She collaborates with diaspora communities seeking to be more effective advocates for human rights in their countries of origin. She coordinates pro bono legal assistance to support non-governmental organizations based in Africa working on human rights and rule of law issues. Read more
You may contact Amy by email or by telephone at 612-746-4694
Sarah Brenes
Director of Refugee & Immigrant Program
Sarah Brenes has experience working with nonprofit organizations and private immigration firms serving immigrant clients, including the Migrant Unit of Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services in North Dakota and Minnesota, and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota through a clerkship sponsored by the Minnesota Justice Foundation. She also clerked at Centro Legal, Inc. as an Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Program Fellow. Read more
You may contact Sarah by email or by telephone at 612-746-4684
Theresa Dykoschak
Staff Attorney, Women’s Human Rights Program
Theresa Dykoschak has extensive experience in the implementation of domestic violence laws, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and specializes in the international and regional legal frameworks on violence against women. She regularly reports on and advocates to UN human rights mechanisms; co-authors reports on violence against women; conducts fact-finding missions; provides commentary on domestic violence laws; and develops curricula and trains professionals on best practices and responses to domestic violence. Learn more. Read more
You may contact Theresa by email or by telephone at 612-746-4693
Courtnie Gore
Legal Fellow, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Courtnie Gore serves as the Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow in The Advocates' Refugee & Immigrant Program and advocates for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the United States. Gore currently handles asylum cases for unaccompanied minors before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) and in Immigration Court. Gore mentors pro bono attorneys in their representation of unaccompanied minor clients. She also conducts trainings on asylum law for pro bono attorneys, interpreters, and other professionals working with refugees and asylees.  Read more
You may contact Courtnie by email or by telephone at 612-746-4691
Alison Griffith
Staff Attorney, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Alison is a Staff Attorney for The Advocates for Human Rights' Refugee & Immigrant Program. In that capacity, she mentors and supports pro bono attorneys handling asylum cases before the asylum office and the Immigration Court, as well as other humanitarian immigration matters. Alison also handles a caseload of asylum cases and other matters for The Advocates. Before joining The Advocates, she represented unaccompanied minors at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), where she represented unaccompanied children seeking asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U Visas, and other forms of humanitarian relief from deportation. Prior to her work with KIND, she represented asylum seekers with complex claims during law school at the University of St. Thomas Legal Clinic. Read more
You may contact Alison by email or by telephone at 612-746-4673
Rosie La Puma
Program Assistant, Refugee and Immigrant Program
Rosie La Puma is working as the Refugee and Immigrant Program Assistant for The Advocates through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She works directly with potential clients throughout the intake process and helps to manage the program's interns. Originally from Southern California, she graduated this spring from Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Creative Writing. As an undergrad, she was involved in myriad organizations from spearheading social justice events through Catholic Relief Service's Campus Ambassador program to serving as a pro-bono consultant for non-profits through Development Solutions Organization. She is interested in advocacy, storytelling and creating a more well-designed world.
You may contact Rosie by email or by telephone at 612-746-4664
Gaowen Li
Legal Fellow, Refugee and Immigrant Program
Gaowen Li is the Robina Fellow working in the Refugee & Immigrant Program at The Advocates for Human Rights. She focuses on coordinating and providing support to pro bono attorneys who volunteer with The Advocates’ volunteering projects as well as directly representing detainees. Gaowen recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. Before joining The Advocates, she was a project assistant with a trade fair company, a legal intern at Wells Fargo, a translation and interpretation volunteer with the James H. Binger Center for New Americans, a student attorney at the Bankruptcy Clinic, and a legal intern at the Department of Commerce.
You may contact Gaowen by email or by telephone at 612-746-4690
Madeline Lohman
Senior Researcher

Madeline Lohman is a Senior Researcher with The Advocates for Human Rights. She conducts research, community education and outreach, and legislative advocacy on immigrant rights in Minnesota. She also specializes in trainings and technical assistance on human rights advocacy for social justice organizations, as well as international monitoring and reporting, primarily on the death penalty. She recently published a report on labor trafficking and exploitation and is part of The Advocates’ team on combating human trafficking in Minnesota.  Read more

You may contact Madeline by email or by telephone at 612-746-4696
Shannon McKeever
Executive Administrative Assistant
Before joining The Advocates, Shannon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Catherine University. While at St. Kate’s, she embraced the mission of empowering women to lead and influence. In her first year, she co-founded a club that connected students to the religious order that founded the university. She was a member of the Student Senate for three years, and part of the leadership team for two of those years. Shannon served as the student body president her senior year. She focused her term on supporting students and bringing social justice to the forefront of the community. She was awarded the Dean of Students Award for outstanding leadership and the Sister Alberta Huber Award in recognition of valuable contributions to intercultural awareness.

You may contact Shannon by email or by telephone at 612-746-4680
Rosalyn Park
Director, Women's Human Rights Program
Rosalyn Park is the director of The Advocates’ Women’s Human Rights Program, and has participated in fact-finding missions throughout the world. Prior to becoming the director, Park worked as a staff attorney in the program and with special projects. In addition, she represents The Advocates on the World Coalition against the Death Penalty steering committee. She is an instructor at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches global gender violence. Read more
You may contact Rosalyn by email or by telephone at 612-746-4676
Cynthia Scott
Director of Communications

Cynthia Scott has worked as a writer and editor at Twin Cities newspapers and magazines for 30 years, including as editor of Equal Time, a newspaper for the gay-lesbian community, the Minnesota Women’s Press, and Minnesota Alumni at the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Prior to her career in journalism, Cynthia worked in the Office of Social Justice in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she provided educational materials on Catholic social teachings and represented the Archdiocese in interfaith justice efforts. She is ordained in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition.

You may contact Cynthia by email or by telephone at 612-746-4669
Lexi Steinkraus
Administrative Assistant
Lexi Steinkraus assists both the development and administrative teams at The Advocates. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in global studies and minors in political science, German, and urban studies. Before joining The Advocates, Lexi worked for the United Nations Association of Minnesota and managed development and administrative operations at Freedom for North Korean Refugees Minnesota.​
You may contact Lexi by email or by telephone at 612-746-4688
Jinath Tasnim
Program Assistant, Research, Education, & Advocacy
Jinath Tasnim served as The Advocates' St. Joseph Worker for 2016-17 before transitioning to her current position. Jinath focuses on building The Advocates' volunteer effectiveness and capacity, serving as the volunteer and intern coordinator and cultivating community partnerships. A Texas native, she graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in geography. She has experience with graphic design work and multicultural programming. 
You may contact Jinath by email or by telephone at 612-746-4665
Nathan Webster
Program Assistant, Refugee and Immigrant Program
Nathan Webster is the Refugee and Immigrant Program Assistant at the Advocates for human rights. He manages asylum cases once they have been accepted, and works to meet the needs of our pro-bono attorneys. Additionally, he coordinates the volunteer interpreter panel and helps to supervise the Refugee and Immigrant internship program. Nathan graduated from St. Olaf College in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining the Advocates, Nathan interned at Dorsey and Whitney, the University of St. Thomas Legal Services Clinic, the Ramsey County Attorney’s office, and the Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar.
You may contact Nathan by email or by telephone at 612-746-4686