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.
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.
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 continues to lead the organization's research, education, and advocacy team and is responsible for advocacy on The Advocates' domestic priority issues including migration and human trafficking.
Susan Banovetz has led award-winning public relations for the University of Minnesota Duluth, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, American Red Cross, and other organizations. In addition, she held elected office for 27 years, including 15 years as the mayor of the City of Vadnais Heights. She was recognized by the Minnesota Women in City Government with its Outstanding Leadership Award in 2011.
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.
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.
Attorney & Legal Fellow, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Whitney Drake received a J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law. She recently completed a year-long clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She speaks Spanish and is admitted to practice law in Texas. Her fellowship is generously sponsored by Julius Glickman and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
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.
Education and Outreach Manager
Emily Farell develops resources, trainings, and curricula to empower practitioners to integrate human rights into formal and non-formal educational and organizational settings. She is also the lead designer and facilitator for The Advocates’ training, Discover Human Rights: A Human Rights Approach to Social Justice. Emily received her M.A. in International Politics with a concentration on human rights from American University in Washington, DC and a B.A. in International Development from the University of MN, Twin Cities.
Legal Fellow, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Courtnie Gore serves as the Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow in The Advocates' Refugee & Immigrant Program. advocating for unaccompanied minors seeking aslyum in the United States.
Gore is a native of Richmond, Virginia; an alumna of the College of William and Mary; and a graduate of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. While in law school, she worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Margaret M. Marrinan, Ramsey County District Court, Minnesota. She also worked in Equatorial Guinea as an associate for Centurion LLP, an international law firm and business advisory in West Africa that specializes in both corporate and legislative matters of law. Learn more.
Madeline Lohman 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. She has held positions at a variety of nonprofits, including Freedom House in Washington D.C., International Relief Teams, Human Rights Education Associates, and PACT Bolivia.
Staff Attorney, Women’s Human Rights Program
Beatríz Menanteau conducts trainings on domestic violence and sex trafficking, and she researches and conducts training on batterer intervention programs. She is integral in the initiative that trains hotel and motel industry employees about sex trafficking. She was instrumental in developing Minnesota’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act, referred to as Safe Harbors, and its passage by the Minnesota state legislature. She organized Minnesota’s first training for local prosecutors on Safe Habors.
Sally Nankivell has more than 25 years of nonprofit experience, including tenure with Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/South Dakota; Chrysalis, a Center for Women; and Pro-Choice Resources. She has also served on nonprofit boards, including the Minnesota Metro Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Pro-Choice Resources, and a rural Minnesota violence prevention center.
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 interim 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.
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.