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The Advocates for Human Rights 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. Read more. You may contact Robin by email or by telephone
at 612-746-4679



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, Prestholdt 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
 


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. Read more. You may contact Michele by email or by telephone at  612-746-4685

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Chelsey Armstrong
Program Assistant; Refugee & Immigrant Program; Research Education and Advocacy Program
Chelsey Armstrong serves dual roles as a Program Assistant for the Research, Education and Advocacy program and the Refugee and Immigrant program. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, as well as a minor in Women's Studies. While serving as an intern at World Relief Seattle, she assisted in the refugee resettlement process. She has travelled to Spain and Morocco to study Islamic Feminism and the Arab Spring. Most recently, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps at King County Housing Authority in Washington State, serving as a Community Builder. You may contact Chelsey by email or by telephone at 612-746-4664
 


Susan Banovetz
Communications Director
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. You may contact Susan by email or by telephone at 612-746-4669
 


Amy Bergquist

Staff Attorney, International Justice Program
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

 

Rachel Birkedal
Program Assistant; Refugee & Immigrant Program
Rachel Birkedal is a Lutheran Volunteer Corps member working for The Advocates for Human Rights. She serves as a Program Assistant within the Refugee and Immigrant program, in addition to overseeing the day-to-day client intake process. Rachel graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She has completed a year of service in central Mexico, where she served as an assistant to Sarar-Transformación, a reference and support center focused on creating more holistic water and sanitation systems. She also served as interim director of Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors,) an after-school program that works with recent Latino immigrants to the U.S. You may contact Rachel by email or by telephone at 612-746-4686

 

Sarah Brenes
Staff Attorney, 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 brings extensive legal and international research and fact-finding experiences to The Advocates' Women's Human Rights Program. She evaluates and reports on laws on violence against women from around the world and also develops trainings related to monitoring and implementing those laws. Prior to joining the staff, Dykoschak was a long-time volunteer with The Advocates on several projects, including leading a country team in Faegre Baker Daniels law firm’s partnership with The Advocates on the African Advocacy Project. Read more. You may contact Theresa by email or by telephone at 612-746-4693

Emily Farell
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. Ms. Farell 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. Read more.You may contact Emily by email or by telephone at 612-746-4690

 


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. Read more. You may contact Michele by email or by telephone at  612-746-4685




Kent Linder

Executive Administrative Assistant
Kent Linder supports The Advocates' executive and the administrative directors. Prior to The Advocates, Linder spent 15 years with Open Arms of Minnesota. There, he held multiple positions and developed strong skills in operations and administration. You may contact Kent by email or by telephone at 612-746-4680




Madeline Lohman 
Senior Researcher
 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, primarily on the death penalty.Prior positions were held at a variety of nonprofits, including Freedom House in Washington D.C., International Relief Teams, Human Rights Education Associates, and PACT Bolivia. You may contact Madeline by email or by telephone at 612-746-4696



Beatríz Menanteau
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. Read more. You may contact Beatríz by email or by telephone at 612-746-4683




Sally Nankivell

Administrative Director
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. You may contact Sally by email or by telephone at 612-746-4671


Rosalyn Park

Director of the Women's Human Rights Program; Director of Research
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. Read more. You may contact Rosalyn by email or by telephone at 612-746-4676

 


Ann Ulring
Development Director
Before joining the Advocates' development team, Ann Ulring held leadership positions with the American Refugee Committee, Minnesota Public Radio, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. You may contact Ann by email or by telephone at 612-746-4677

 

 


Rachel Wagner

Administrative Assistant
An important member of The Advocates' development team, Rachel Wagner has her fingers in many pots. Prior to joining The Advocates, she was the program and communications assistant with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, in Portland, Oregon, and she served on the board of Aurora Chorus, a non-profit women’s peace choir, working on marketing and communications projects. She also volunteered with Leach Botanical Garden, assisting with special events and educational programs. You may contact Rachel by email or by telephone at 612-746-4688