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. Read more.
You may contact Robin by email or by telephone at 612-341-3302.
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.
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.
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
Director of Communications
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

A Lutheran Volunteer Corps member working for The Advocates for Human Rights, Rachel Birkedal is a Refugee and Immigrant Program assistant. She also oversees the client intake process. She graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She completed a year of service in central Mexico, where she served as an assistant to Sarar-Transformación, a reference and support center that creates more holistic water and sanitation systems. She also served as interim director of Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors), a program working with recent Latino immigrants to the United States.

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.
Whitney Drake
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. Read more.

You may contact Whitney by email or by telephone at 612-746-4698.


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, Theresa was a long-time volunteer with The Advocates, 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. 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. Read more.
You may contact Emily by email or by telephone at 612-746-4690.
Kent Linder
Executive Administrative Assistant
Kent Linder supports The Advocates' executive and the administrative directors. Prior to joining the organization, Kent 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. 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.
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, 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. Read more.
You may contact Rosalyn by email or by telephone at 612-746-4676.
Ann Ulring
Director of Development
Before joining the Advocates' development team, Ann Ulring, an accomplished development professional, 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.