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
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.
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.
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.
Stefani Conyers is the Administrative Director at The Advocates for Human Rights. Prior to this position, Stefani served in a variety of operations and organizational management roles, including most recently as the Finance Office & Payroll Manager at the University of Minnesota Law School. She has experience in for-profit, non-profit, educational and small business arenas giving her a well-rounded capacity for seeing the big picture while focusing on the details to get the job done. As a volunteer in a variety of organizations, including a crisis phone counselor to serving meals to tutoring, she has learned the value of making connections in the community to help support their missions. She holds a BA degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and is finishing up her M.Ed. in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota.
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.
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.
Human Trafficking Legal Fellow, Refugee and Immigrant Program
Caitlin Hughes-Parry is the Human Trafficking Legal Fellow working in the Refugee and Immigrant Program at The Advocates for Human Rights. Her work is focused on building The Advocates’ capacity to serve survivors of human trafficking. In this role, she coordinates and provides support to pro bono attorneys assisting clients with their applications for T non-immigrant status. She also provides direct legal services to youth labor trafficking survivors. Before joining The Advocates, Caitlin served as an attorney in the federal government and as a legal intern with Human Rights Watch and with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to law school Caitlin worked as a research assistant for the Human Trafficking Foundation in the United Kingdom helping to establish the Foundation as a multiplier of anti-trafficking efforts across the UK and Europe. Caitlin also has experience as a pro bono attorney representing clients seeking asylum.
Liz Kelleher assists both the development and administrative teams at The Advocates, managing the donor and volunteer database and supporting fundraising efforts. She graduated summa cum laude from Macalester College with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in history. While at Macalester, she was also the chair of Rising Minds and captain of the varsity women’s water polo team. Before joining The Advocates as a staff member, she was an intern with the Women’s Human Rights program. She has also worked in legal services and as a web manager.
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.
Human Trafficking Legal Case Manager
Andrea Martinez is the Human Trafficking Legal Case Manager for The Advocates for Human Rights. She helps with the coordination of legal services for clients. Additionally, she gathers data related to legal casework and assists with the training of volunteer attorneys. Before joining The Advocates, Andrea was a research assistant at the University of Minnesota in the Human Rights Organizations Project. She also worked at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs on projects aimed to help migrants under vulnerable conditions. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Master of Human Rights, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), in Mexico City.
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.
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 being appointed director of The Advocates' Women's Human Rights Program, Rosalyn Park was a staff attorney in the Women’s Human Rights Program and on special projects addressing transitional justice and the death penalty.
Communications and Outreach Director
Kathy Schoen combines strategic planning and communications to bring a heightened awareness of the important initiatives The Advocates for Human Rights pursues. She has a M.S. in management from Cardinal Stritch University and holds bachelor degrees in marketing and in management from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Prior to joining the Advocates for Human Rights, Kathy held communications and marketing leadership roles in the legal, telecommunications and cooperative industries.