Robin Phillips is the executive director of The Advocates for Human Rights. She has written extensively about human rights, including human trafficking, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. She has taught courses on human rights at the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Saint Thomas School of Law. Prior to becoming The Advocates' executive director, she served as the organization's deputy director and director of its Women's Human Rights Program. Prior to her time at The Advocates, Phillips practiced law with the firm of Briggs and Morgan in Minnesota.
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 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.
Communications and Outreach Assistant
Jasmine Bradford serves as the Communications and Outreach Assistant. In this role, she oversees volunteers and interns by assisting with recruitment, tracking, communication, and recognition; produces print magazine and other promotional materials; monitors the social media accounts by tracking the performance of each account; and supports development and posting of content. Prior to joining The Advocates for Human Rights, Jasmine worked in the captioning industry facilitating captioning services program content for clients and participated in new employee training. In her downtime she loves producing on-air material for KFAI and working with the National Kidney Foundation Twin Cities as their media volunteer. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
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.
Pro Bono Counsel
Theresa Dykoschak is Pro Bono Counsel for The Advocates for Human Rights. She promotes volunteer engagement and increases our capacity to leverage contributions from hundreds of volunteers on an annual basis. She is also a member of The Advocates’ Human Trafficking team and has co-authored protocols on labor trafficking. Prior to Pro Bono Counsel, Theresa was a Staff Attorney in the Women’s Human Rights Program, reporting and advocating to UN human rights mechanisms; co-authoring reports on violence against women; conducting fact-finding missions; and training professionals on best practices and responses to domestic violence.
Staff Attorney, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Lindsey Greising is a Staff Attorney for The Advocates for Human Rights' Refugee & Immigrant Program (RIP). In that capacity, she is focused on anti-human trafficking efforts in addition to supporting RIP efforts more broadly. Lindsey provides direct client representation, trains and supports volunteer attorneys, and fields trafficking-related and other immigration questions.
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.
Events and Individual Giving Coordinator
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.
Robina Legal Fellow, Women’s Human Rights Program
Bailey Metzger is the Robina Legal Fellow with the Advocate’s for Human Rights Women’s Human Rights Program. In this role, Bailey is responsible for reviewing and maintaining the Women’s Human Rights Program website, StopVAW.org, overseeing volunteer and intern contributions to StopVAW, and assisting with other domestic and international advocacy work. Bailey received a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School with concentrations in human rights and international law, and graduated from Miami University with B.A.s in History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies.
Legal Fellow, Women's Human Rights Program
Elizabeth Montgomery is a legal fellow with The Advocates’ Women’s Human Rights Program. In this role, Elizabeth is mainly responsible for overseeing volunteers and interns involved with the WATCH Program, along with organizing the data collected. Elizabeth also assists with other domestic and international advocacy work. Elizabeth received a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and graduated from Concordia College Moorhead with a BA in Political Science and Global Studies and a minor in German.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Emily Olinger works as the Executive Administrative Assistant with The Advocates for Human Rights. In this role, she supports general operations at The Advocates by providing administrative support and working on special projects. Emily graduated summa cum laude from the College of St. Benedict with a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Prior to joining The Advocates, she worked for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc, where she managed a Head Start center for families of migrant and seasonal farm workers.
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.
Thekla Rura-Polley serves The Advocates for Human Rights as Development Director. When you meet her you may detect a slight accent. She grew up in Germany, received her Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and taught management classes at the University of Western Sydney Macathur and at the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to joining The Advocates for Human Rights, Thekla worked as Associate Director of Development at Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul and as Development Director at St. Paul’s Monastery. Thekla is excited to advance the Advocates’ mission to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law by working with individuals, corporations, and foundations that support this crucial work.
Robina Legal Fellow, Refugee & Immigrant Program
Eric Ryu is a Legal Fellow working in the Refugee & Immigrant Program. In this role, he is involved in the advocacy of detained clients through legal research, evaluating intakes, and assisting attorneys with their pro bono representation. He is also responsible helping coordinate the bond project, detention project, and the immigration court observation project. Eric received a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School with concentrations in immigration law and human rights and was involved with the Binger Center of New Americans as a Student Director and Certified Student Attorney in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Sociology.
Ellen van Iwaarden
Communications and Outreach Director
Ellen van Iwaarden, Individual and Major Gifts Officer, is a member of The Advocates for Human Rights development team charged with helping The Advocates engage individual donors in the organization’s work and secure the resources necessary to execute its mission.