Meet Stephen Manning
Stephen is the founder and executive director of the Innovation Law Lab. He is also a founding partner at Immigrant Law Group PC and an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. Stephen has received multiple awards for his pioneering immigration work, including the 2017 Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year Award and the 2015 AILA Founders Award. He is a former Commissioner for the City of Portland’s Human Rights Commission. He is on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Oregon and the Board of Directors of Health Bridges International.
Meet Ahmer Inam
Ahmer Inam is a data and analytics executive with over 20 years of experience driving organizational transformation with the establishment of analytics CoE and development and deployment of data products. His experience includes leadership roles at Nike Inc., Wells Fargo, Sonic Automotive, and Cambia Health Solutions. Additionally, Ahmer has done analytics consulting for PwC and Quaero for clients like ESPN, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Liberty Tax, and ADP. Ahmer holds two M.S. degrees, one each in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Texas A&M University, and a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, India. Ahmer is also the founding member of the Analytics and Big Data Society. When not solving complex business problems with Big Data, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, Ahmer likes to express himself through photographic mediums and supports environmental justice and human rights causes. Ahmer and his wife live in Portland, OR with their two young children.
Meet Cameron Madill
Cameron is the CEO of PixelSpoke, an award-winning web design & marketing agency that works with credit unions and social enterprises. His extensive volunteer work includes launching business accelerator programs for entrepreneurs in the U.S. and around the world, chairing the Portland community of certified B Corporations — businesses that follow rigorous standards for creating positive environmental, social, and employee impact — and building capacity for Innovation Law Lab in 2017. Cameron received the 2017 Global Citizen of the Year award from Entrepreneurs’ Organization — a worldwide group of over 12,000 leading entrepreneurs — for his work with Innovation Law Lab, the 2018 B Economy Leader by the B Corp community for his work building local B Corp communities, as well as numerous other awards such as the Portland Business Journal 40 Under 40.
Meet Luis Guerra
Luis is the Director of Operations at the United Farm Workers Foundation, where he leads efforts to expand immigration legal services to farm workers across the country. He previously served as the Executive Director at Causa of Oregon, Oregon’s state-wide immigrant rights advocacy organization.
Meet Fredi Avila
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Meet Jessica Boell
Jessica is a founding partner at Immigrant Law Group PC in Portland, Oregon and an instructor of immigration law at Portland Community College. She is a nationally known expert in removal defense, family-based immigration, and federal court appeals. Jessica’s past work includes positions at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project and the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender. For nearly ten years, she has been selected as a Super Lawyer in Oregon, a designation awarded to the top 5% of lawyers in the state. Jessica received her JD from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Meet Alyssa Grass
Alyssa is a Spanish teacher at Portland Public Schools. She is a leading thinker on integrating student identity and culture into education.
Meet Navneet Kaur
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Meet Kuli Mavuwa
Kuli Mavuwa is an experienced leader with broad information privacy and security experience. He previously served in a variety of roles including Systems Engineer, Security Engineering Manager, Associate Privacy and Security Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer. He is currently responsible for providing oversight for a large information privacy and security program including developing and implementing policies that govern the collection, access, use and disclosure of various personally identifiable information covered by multiple privacy regulations. Kuli earned a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Portland State University, and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School. He holds multiple privacy and security credentials, including being an IAPP's Fellow of Information Privacy.
Meet Jennifer Rotman
Jennifer is a lawyer at Immigrant Law Group PC in Portland, Oregon and adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. She is a nationally known expert in naturalization, removal defense, asylum claims, visas for crime victims, family immigration, and federal litigation. She is the EOIR Liaison for the Oregon chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and am ambassador to the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining ILG, Jennifer clerked for the Honorable Jose A. Fuste in the United States District Court in Puerto Rico. Jennifer received her JD from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Meet Juliet Stumpf
Juliet is the Robert E. Jones Professor of Advocacy and Ethics at Lewis & Clark Law School, where in 2016 she was awarded the Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is a scholar of crimmigration law, the intersection of immigration and criminal law. Her current research explores innovation in immigration law and seeks to illuminate the study of immigration law with interdisciplinary insights.
Meet Ian Philabaum
Ian co-directs Law Lab's Anticarceral Legal Organizing program. Previously, Ian was the project coordinator at the CARA Pro Bono Project which provides legal representation and advocacy for women and children held in the Dilley Detention Center. Ian holds BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and a MDP in Development Studies from the University of Arizona.
Meet Ariel Prado
Ariel co-directs Law Lab's Anticarceral Legal Organizing program. He formerly worked as the project manager for the CARA Pro Bono Project at the Dilley Detention Center. Ariel is excited to work towards ending practices of mass criminalization and incarceration.
Meet Jose Cruz Guadarrama
Jose designs, manages and directs the wide array of web applications and websites developed by Innovation Law Lab. As a UI/UX designer, Jose appreciates clear user interactions and everything that encompasses a successful user experience. He is passionate about design and immigrants’ rights, and brings artistically inventive and visually appealing design elements to the Innovation Law Lab’s work.
Meet Isa Peña
Isa Peña is the Director of Strategy at Innovation Law Lab and is based in Oregon. Isa has been a long-time organizer and leader in the immigrant rights movement in Oregon and formerly worked as the Interim Executive Director of Causa. Isa is a daughter of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico and is excited to leverage her strengths and skills in relationship building and policy advocacy to help advance immigrant justice.
Meet Elizabeth Skokan
Elizabeth oversees the Operations side of Law Lab. Additionally, she manages the helpdesk and facilitates LawLab training webinars. She previously led the Business Services team at Immigrant Law Group PC. Elizabeth is passionate about languages, art and social interactions. As an immigrant herself, she’s committed to Lawlab's mission to promote and defend the rule of Law for immigrants and refugees.
Meet Ben Grass
As Innovation Law Lab's Deputy Director of Operations, Ben is a tinkerer in constant pursuit of civic betterment. With a background in international development and hospitality, coupled with a lifelong commitment to the service of marginalized populations, Ben strives to meet people where they are - building trust to empower change. A coach, a cook, a runner and a rabble-rouser.
Meet Jordan Cunnings
Jordan Cunnings is an attorney and Legal Director of Innovation Law Lab. Previously, Jordan represented immigrants in detention centers throughout Southern California as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Public Counsel. She also clerked for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jordan is a proud graduate of UCLA School of Law and its David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work for immigrant rights in her home state of Oregon.
Meet Tess Hellgren
Tess Hellgren is an attorney and Deputy Legal Director of Innovation Law Lab. She is passionate about using legal tools to advance and advocate for the rights and well-being of immigrants and their families, including the right to seek asylum. Tess is counsel or class counsel in federal litigation including cases challenging the unlawful implementation of the Remain in Mexico policy; the abuse and rights violations of Haitian asylum seekers in Del Rio, Texas; and unlawful restrictions on the U.S. visa system. Tess received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she represented asylum seekers through the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and co-directed the student-run Removal Defense Project.
Before joining Law Lab, Tess worked with detained asylum seekers in the United Kingdom and volunteered with the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas. She holds an M.Sc. in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and an A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University. Tess is privileged to serve on the board of the Women's Justice Initiative and the Gainesville Giving Garden and is a member of the Oregon and Florida state bars.
Meet Kelsey Provo
Kelsey Provo is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Innovation Law Lab, where she provides strategic and tactical assistance on pro bono cases placed through the Centers of Excellence. Prior to joining Innovation Law Lab, Kelsey represented immigrants in removal proceedings in Southern California and specialized in representing detained immigrants who had been found incompetent due to a mental illness or disability pursuant to the Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder litigation. Kelsey earned her J.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oregon. Her Master’s thesis, “Immigrants Without Rights: Questioning the Role of International Human Rights Law in U.S. Detention and Deportation Policies,” analyzes whether international law has the potential to influence U.S. immigration laws and questions whether international human rights laws can adequately protect immigrants’ rights in removal proceedings.
Meet Aliya Naim
Aliya Naim is the Limited Legal Services Program Manager for Innovation Law Lab. Prior to joining the Innovation Law Lab team, she worked at the Latin American Association. She obtained her B.A. in International Affairs and Arabic at the University of Georgia and her M.A. in Migration and Diaspora Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where she did research on the Syrian refugee crisis and countering violent extremism legislation. Prior to graduate school, she spent several years at The Carter Center working on international election observation in North and West Africa.
Meet Ana Ortiz Varela
Ana Ortiz Varela is a Program Manager with Innovation Law Lab’s Anticarceral Legal Organizing team, where she tends to the Gulf Coast Immigration Collaborative (GCIC) and leads data strategy efforts with legal service providers across the Southern US. Ana has previously worked with detained migrant families at RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), assisting the Karnes Pro Bono Project in advocacy and data collection, as well as volunteering legal expertise to the migrant women shelter Casa de Maria y Marta. Ana is an art practitioner, an organizing member of the San Anto Zine Fest, and a co-founder of the online and print publication La Liga Zine — a NALAC Fund for the Arts 2016 grantee publication. Ana humbly serves in Detention Watch Network’s Board of Directors since 2020, owns the floral design studio Earthly Details, and enjoys reading for pleasure.
Meet PJ Podesta
P.J. is a Program Manager with Innovation Law Lab’s Anticarceral Legal Organizing team and is based in California. He has organized direct service, communications, and grassroots campaigns against incarceration and deportation with Pueblo Sin Fronteras and others.
Meet Andrea Gonzalez
Andrea formerly worked as a paralegal for the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP), where she provided legal services to detained asylum seeking families and their children. Andrea also organized and participated in several awareness raising and community actions events for migrant’s rights in Mexico and the US. Andrea wants to continue supporting asylum seekers by facilitating and simplify the process of accessing legal counsel. Her goal is to create a community which would offer legal services and support for our immigrant community. Andrea is a dedicated and passionate immigrant’s rights advocate who fights for ensuring due process to asylum seekers.
Meet Karla Schmidt Murillo
Karla is Law Lab's Program Coordinator for the Oregon Worker Relief funds. She is also a community advocate who has worked in immigrant advocacy and justice in Oregon for a few short years. Being an immigrant from Costa Rica, she is committed to supporting immigrant communities in this ever-changing landscape. Prior to joining Law Lab, Karla obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Arizona and her M.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon. Karla is a lover of all things relating to dogs, sports, bread, and ceviche!
Meet Casey Mangan
Casey is an attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow working the El Paso Immigration Collaborative (EPIC) through Innovation Law Lab. He represents people in ICE detention centers in West Texas & New Mexico. He is also part of the Anti-Carceral Legal Organizing team. Casey earned his JD from the USC Gould School of Law. Prior to law school, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Malatya, Turkey for two years. He is licensed to practice law in California and before the 10th Circuit.
Meet Lane Brake
Lane Brake is Law Lab's Administrative Specialist. They have a long history of working in the non-profit social services sector. These days, they are more interested in taking part in creating systemic change and ending carceral violence. They are a non-binary queer immigrant, and child of immigrant parents, with a B.A. in Linguistics. They are passionate about human rights and activism.
Meet Alex Mensing
Alex Mensing is Law Lab's Communications Manager. Based in California, he has a decade of experience in immigrant rights advocacy. From accompanying migrant caravans to working with legal service programs for detained families and supporting detained migrant organizing, he brings both communications and organizing experience to Law Lab's fight for immigrant & refugee justice, equity and inclusion. He loves cooking, gardening and seeing communities hold people in positions of authority accountable for their actions.
Meet Imogene Mankin
Imogene Mankin is a Staff Attorney at Innovation Law Lab, based in Oregon. Imogene previously worked as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and Staff Attorney at The Bronx Defenders, defending New Yorkers incarcerated by ICE. She subsequently worked as a Supervising Attorney at Immigration Counseling Service, representing rural Oregonians in applications before USCIS and in deportation proceedings. Imogene received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Oregon. Imogene is licensed to practice law in New York.
Meet Allison Crennen-Dunlap
Allison Crennen-Dunlap is a Staff Attorney with Innovation Law Lab. Previously, she represented detained migrants with the University of Denver’s Immigration Law & Policy Clinic, and she interned with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic, and the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center. Allison also clerked with the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and the Colorado Supreme Court. She holds a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, where she was a Chancellor’s Scholar; an M.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, where she was a McCourtney Distinguished Graduate Fellow; and a B.A. from Georgetown University. Allison served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado.
Meet Adrianna Vaca-Navarro
Adrianna is based in Oregon and serves as the Program Coordinator for Innovation Law Lab. Before joining the team, she worked at Immigration Counseling Service for two years—first as an Administrative Assistant and later as a Client Coordinator—where she gained vast experience working with Oregon’s immigrant and farmworker communities. A child of immigrants herself, Adrianna is dedicated to fighting for immigrant liberation and the abolition of current immigration systems. Adrianna earned her B.A. in economics and Spanish from the University of Oregon and the Robert D. Clark Honors College, graduating summa cum laude in June 2021.
Meet Jeff Simon
Jeff is a law graduate and Oregon Worker Relief Fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland office. A former high school teacher and counselor, Jeff wants to eliminate barriers to education and opportunity for immigrants using legal and public policy tools. Jeff received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he represented asylum seekers and detained immigrants in the Transnational Legal Clinic, and co-directed the Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project. Before joining Law Lab, Jeff interned at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, the Tahirih Justice Center in Atlanta, and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid on their Legal Alliance for Survivors of Abuse team. Jeff also has a Master of Public Affairs from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Meet Alison Coutifaris
Alison Coutifaris is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Innovation Law Lab. Prior to joining, Alison taught and supervised law students representing asylum seekers as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center, where she received her LLM in Advocacy. Previously, Alison provided direct legal services at both HIAS PA and Sanctuary for Families, representing asylum seekers and survivors of gender-based violence. Alison served as a law clerk for the Hon. Denny Chin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Immediately after law school, she practiced federal income tax law as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Alison received her J.D., magna cum laude, from University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish Literature from Haverford College. Alison is licensed to practice law in New York.
Meet Jemila Mohamed
Jemila Mohamed is an attorney and an OWR Fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland office. Jemila has been working in the immigration field in various roles over the last five years. During her law school career, Jemila worked as a law clerk at Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services and Immigration Counseling Services, where she assisted clients on their various immigration cases. Prior to law school, Jemila worked as a legal assistant and department manager at the private immigration firm, Gonzales Immigration Law Offices, where she managed waiver cases and assisted attorneys with their clients’ cases. Jemila received her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she also earned a certificate in Public Interest Law and was selected to become a member of the Cornelius Honor Society. She has a B.S. in Political Science from Portland State University. A daughter of immigrants from Ethiopia, Jemila has a deep passion for immigrant and social justice. Jemila is licensed to practice law in Oregon.
Meet Katie Paradise
Katie is an attorney and Oregon Worker Relief Fellow operating out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She comes to Innovation Law Lab following a term as a judicial law clerk at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. After working in the marketing research industry for nearly a decade, Katie changed course to pursue a career that would allow her to use her privilege to advocate for social equity and immigrants’ rights. She received her J.D. summa cum laude from Widener University Commonwealth Law School, where she worked as a Law and Government Fellow and research assistant in the field of immigration law. Prior to law school, Katie served as a Small Enterprise Development Agent with the United States Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa and spent time volunteering in the Philadelphia area during her undergraduate studies at Temple University. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and before the Third Circuit.
Meet Maria Thomson
Maria is a law graduate and Oregon Worker Relief Fellow working out of Philadelphia, PA. Maria has been a fierce advocate for immigration justice since 2012, when she was a full-time volunteer at Annunciation House, in El Paso, TX (where she now serves as a board member). Maria is dedicated to ending family separation and building power for and with immigrant communities. In the past, she has worked with Al Otro Lado, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, & Esperanza Immigration Legal Services. Maria received a J.D. from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law while concurrently receiving her Master’s in Social Work at Temple University’s College of Public Health. She received her B.A. with high honors from Swarthmore College.
Meet Julissa Tinoco
Julissa, currently a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, has been advocating for community members’ wellbeing since from a very young age. Born in Mexico, Julissa moved to Oregon as a child and experienced firsthand the challenges of arriving to a new place. She quickly turned to supporting others, though, volunteering in high school to accompany transfer students as a peer, advocate and sometimes even translator. Even when she was little, Julissa would joke that she would become a lawyer to help others, and she plans to go to law school to make that vision a reality. She previously worked with Causa Oregon and is familiar with many of the community based immigrant rights organizations because she was a navigator for the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, work she continues to support in her new position at Innovation Law Lab.
Meet Melissa Contreras
Based out of Portland, Melissa is a graduate of the Universidad del Valle de Mexico in Guadalajara, Mexico. Previously, she was a Consular Officer for the Consulate of Mexico in Portland and more recently, she was a Case Manager for Morrison Child & Family Services in Portland. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact that legal support can have. Whether I am responding to an ICE arrest or providing know your rights to people seeking asylum, I know that there are people behind each set of legal documents and that gives me motivation.”
Meet Cecilia Valadez
Based out of Portland, Cecilia is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with several years of administrative and legal support under her belt. “As a child of immigrants I feel I was always on the way to doing immigration work. While working at a pro bono law clinic I interpreted for people retelling all kinds of injustices and horrible, traumatic situations they have faced, not only in their home countries but also at the hands of the US legal and immigration court system.”