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 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 Director of Logistics, 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 the Director of Legal Advocacy at 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 Supervisory Senior Attorney with 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 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 Senior Program Manager 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 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 Imogene Mankin
Imogene Mankin is a Senior 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 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 Supervising Senior Staff Attorney with 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 Colleen Kilbride
Colleen Kilbride is a Senior Staff Attorney with Innovation Law Lab based in Chicago. Prior to joining Law Lab, Colleen worked as a Supervising Attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) specializing in removal defense for detained and released asylum seekers in complex procedural postures, including formerly separated families. While attending law school at night, Colleen worked in the organized labor movement which included a summer at the Culinary Workers Local 226 filing unfair labor practice charges against Trump Hotel in Las Vegas. Colleen received her J.D. with pro bono honors from Georgetown University Law Center. Colleen is fluent in Spanish and licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.
Meet Rosa Saavedra Vanacore
Rosa Saavedra Vanacore is a Senior Staff Attorney at Innovation Law Lab. Prior to joining Law Lab, Rosa worked as a Staff Attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she was engaged in litigation focused on immigrants’ rights. She previously worked at the Bronx Defenders and TakeRoot Justice where she represented clients in immigration proceedings and supported grassroots organizing. Rosa received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from Middlebury College. She is licensed to practice law in New York and Maryland.
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 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.”
Meet Kami Skolmoski
Kami is the Program Coordinator for Innovation Law Lab. Prior to moving to Portland, she was a legal assistant for a small immigration firm in Idaho and was a fellow with Amnesty International USA in the MENA Advocacy department. She received the Jan Knippers Black Fund for Human Rights Protection during her final year at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where she will receive her Masters degree in International Policy and Development this Fall. Kami spent time in Costa Rica volunteering with Nicaraguan refugees during her undergraduate studies. In her spare time, Kami loves learning and studying new languages.
Meet Alondra Duran
Alondra Duran is an OWR fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland Office. Alondra has been involved in the immigration field since 2016. Prior to law school, she has worked with Molina Law Group as a clerical assistant, translating documents as needed for immigration petitions and mailed filing packets amongst other office administrative tasks. During law school, Alondra worked with Maria Cobarrubias, a solo practicing immigration attorney, as a law clerk. She helped prepare filing packets, such as family petitions and waivers. She also participated in her law school’s immigration clinic, handling asylum based claims under the supervision of her professors. Additional legal experience she has obtained during her law school career includes working at the Department of Justice, Oregon Justice Resource Center, and participating in her school’s Trust and Estates Clinic. Alondra received her J.D. from Willamette Law School. She has a B.A. in International Law and Human Rights, with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Oregon.
Meet Rodrigo Fernández-Ortega
Rodrigo is a law graduate and Oregon Worker Relief Fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland office. Born into an immigrant family in Hood River, Oregon, Rodrigo grew up doing migrant work alongside his family every summer until he started law school. He received his J.D. from Willamette University, where he participated in their Immigration Clinic. His experiences within the migrant communities in the Gorge developed his passion of fighting for the rights of workers and immigrants.
Meet Doug Valladares
Doug Valladares is an OWR Fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland office. Originally from Los Angeles, Doug is the son of immigrants from El Salvador. Prior to law school, Doug earned a B.A. in Sociology from California State University Long Beach and then worked as a legal secretary in Southern California for over a decade. Doug was interested in the law from a very young age. He received his J.D. from Willamette University, where he also earned a certificate in Law and Business and was selected as an Academic Excellence Fellow. During his law school career, Doug participated in Willamette's Immigration Clinic, where he assisted asylum seekers. He also worked as a law clerk at the Oregon Department of Justice in its civil litigation section, and served as an extern at the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Meet Miguel Cardenas De Avila
Miguel is an attorney and Oregon Worker Relief Fellow at Innovation Law Lab’s Portland Office. Coming from family that immigrated from Mexico, Miguel wishes to help prevent injustice and provide opportunities for individuals in the migrant community. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington, before going on to receive his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. During his time at law school, he assisted migrant and seasonal farmworkers with employment issues and working conditions as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the rural farmworker program. He also participated in the Criminal Defense Clinic helping indigent clients navigate misdemeanor proceedings. He comes to Innovation Law Lab following his judicial clerkship in the Lane County Circuit Court for the state of Oregon. Miguel is licensed to practice in Washington.
Meet Rachel Landry
Rachel Landry is a Harvard Law Review Fellow at Innovation Law Lab. Rachel received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she provided direct legal services to noncitizens and supported immigrants’ rights litigation through her work in the Harvard Immigration & Refugee Clinic and Crimmigration Clinic, as well as through internships with ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Innovation Law Lab, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Prior to law school, she fought against the Trump Administration’s attacks on the U.S. refugee protection system at the International Rescue Committee in Washington, DC. Rachel holds an M.S.c. in Forced Migration Studies with distinction from the University of Oxford and a B.A. summa cum laude from the George Washington University.