Our Team

Click on each photo to read bios.


STAFF
Photo of Leah Spelman, MPH

Leah Spelman, MPH
Executive Director

Photo of Leah Spelman, MPH

Leah Spelman, MPH
Executive Director


Ms. Spelman brings a background in human rights, organizational leadership, and global mental health to PTR. Prior to joining the PTR team, Ms. Spelman was the Chief Operating Officer for Days for Girls International, where she helped expand the organization's global impact. She oversaw the development of a new monitoring and evaluation program, the launch of DfG's enterprise model in Uganda, and communications and fundraising efforts. Prior to Days for Girls, Ms. Spelman lived in Jordan, conducting research under a Fulbright Grant when Syrian refugees first began entering the country in large waves. There, she witnessed the challenges of meeting basic needs for refugees in a country with already limited access to water and agricultural land. Ms. Spelman has an MPH in Global Health from the University of Washington, with a focus on global mental health and culturally-aware approaches to trauma care. She holds a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in Middle East Studies from George Washington University, and speaks Arabic, Spanish, and French.

Photo of Annika Sridharan, MSW, Psy.D

Annika Sridharan, MSW, Psy.D
Founder, Clinical and Training Director

Photo of Annika Sridharan, MSW, Psy.D

Annika Sridharan, MSW, Psy.D
Founder, Clinical and Training Director


Annika Sridharan is a licensed clinical psychologist and social worker with over 20 years of domestic and international experience in global mental health with migrants and survivors of human rights abuses. Dr. Sridharan has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America, providing psychological and psychosocial care for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war, torture, gender-based violence and other forms of persecution. During the past two decades, she has provided clinical care as well as supervision, capacity-building and program management at several torture treatment programs, including the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, South Africa; the Trauma Centre Cameroun in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Survivors International in San Francisco and the Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul, the United States. Prior to co-founding Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, she developed and led the Center for Wellbeing at the International Rescue Committee of Northern California in Oakland. Dr. Sridharan holds a Doctor of Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, a Master of Science in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University, a BA in Religion and African American Studies from Princeton University, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Global Mental Health from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. She is a native French speaker, and also speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese.

Photo of Leah Weinzimer, MSW

Leah Weinzimer, MSW
Clinical Manager

Photo of Leah Weinzimer, MSW

Leah Weinzimer, MSW
Clinical Manager


Ms. Weinzimer is a social worker with experience providing program development and direct services for survivors of torture and trauma. She was the first Program Director of the Libertas Center for Human Rights at Elmhurst Hospital in New York City, an interdisciplinary program providing trauma-informed, coordinated medical, mental health, social and legal services to refugee and asylum seeking survivors of persecution and human rights abuses in their countries of origin. Ms. Weinzimer was responsible for direct services to clients, as well as fundraising, research and evaluation, developing and maintaining partnerships, training providers, initiating alternative healing projects, and supervising staff and interns. Ms. Weinzimer worked as a trauma therapist at the Safe Horizon Counseling Center in New York City with adult and child survivors of interpersonal violence. She was previously the Volunteer Coordinator at an International Rescue Committee refugee resettlement office in Boston, and has lived and worked in Kenya. Ms. Weinzimer holds a MS in Social Work Administration from Columbia University, a BA in Sociology and African Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and a certificate from the International Trauma Studies program in New York. Ms. Weinzimer is currently pursuing further clinical training in relational psychotherapy, and is an agency therapist at the Women’s Therapy Center in Berkeley.

Photo of Rachel Goldman, Ph.D

Rachel Goldman, Ph.D
Supervising Clinical Psychologist

Photo of Rachel Goldman, Ph.D

Rachel Goldman, Ph.D
Supervising Clinical Psychologist


Dr. Rachel Goldman is a licensed clinical psychologist, with extensive experience in the field of psychological trauma. She has provided psychological care for adults, youth, families, and couples, many from underserved communities, and has a deep commitment to working with culturally, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse populations. Dr. Goldman has worked at a number of hospitals in New York City, including with asylum-seekers, survivors of torture, and those affected by war trauma and persecution related to identity and beliefs at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, as well as with veterans and military families. Dr. Goldman earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University in New York, completed a MA in General-Experimental Psychology at St. John’s University, and a BA in Psychology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Goldman joins Partnerships for Trauma Recovery as a Supervising Clinical Psychologist. She speaks conversational French.

Photo of Gianina Pellegrini, Ph.D

Gianina Pellegrini, Ph.D
Program Manager

Photo of Gianina Pellegrini, Ph.D

Gianina Pellegrini, Ph.D
Program Manager


As an independent researcher and consultant, Dr. Gianina Pellegrini's work has primarily focused on violence against women, sexual gender-based violence, and women’s involvement in conflict resolution, post-conflict redevelopment, and reconciliation. Her work reflects her deep commitment to defending human rights and social justice, supporting survivors of violence and trauma, and providing direct service to protect and empower women and children affected by war and violent conflict. For over a decade, Dr. Pellegrini has dedicated herself to providing holistic, comprehensive support and care management to individuals and families with complex needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also has experience working, volunteering, and conducting research internationally. Dr. Pellegrini holds a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in Transformative Social Change and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution, from Saybrook University. She also holds a certificate in International Conflict Management from the International Peace and Security Institute. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (American Psychological Association’s Division 48), where she chairs a Women, Peace, and Security working group. Dr. Pellegrini is a member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and the Peace and Justice Studies Association. In addition to serving as PTR's Development Coordinator, she is also a faculty member at Saybrook University.

Photo of Kissanet Taffere, MSW

Kissanet Taffere, MSW
Clinical Social Worker & African Communities Liaison

Photo of Kissanet Taffere, MSW

Kissanet Taffere, MSW
Clinical Social Worker & African Communities Liaison


Kissanet Taffere is social worker with ten years of experience in the non-profit and humanitarian sectors, where her work has focused primarily on refugees and asylum-seekers, sexual and gender-based violence, and issues of racial and economic justice. Most recently she worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, and previously at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In Ethiopia, Ms. Taffere led outreach activities with community-based groups and partners across four refugee camps and the regional refugee reception center. Previously, Ms. Taffere conducted intensive case management and community outreach with vulnerable populations in the United States. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in History and French from the University of Houston. She is a native Tigrinya speaker, and also speaks conversational French and basic Amharic.

Photo of Tizita Tekletsadik, LLB, MA

Tizita Tekletsadik, LLB, MA
African Communities Liaison

Photo of Tizita Tekletsadik, LLB, MA

Tizita Tekletsadik, LLB, MA
African Communities Liaison


Tizita Tekletsadik has worked for the past decade in women’s empowerment, gender and child protection, and community wellbeing in both emergency and refugee settings in the Horn of Africa. Ms. Tekletsadik led the IRC’s Community Wellbeing Initiative (CWI) program in Ethiopia, supporting refugee women and girls from throughout Africa in refugee camps around the country. She provided technical support and training for national and refugee staff conducting case management for survivors of gender-based violence and helping empower women and girls. Ms. Tekletsadik oversaw an adolescent girls’ multi-country program within IRC’s CWI involving refugee and host communities, and co-facilitated training with the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT). She also authored a book entitled “Violence beyond Control in the 21st Century” about Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle East. Ms. Tekletsadik obtained a Masters in Gender Studies from the School of Development, and an LLB from the Law Faculty at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. She is a native Amharic speaker.

Photo of Carly Hubbard

Carly Hubbard
Data & Reporting Officer

Photo of Carly Hubbard

Carly Hubbard
Data & Reporting Officer


Carly comes to PTR with a background in global mental health, international development, and data management.

Prior to joining PTR, Ms. Hubbard worked at the Boston headquarters of Last Mile Health (LMH) where she led knowledge management for the Partnerships and Development Team in support of the organization’s community health worker program in remote Liberia. While at LMH, she oversaw the team’s fundraising data and analysis, led the establishment of automated fundraising tracking mechanisms, and designed and implemented a stewardship program for grassroots donor management.

Previously, Ms. Hubbard provided administrative support to a statewide obesity prevention initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a student, she lived and worked in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, where she supported organizations working in capacity building, social entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment. She has also volunteered with refugee and immigrant advocacy organizations in St. Louis and Boston.

Ms. Hubbard holds an MSc in Global Mental Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King’s College London as well as a BA in International and Area Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

Photo of Aafreen Mahmood, MSPH

Aafreen Mahmood, MSPH
Clinical Coordinator

Photo of Aafreen Mahmood, MSPH

Aafreen Mahmood, MSPH
Clinical Coordinator


Aafreen Mahmood is a recent Master of Science in Public Health graduate in Population, Family, and Reproductive Health from Johns Hopkins University. There, she focused her graduate studies on addressing health care issues in humanitarian settings and the mental health needs of humanitarian immigrants resettling in the state of Maryland. Prior to joining PTR, Aafreen worked at the Maryland Office of Immigrant Health where she helped orient newly-arrived refugees to the U.S. healthcare system, build capacity for monitoring and evaluating existing health education programs, and analyzed refugee medical screenings to inform service planning at the Maryland Department of Health. Aafreen has also worked to improve insurance enrollment, preventative screening rates, and maternal health outcomes among Hispanic immigrant communities in East Palo Alto, California. These experiences have cultivated Aafreen's passion for addressing the health needs of underserved immigrant populations resettling in the U.S. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health from University of California, Berkeley.

Photo of Sandra Lopez, MA

Sandra Lopez, MA
Program Assistant

Photo of Sandra Lopez, MA

Sandra Lopez, MA
Program Assistant


Sandra Lopez brings organizational and capacity-building knowledge to the PTR team. Her prior work as a grants technician and program assistant for anti-poverty programs coordinated partnerships between various nonprofits and the local government in Billings, Montana. Ms. Lopez has volunteered with refugee resettlement agencies in assisting with cultural orientation, and worked with El Centro Humanitario para Los Trabajadores in Denver to advance domestic and day labor worker rights. She obtained a MA in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and a BA in Political Science with an emphasis on International Affairs from the University of California, Riverside. Ms. Lopez comes from a large Mexican family and speaks fluent Spanish.

Photo of Penélope Mato Vilar, MA

Penélope Mato Vilar, MA
Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Photo of Penélope Mato Vilar, MA

Penélope Mato Vilar, MA
Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist


Penélope Mato Vilar is a Marriage and Family Therapist with international experience in organizational development and counseling psychology in Venezuela, Spain and the United States. Ms. Mato Vilar was a consultant and trainer at the Institute for Social and Organizational Innovation in Barcelona, and also worked as a teacher and mentor for migrants arriving in Europe from Africa and the Middle East. She has worked with Latin American immigrant families and children as a mental health specialist at the Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco. Ms. Mato Vilar obtained a MA in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and a Master of Psychology from the University of Barcelona. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Organizational Development Consulting from the University of Barcelona, and a BA in Industrial Relations from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela. Ms. Mato Vilar is a native Spanish speaker.

Photo of Shruti Dasgupta, PhD

Shruti Dasgupta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology

Photo of Shruti Dasgupta

Shruti Dasgupta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology


Shruti Dasgupta is a clinical psychologist with experience in multicultural and trauma-informed psychological and psychosocial care across community mental health centers, hospitals and other clinical settings. She is an immigrant with clinical and research interests in interpersonal, gendered and oppression-related trauma among marginalized communities including refugees, asylum seekers and other international populations. She also has an interest in local and global diversity along different dimensions of identity. Dr. Dasgupta has worked in integrated healthcare with refugees and asylees at the Colorado Refugee Wellness Center, and with immigrants at the Asian Pacific Development Center in Aurora, Colorado. She obtained her PhD from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and a BS in Biology and Psychology from the University of California at Riverside. She is a native Bengali speaker, and also speaks conversational Hindi.

Photo of Mahima Muralidharan, Psy.D

Mahima Muralidharan, Psy.D
Clinical Supervisor

Photo of Mahima Muralidharan, Psy.D

Mahima Muralidharan, Psy.D
Clinical Supervisor


Dr. Mahima Muralidharan is a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience providing program management, clinical supervision and training, and psychological care for underserved adults, children and families in the United States and India. She coordinated the school-based clinical training program at the Ann Martin Center in Emeryville, and is an instructor and supervisor at Access Institute for Psychological Services and the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Dr. Muralidharan served as President of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, and is co-founder of Reach-SF, an organizational consulting firm promoting workplace well-being. She obtained a Doctor of Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology, a MA in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Madras. Dr. Muralidharan has independent clinical practices in Oakland and San Francisco, and joins Partnerships for Trauma Recovery as Clinical Supervisor for our Global Healing and Human Rights Training Program. She speaks Tamil.

Photo of Hilary Combs, Psy.D

Hilary Combs, Psy.D
Clinical Supervisor

Photo of Hilary Combs, Psy.D

Hilary Combs, Psy.D
Clinical Supervisor


Dr. Hilary Combs is a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience providing mental health care for traumatized populations, clinical supervision and training, and program development. She established the Perinatal Depression Treatment Program at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she provided mental health support for pregnant and postpartum immigrant and refugee women, and clinical training for psychology graduate students and psychiatry residents. Dr. Combs was Clinical Director of Bridges to Recovery, a residential treatment program in Los Angeles. At Alameda Health Systems in Oakland, California, Dr. Combs developed integrated mental health training at the Eastmont Wellness Center, serving the medical needs of underserved communities, and newly arrived refugees receiving their initial refugee health screenings. Dr. Combs received a Doctor of Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, and a BA in Psychology from Tufts University. She has a private practice in Oakland, and joins Partnerships for Trauma Recovery as Clinical Supervisor for our Global Healing and Human Rights Training Program.

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Amy Berlin, MD
Consulting Psychiatrist

Photo of Amy Berlin, MD

Amy Berlin, MD
Consulting Psychiatrist


Amy Berlin, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her clinical practice includes psychoanalytic psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. She enjoys working with trauma and dissociation, and consulting with pregnant and post-partum women considering psychiatric pharmacotherapy, as well as working with new parents. She particularly enjoys collaborating with like-minded colleagues in a team- based approach to split treatment. Prior to entering private practice, she was on the faculty at UCSF, where she supervised psychiatry residents and served as the staff psychiatrist at the University of California Center on Deafness. Amy also has a background in health informatics, and has consulted to behavioral health providers and technology vendors. She previously served as the Secretary-Treasurer of HealthShare Bay Area, a Bay Area-wide community health information exchange. Dr. Berlin has a B.A. in French Literature from Cornell University. She attended medical school and completed her psychiatry residency at UCSF.

2018-19 GLOBAL HEALING AND HUMAN RIGHTS CLINICAL TRAINEES

Our Global Healing and Human Rights clinical trainees join PTR with a strong commitment to human rights and social justice. They have a keen interest in providing trauma-informed, culturally aware and linguistically accessible mental health care for international survivors of human rights abuses, and contributing to the psychosocial well-being of refugee and asylum seeking populations. As a group they bring to PTR a rich diversity of languages, cultural backgrounds, and international and professional experiences.

Photo of Jada Carter

Jada Carter

Photo of Jada Carter

Jada Carter


Jada Carter is obtaining a Doctor of Psychology from the University of San Francisco, where she is in her third year. She completed a BA in Sociology minoring in Psychology from the University of California, Merced. Ms. Carter has previous clinical experience working with underserved minority families in a non-profit community mental health clinic, with trauma-informed and social justice approaches. She has a keen interest in focusing on psychological health discrepancies amid disadvantaged communities who experience intergenerational and severe trauma. She speaks conversational Italian.

Photo of Tristan Hansell, MA, MS

Tristan Hansell, MA, MS

Photo of Tristan Hansell, MA, MS

Tristan Hansell, MA, MS


Tristan Hansell is in her fourth year, obtaining a Doctor of Psychology from Palo Alto University. She joins PTR with clinical experience working with diverse adult and adolescent populations within community mental health and in limited resource settings, and her primary areas of interest include trauma, acculturation and family systems. Ms. Hansell received her MA in Political Science & International Conflict Resolution from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a BS in Geology from the University of Vermont. She has had the opportunity to work internationally in Europe and Africa within policy and research.

Photo of Xiaochang Huang, MEd, MS

Xiaochang Huang, MEd, MS

Photo of Xiaochang Huang, MEd, MS

Xiaochang Huang, MEd, MS


Xiaochang Huang is obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University where she is in her third year. Ms. Huang is an international student from China with extensive international clinical and research experience related to trauma. Ms. Huang’s ancestors immigrated to Indonesia where they lived for over 200 years before being forced to return to China. Affected by her family history, Ms. Huang is interested in working with forcibly displaced populations to discover their resilience and ability recover after human rights abuses. She joins PTR with a keen interest in applying psychoanalytic understanding to trauma healing. Ms. Huang obtained a MEd in Developmental Psychology and a BS in Psychology from the South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China. She is a native Mandarin speaker, and also speaks fluent Cantonese & conversational Hakka.

Photo of Stephanie Seeman, MS

Stephanie Seeman, MS

Photo of Stephanie Seeman, MS

Stephanie Seeman, MS


Stephanie Seeman is obtaining a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the PGSP- Stanford Psy.D. Consortium in Palo Alto, where she is in her fourth year. Ms. Seeman joins PTR with an academic foundation in Latino culture and history and has also conducted social psychology research in Herzliya--Israel. Her clinical areas of interest include posttraumatic stress and growth, couples and family therapy, perinatal mental health, and 3rd wave cognitive behavioral therapies. Ms. Seeman received a BA in Spanish Language & Latin American, Caribbean, & Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University. She lived in Madrid, Spain for a year and is proficient in Spanish.

Photo of Isabel Unanue, MPH, MA

Isabel Unanue, MPH, MA

Photo of Isabel Unanue, MPH, MA

Isabel Unanue, MPH, MA


Isabel Unanue is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University specializing in global mental health and trauma. She became interested in this field in 2012 when she developed a mental health curriculum for mothers of malnourished children in Rwanda. Since then, she has collaborated on projects internationally in the Central African Republic and Kenya, and domestically with the immigrant Latinx and homeless communities. Ms. Unanue holds a Master’s in Psychology in Education from Columbia University, a Master’s in Public Health from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and a BA in Psychology from Yale University. Her primary research interests are in liberation psychology, integrating local resources into psychotherapeutic interventions, mindfulness and spirituality, and community empowerment. She is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent French.

See previous Global Healing & Human Rights Clinical Trainees

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Apply to join our Board of Directors

Photo of Monika Parikh, MA, MPA

Monika Parikh, MA, MPA
Founder, Board Chair

Photo of Monika Parikh, MA, MPA

Monika Parikh, MA, MPA
Founder, Board Chair


Combining her experience in human rights and international development with clinical training in trauma-informed psychotherapy, Ms. Parikh launched Partnerships for Trauma Recovery in 2015. Her professional career includes human rights program development with on-the-ground work in South Asia, West Africa and Latin America, as well as psychosocial treatment for refugees and immigrants in the United States. As the Director of Partnerships for Free the Slaves, Ms. Parikh led the development of the organization's global partnerships program. She has also conducted policy research and advocacy on a variety of human rights issues including armed conflict, United States foreign policy, modern slavery and multinational financial institution accountability, for organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for International Policy and Humanity United. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, she worked in management consulting and investment banking in New York City. She holds an MA in public and international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, a second MA from the Wright Institute, and a BA in finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She speaks Gujarati and Spanish.

Photo of Rajni Dronamraju, MA

Rajni Dronamraju, MA
Corporate Philanthropy, Genentech

Photo of Rajni Dronamraju, MA

Rajni Dronamraju, MA
Corporate Philanthropy, Genentech


Rajni Chandrasekhar Dronamraju has dedicated her career to advancing social impact in communities around the world. She brings her experience as a corporate funder and social impact consultant to support Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, focusing on building sustainable and impactful operations. Currently, Rajni leads preventative health philanthropy and impact measurement at Genentech. As an Associate Director at FSG, she worked with Toyota Mobility Foundation, Coca-Cola Brazil, Eli Lilly and Company, the Lego Foundation, and others to develop data-driven strategy, re-design programs, create learning and evaluation plans, and strengthen staff capabilities. She has experience working across a range of social issues, with focus on public health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, access to medicines, and early childhood development. Rajni holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in International Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Sita G. Patel, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University

Photo of Sita G. Patel

Sita G. Patel, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University


Dr. Sita Patel brings her clinical teaching and research experience to support PTR's research, outreach and advocacy initiatives. She is a clinical and community psychologist with research interests in global mental health, and culture and context as they relate to immigrant mental health. She is the Director of the Culture, Community & Global Mental Health Research Group and her work uses mixed-methods approaches to study acculturation stress, psychological, social, and academic adjustment, and access to treatment for mental illness among immigrant and minority populations. Her current projects include a longitudinal school-based study of risk and resiliency among newcomer adolescent immigrants; an evaluation study of California policies related to limited English proficiency adults in mental health care; a community partnership focusing on refugee mental health and access to treatment; and a study of trauma healing as a component of peace building in the Central African Republic. Dr. Patel was awarded a U.C. Berkeley Dissertation Award in 2006, an American Psychological Foundation Graduate Research Award in 2008, and an NIH Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment grant in 2009. She holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Vassar College.

Photo of Hema Prasad, Board Treasurer

Hema Prasad
Board Treasurer

Photo of Hema Prasad, Board Treasurer

Hema Prasad, Board Treasurer
Board Treasurer


Hema is a CPA, bringing almost two decades of accounting experience to her role as Board Treasurer at PTR. She spent her career as a consultant in Big 4 accounting firms, specializing in global mobility and expatriate taxation, and has worked with major international tech companies such as LinkedIn and Palantir Technologies to develop their international mobility programs. Hema's love of travel and experiencing different cultures has led her to Singapore, India, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago and San Francisco. Her lifelong passion for mentoring and working with people has led her to pursue certification as a life and career coach. She has also extensively volunteered with Young Women's Charter Leadership School of Chicago. Hema graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accounting.

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Brian Rawson
Associate Director of Advocacy and Communications, Asylum Access

Photo of Brian Rawson

Brian Rawson
Associate Director of Advocacy and Communications, Asylum Access


Mr. Rawson brings to PTR extensive experience in policy advocacy, external communications, and community engagement on issues pertaining to human rights, global health, and poverty relief. He recently joined the team at Asylum Access, an international NGO dedicated to making refugee rights a reality in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and will assume full time duty as Associate Director of Advocacy and Communications in the summer of 2017. He is currently an organizational consultant to clients such as the California Department of Public Health. In his prior work he built a national grassroots advocacy training program for Oxfam America, and launched an international medical conference and campaign on small arms and light weapons at the physicians’ disarmament organization and Nobel Peace laureate, IPPNW. A Bay Area native, his work for social justice began with the Central American solidarity movement and a trip to El Salvador at age 20 which sealed his commitment to work for peace and human rights. He studied International Development Studies at Brown University and remained on the East Coast for 20 years before moving back to the Bay in late 2015.

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Karen Silverman, JD
Partner, Latham and Watkins LLP

Photo of Karen Silverman, JD

Karen Silverman, JD
Partner, Latham and Watkins LLP


Ms. Silverman is the Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins' San Francisco office, co-chair of their Information Technology Industry Group and a member of their global Antitrust & Competition Practice. Named as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in California," and as one of "California's Top Women Litigators" by the Daily Journal, Ms. Silverman is also involved in several vital social causes. She sits on the boards of Not For Sale, an international non-profit dedicated to ending human trafficking, and Legal Momentum, which protects the rights of women and girls in law, policy, and education. She is also a member of the Board of the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center and Bay Area Legal Aid, two organizations that provide critical legal services in the community. She likewise is actively involved in the All Stars Project, which engages youth in low-resource communities through the power of performance. In 2014, the San Francisco Business Journal inducted Ms. Silverman in the "Forever Influential" Honor Roll of the most influential Bay Area businesswomen. Ms. Silverman also speaks and writes on a wide range of antitrust matters and legal practice issues.

Photo of Candace Smyth, JD, MA, Board Secretary

Candace Smyth, JD, MA, Board Secretary
Attorney

Photo of Candace Smyth, JD, MA, Board Secretary

Candace Smyth, JD, MA, Board Secretary
Attorney


Ms. Smyth brings to Partnerships for Trauma Recovery her combined experience in the law, immigration and human rights. Ms. Smyth currently serves as Counsel and Director of Client Relationships at Tanenholz & Associates, PLLC. She served as a federal law clerk in the Northern District of Texas, was an associate at the global law firm of Howrey LLP in Washington, DC and an attorney-advisor handling litigation matters for the Office of the Solicitor at the United States Department of the Interior. She also served as a public defender in the Four Corners of New Mexico, representing primarily Navajo clients, and as an attorney and pro bono coordinator at Washington, DC's Whitman-Walker Clinic, serving clients who were HIV+ and LGBT clients requesting political asylum. Ms. Smyth is an Executive Committee Member for DC's Capital Area Food Bank's Food from the Bar program, and Co-Chair for the DC Women's Bar Association. Ms. Smyth graduated from American University's Washington College of Law and was a member of its International Human Rights Clinic. She also holds a master's degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Alabama..

ADVISORY BOARD
Photo of Annie G. Bonz, MA

Joseph Asunka
Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Photo of Joseph Asunka

Joseph Asunka
Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


Mr. Asunka brings his experience in policy advocacy and international development in the international arena. He manages a portfolio of grants that support efforts to increase transparency and accountability in fiscal governance and foster citizen participation to improve the quality and availability of public services in Africa. Before joining the foundation, Mr. Asunka was a lecturer in political science at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he taught courses on African politics, political economy of development, research methods, and data analysis. Prior to that, he was program officer at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, a governance research and advocacy think tank based in Accra. Mr. Asunka's research interests are in distributive politics, elections, civic engagement and government responsiveness, and migration. He has published in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, Research & Politics, Journal of Modern African Studies, Social Science & Medicine, and Population Research and Policy Review. Born in Ghana, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.

Photo of Annie G. Bonz, MA

Annie G. Bonz, MA
Mental Health Technical Advisor for U.S. and Global Health Programs, International Rescue Committee

Photo of Annie G. Bonz, MA

Annie G. Bonz, MA
Mental Health Technical Advisor for U.S. and Global Health Programs, International Rescue Committee


Ms. Bonz provides technical guidance to IRC staff implementing mental health and psychosocial support programming. Prior to joining IRC in August 2014, she worked with New York area non-profits in the design and implementation of trauma-informed psychotherapeutic services for children and adolescents, including the provision of clinical services for unaccompanied minors from Central America at an ORR shelter in New York. For nearly a decade, she served in multiple leadership roles for refugee processing at the Church World Service Resettlement Support Center in Nairobi and traveled to refugee camps throughout Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, where she interviewed and provided support to teams interviewing refugees from across the region. She also served as a Health Educator with the U.S. Peace Corps (RPCV Kenya). Throughout her career, Ms. Bonz has provided technical support and training to field and program staff, integrating clinical and non-clinical programmatic best practices in service to individuals impacted by conflict and displacement. She is a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) and a National Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), with an MA in Art Therapy from New York University.

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Nahid Fattahi
Marketing Consultant, Community Builder, Human Rights Activist, Writer

Photo of Nahid Fattahi

Nahid Fattahi
Marketing Consultant, Community Builder, Human Rights Activist, Writer


Ms. Fattahi is a Marketing Consultant at Kaiser and a psychology/marriage and family therapist graduate student at Santa Clara University. Her recent research on the correlation between diet and sleep patterns with Dr. Kroth at Santa Clara University was accepted and presented at the 2015 Western Psychological Association Conference. Ms. Fattahi is a human rights activist, writer, active blogger and published poet. A former Afghan refugee herself, with a deep concern for humanitarian and social issues, she brings her first-hand knowledge to refugee and migration issues, mental health, and the long-term effects of armed conflict on refugees' mental and physical health. She recently applied this passion, along with her language and cultural skills, to independently volunteer in Lesvos, Greece to help address the refugee crisis in Europe. She subsequently conducted community outreach back in the Bay Area to continue to raise awareness of the plight of this population. She speaks Farsi, Dari, Hindi and Urdu.

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Gerald Gray, MSW
Institute for Redress and Recovery, Santa Clara University School of Law

Photo of Gerald Gray, MSW

Gerald Gray, MSW
Institute for Redress and Recovery, Santa Clara University School of Law


Mr. Gray is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker with over twenty years of experience with survivors of war, torture and exile. He is also the founder of San Francisco-based Survivors International and the Center for Justice and Accountability, and the former director of the Center for Survivors of Torture in San Jose. He has forged a national system to hold torturers accountable through collaborations among law, psychology, journalism, investigation, research, education and policy development. Using a network of academics, lawyers, and clinicians, Mr. Gray has helped initiate legal centers for torture survivors in both the U.S. and Canada. These centers produce research on torture, advocacy for an anti-impunity culture and legislation, and bring lawsuits to trial. In 2005 he became an Ashoka fellow and co-director of The Institute for Redress & Recovery at the Santa Clara University School of Law. He also sits on the boards of the Accountability Counsel, The Center for Justice and Accountability, The Canadian Centre for International Justice, Pars Equality Center, and the International Institute for Criminal Investigation (The Hague).

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Caroline Powell Donelan
Partner Labor and Employment, Blank Rome LLP

Photo of Caroline Powell Donelan

Caroline Powell Donelan
Partner, Labor & Employment, Blank Rome


Ms. Donelan is a Partner in Labor & Employment at Blank Rome. She is passionate about children's rights and focuses her pro bono practice entirely on initiatives directed towards serving children and their families. In her work with PTR, she helps navigate the complex legal and operational issues all employers in California face so that PTR can better focus on its core mission: to address the psychosocial impacts of trauma caused by war, torture, forced displacement, and persecution due to identity and beliefs.

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Lucia Gonzo, MD
Psychiatrist and Global Mental Health Consultant

Photo of Dr. Lucia Gonzo, MD

Lucia Gonzo, MD
Psychiatrist and Global Mental Health Consultant


Dr. Gonzo is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with a decade of experience in designing and managing mental health services and projects with non-governmental and humanitarian organizations, with extensive experience in the fields of GBV, Global Mental Health, survivors of torture and collective violence, asylum seekers, refugees, IDPs and addiction. Her experience with trauma victims started as a medical student in Bologna, Italy, with survivors of GBV. Both in Switzerland and UK, she expanded her knowledge to the fields of global mental health, victims of torture, asylum seekers, refugees and addiction. Inspired to make a larger impact, she progressively moved to the field of project and mental health service management. In Colombia, Dr. Gonzo was responsible for a Doctors Without Borders mental health project for IDPs. She developed her competence on mental health services, as scientific director of an NGO dealing with mental health in LMICs, in collaboration with the mental health department of the WHO. More recently, as a clinical director, she managed a psychotherapeutic service for migrants, victims of torture and collective violence at the Association Appartenances in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is now setting up her own private practice and working as a consultant on GBV, Global Mental Health and mental health services. As a former professional basketball player, she has also a specific interest in the field of sport psychiatry.

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Ed Marcum, MA, MBA
Vice President for Investments, Humanity United

Photo of Ed Marcum, MA, MBA

Ed Marcum, MA, MBA
Vice President for Investments, Humanity United


As VP for Investments at Humanity United, a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing freedom, Mr. Marcum engages businesses in developing innovative solutions to human trafficking and modern day slavery. He shares with Partnerships for Trauma Recovery his strategic acumen and knowledge of effective anti-trafficking approaches. Prior to joining HU, Mr. Marcum was the Deputy Executive Director of World Links, where he oversaw programs focused on improving educational outcomes and economic opportunities for youth in developing countries through the use of information and communications technology. He has also served as Executive Director of Global Education Partnership, a nongovernmental organization that provides entrepreneurship and job skills training to low-income youth in Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala, and Indonesia. Mr. Marcum holds a bachelor's in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA/MA degree from The Wharton School/Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Molly McCoy, Esq., MPH, JD
Chief Privacy Official and Privacy Counsel at Blue Shield

Photo of Molly McCoy, Esq., MPH, JD

Molly McCoy, Esq., MPH, JD
Chief Privacy Official and Privacy Counsel at Blue Shield


Molly McCoy, Esq., CIPP/US, is Chief Privacy Official and Privacy Counsel at Blue Shield of California. Prior to joining Blue Shield, Molly was Associate General Counsel for Privacy and HIPAA Security at Anthem where she served as lead in lead in-house privacy and compliance counsel on the Anthem cyberattack.  Molly has worked as a lawyer in health care and health care compliance since 1997. Molly’s practice areas have focused primarily on federal and state privacy and security law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).  Molly has a JD from the City University of New York and an MPH from Columbia University.  Molly is also a contributing editor to  “Information Security and Privacy: A Guide to Federal and State Law and Compliance” (West 2006-2015).

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Nick Nelson, MD
Highland Hospital Human Rights Clinic

Photo of Nick Nelson, MD

Nick Nelson, MD
Highland Hospital Human Rights Clinic


Dr. Nick Nelson leads Highland Hospital's Human Rights Clinic where he provides medical evaluations and ongoing primary care services to torture survivors in Alameda County. Expert in evaluating the physical and psychological signs of torture, Dr. Nelson conducts assessments, and documents findings, for asylum seekers' legal cases. He also provides comprehensive medical care, including psychiatric support, for refugee survivors of torture. He is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California-San Francisco and has been an invited lecturer for academic audiences on topics related to survivors of torture in primary care settings. He holds a medical degree from the University of London and a bachelor's from Reed College.

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Gilbert Newman, Ph.D.
Dean and Director of Clinical Training, Wright Institute

Photo of Gilbert Newman, Ph.D.

Gilbert Newman, Ph.D.
Dean and Director of Clinical Training, Wright Institute


Dr. Gilbert H. Newman oversees the Wright Institute's clinical services network and helps develop behavioral health services in community health centers though the Wright Institute's Integrated Health Psychology Training Program. Dr. Newman serves as a part of the medical staff providing primary care psychological services at Contra Costa Health Services where many of the patients he serves have been victims and/or perpetrators of trauma. Dr. Newman also helps direct the Wright Institute's Sanctuary Project providing psychosocial assessments to asylum seekers in the United States. Dr. Newman is currently a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation and is a Federal Education Advocacy Coordinator for Region 9. He is a former President of the California Psychological Association (2006) and has served as Chair for the APA Board of Educational Affairs (2007-2008) and Chair of the APA Committee of State Leaders (2010). Dr. Newman also served on the APA Good Governance Project and Implementation Team intended to amend APA's governance structure. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1996.

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Avani Mehta Sood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley Law

Photo of Avani Mehta Sood, Ph.D.

Avani Mehta Sood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley Law


Ms. Sood shares with Partnerships for Trauma Recovery her experience in law, psychology, and human rights. Her research applies experimental methodologies and theories of psychology to study how people make law and policy judgments. For example, she has studied the role of psychological motives for supporting torture in interrogation proceedings. She has also published in the areas of reproductive rights, gender justice, and international human rights law. Previously, Ms. Sood worked as a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, clerked for Judge Kimba Wood in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and was awarded the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights, through which she worked with the Center for Reproductive Rights' International Legal Program on research projects in India and Kenya. She holds a degree from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Clinic, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University, where she was awarded the Center for Human Values Graduate Prize Fellowship, the Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars, and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowship.

JUNIOR BOARD
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Theresa Gupta
Senior Finance Consultant, KPMG

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Theresa Gupta
Senior Finance Consultant, KPMG


Theresa is a finance consultant with over five years of work experience. For the duration of her professional career, she has worked at multiple Big 4 Accounting Firms under their advisory services, with a specialty in finance process optimization and strategic data analytics. Theresa is an avid volunteer within the San Francisco community, with involvement in organizations including Enterprise for You and Crisis Text Line. As a PTR Junior Board Member, she is excited to be able to use her past experiences and skillset to help PTR advance in its mission.

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Ope Peters
Attorney, Boornazian, Jenson & Garthe

Photo of Ope Peters

Ope Peters
Attorney, Boornazian, Jenson & Garthe


Ope is an Oakland-based attorney whose practice focuses on public entity and civil rights defense. Prior to beginning her current job, Ope spent a few years working at various NGOs to promote equal access to justice and on refugee and IDP issues related to the Ukrainian Crisis. She also worked in East Africa on various human rights issues related to promoting effective governance, access to justice, and prisoner rights. When she is not working, Ope loves to travel, read, and have nerdy philosophical discussions over brunch with friends.

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Shayna Quilty
Program Assistant, The Wright Institute

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Shayna Quilty
Program Assistant, The Wright Institute


Shayna has spent the past eight years working in several nonprofit organizations that focus on education and social justice. Through her work on small nonprofit teams she has gained experience in several areas of operations, including event planning, project management, fundraising, and marketing. She loves college basketball, traveling, music, hair dye, snacks, and Netflix. Shayna looks forward to partnering with the PTR team to continue to bring attention and support to the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers.

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Isabel “Izzy” Smith
Customer Success Manager, Everwise

Photo of Isabel “Izzy” Smith

Isabel “Izzy” Smith
Customer Success Manager, Everwise


Izzy graduated from San Diego State and studied International Security and Conflict Resolution. Since graduating, Izzy has lived in the Bay Area working at a couple technology companies and is currently a Customer Success Manager at Everwise. In her free time, Izzy loves being outdoors, hiking, laying back at the lake or checking out new places to eat. Izzy recently adopted a dog named Snoop, who’s a bit of a handful. Izzy is looking forward to meeting you each in person!

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Krissy Van Meter-Johnson
Human Resources Manager, Academy of Art University

Photo of Krissy Van Meter-Johnson

Krissy Van Meter-Johnson
Human Resources Manager, Academy of Art University


In her role at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Mrs. Van Meter-Johnson supports with various employment matters including visa and work authorization processes. She studied Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources Management at Eastern Washington University, and served two consecutive terms for the Associated Students as the Council Representative for Diversity Outreach. She participated in numerous philanthropic projects in the co-ed Business Fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and is excited to be joining PTR.

REFUGEE VOICES INTERPRETER TEAM

Samira Alibakit
Tigrinya, Amharic, & Arabic Interpreter

Gerelmaa Bataa
Mongolian Interpreter

Altankhuar Bayanjargal
Mongolian Interpreter

Samah Derenkay
Arabic & Tigrinya Interpreter

Tania Dugatkin
Spanish Interpreter

José Guillama
Spanish Interpreter

Robin Gurung
Nepali Interpreter

Aizpea Isasi Agirre
Spanish Interpreter

Selam Kifle
Tigrinya & Tigre Interpreter

Dalia Nava
Spanish Interpreter

Golghotai Osman
Dari, Farsi, Pashto, & Urdu Interpreter

Roshmi Rayamajhi
Nepali Interpreter

Adenice Terezinha
Portuguese Interpreter

Ensieh Yazdanpanah
Farsi & Dari Interpreter

HUMAN RIGHTS VOLUNTEER INTERNS
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Corey McCourt
Web Design Volunteer Intern

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Corey McCourt
Web Design Volunteer Intern


Corey McCourt joined PTR as a Web Design Intern in October 2017. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a degree in Computer Science and moved to Northern California to pursue his passion for software engineering. As an artist he really enjoys front end engineering and designing mobile apps. He wants to take the skills he has developed to someday work on artificial intelligence in robotics.

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Carol Tang
Web Design Volunteer Intern

Photo of Carol Tang

Carol Tang
Web Design Volunteer Intern


Carol Tang joined PTR in July 2016 with several years' worth of web design experience, as well as an interest in mental health. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with a B.A. in Linguistics. Her most recent work was with the UC Berkeley Neuroscience Department and Koinonia Fellowship. In her free time, she likes to draw and write. Carol speaks Mandarin and French.