CDM Staff

Rachel Micah-Jones, Founder and Executive Director

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Rachel Micah-Jones is an attorney and the Founder and Executive Director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., the first transnational migrant rights organization based in Mexico and the United States. An award-winning leader in the migrant and workers’ rights movement, Rachel has focused on reforming international labor recruitment and the H-2A and H-2B guestworker programs to protect low-wage workers. Rachel has built an international coalition on recruitment reform, advocated for workers’ rights in strategic litigation against US government agencies and employers, and testified before international organizations, in US Congressional briefings, and before the Mexican Congress. Rachel’s writing on transnational migrant justice and clinical legal education has been published by the The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she co-led a groundbreaking international clinic for law students. Rachel is a graduate of Georgetown University and American University Washington College of Law.

 

Julia Coburn, Director of Operations in Mexico and ProMuMi Coordinator

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Julia Coburn is CDM’s Director of Operations in Mexico, and the Coordinator of the Migrant Women’s Project (Proyecto de Mujeres Migrantes or “ProMuMi”). She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies and in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Media, Peace & Conflict Studies from the United Nations-Mandated University for Peace. In 2011, she received a Fulbright scholarship to work with migrant worker women in Costa Rica’s domestic service industry. Julia first fell in love with CDM as a volunteer in Zacatecas in 2008 through the University of Chicago’s Human Rights Program. She returned to CDM as a Dr. Aizik Wolf Human Rights Fellow to research the labor recruitment industry, and has subsequently worked in CDM’s Zacatecas, Baltimore and Mexico City offices in outreach, operations, and litigation support.

Elizabeth MauldinPolicy Director

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As policy director, Elizabeth leads CDM’s work to strengthen migrant worker rights through advocacy at the federal, state, and international levels. Before coming to CDM in 2012, Elizabeth monitored and investigated the conditions of tomato farmworkers throughout Florida at the Fair Food Standards Council. Prior to working with farmworkers, Elizabeth was a policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center where she advocated for immigrant access to legal status and challenged federal immigration enforcement policies. She holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and is licensed to practice law in California.

Ben BottsLegal Director

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Ben Botts is CDM’s Legal Director. He comes to CDM after six and a half years as an attorney with the the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Ben started with DOL in 2010 in the agency’s honors attorney program in Washington, D.C., handling appellate litigation and regulatory matters. From 2012 until early 2017 he worked as a trial attorney in DOL’s Office of the Regional Solicitor in San Francisco, where he focused on litigating wage and hour cases in low-wage industries such as agriculture, hospitality, and senior care. In this position, he achieved significant victories benefitting immigrant and other vulnerable workers, including successfully trying a case involving hundreds of farmworkers on H-2A temporary agricultural visas resulting in an order of more than $2.2 million in back pay and penalties; winning a two-week jury trial in federal court concluding with a judgment of nearly $200,000 in back wages and damages and a finding of unlawful retaliation against immigrant kitchen workers; and mediating a consent judgment in federal court securing payment of $5 million in back wages and damages for hundreds of misclassified courier drivers. Before law school, Ben was a paralegal for three years with a small immigration law firm concentrating on political asylum and family-based cases. He received a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2010 and a B.A. in history from U.C. Berkeley in 2003, and is admitted to practice law in California.

Evy Peña, Communications Coordinator

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Evy Peña is CDM’s Communications Coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, where she majored in Comparative Politics with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to joining CDM, Evy worked in a communications consultancy, designing and implementing strategies for transnational companies and nonprofits regarding regulatory affairs, trade and labor disputes, as well as sustainability initiatives. In addition, she has analyzed marginalized groups and exclusive policies in Latin America as a research assistant and has worked as a reporter for the daily El Norte, covering arts and culture in her hometown of Monterrey.

Sara GeurstenContratados.org

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Sara Geurtsen joined CDM as the Marketing and Licensing Strategist for Contratados.org in October 2015. Sara has extensive experience in strategy, partnership building, and licensing negotiations both in the public and private sectors. She comes to CDM from Discovery Communications, where she established and oversaw partnerships internationally to distribute products via digital channels. She has previously worked in marketing and brand management for Twentieth Century Fox Film, and as a strategy and marketing consultant for SRA International with clients at myriad U.S. federal agencies. Sara holds two B.S. degrees from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

 

Adriana del Rocio González SernaFinance Director

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Adriana is the Finance Director at CDM. She studied Financial Administration at Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (UAA). She has worked in Centro Regional para la Competitividad Empresarial, HSBC, Seguros AIG, and also as an English and flamenco dance instructor. Adriana began working with CDM in 2008.

Lilián López GraciánOutreach Paralegal & Network Liaison

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Lilián is CDM’s Outreach Paralegal & Network Liaison, working in the area of Litigation Support Services while supporting the Outreach, Education, and Leadership Development program. She also represents CDM in two strategic national migration networks: Foro Migraciones (Migration Forum) and Colectivo de las Migraciones para las Américas (Migrations Collective of the Americas, or COMPA). Lilián graduated from Universidad de La Salle Bajío, School of Law. She has a personal and professional interest in human rights and has significant experience working with Mexican and Central American migrants in communities such as Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, and Matías Romero. Prior to joining CDM, Lilián worked in various organizations to resolve the abuses commonly experienced by migrants as they move through Mexico.

Dolores Ramírez, Accountant

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Dolores is CDM’s accountant. She graduated from the School of Accounting and Administration at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM). Dolores has more than a decade of experience in accounting and auditing, having worked as an external auditor and a financial and administration consultant. Before joining CDM, Dolores’ worked with telecommunications, construction, and manufacturing companies as well as foundations.

Nadia Islas NavarroOffice Assistant and Paralegal

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Nadia Islas Navarro studied communications and journalism at UNAM. Her work focused on the dissemination, management and organization of activities in the cultural and journalistic fields, linking issues such as gender, digital media, human rights, prevention of violence against women, sexual and reproductive, cultural policies, food security with a gender perspective, cultural journalism and literature. Nadia has worked at NGOs, including Modemmujer, Red de Comunicación Electrónica, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO); and she has been a collaborator for the newspapers Excélsior, La Jornada and Milenio. Nadia has collaborated with publishers such as Editorial Resistencia, Pluralia and La Caja de Cerillos in Mexico City. She was a volunteer at CDM in 2010 in Zacatecas.10

Rebeca Rodríguez FloresOutreach Worker

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Rebeca is an Outreach worker at CDM, based in the Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca office. Before joining CDM, Rebeca worked with the Instituto Estatal para la Educación de Adultos (IEEA, State Institution for the Education of Adults) as a consultant, bilingual technician, and as a trainer for the coordination of Santiago, Juxtlahuaca.

 

Claudia Cruz López, Outreach Coordinator for Contratados.org

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Claudia Cruz López holds a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a Master’s Degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana. She completed her social service at Sin Fronteras I.A.P, gaining an understanding of the administrative process to regularize the migratory situation of vulnerable communities. Claudia also worked for the Jesuit Service for Migrants in Mexico, where she learned about the experience of the transmigrant peoples and their advocates. Before joining CDM, she was a consultant for the Institute of Studies and Dissemination on Migration, A. C. (INEDIM).

Natalia ThompsonDevelopment Coordinator

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Natalia Thompson is CDM’s Development Coordinator. She holds a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University. While at Yale, Natalia organized for migrant justice with MEChA de Yale and conducted ethnographic research on lesbian-feminist organizing in central and southern Mexico. Prior to joining CDM, she spent a year documenting cross-border feminist movements in Latin America as a Yale University Parker Huang Travel Fellow. Her writing has appeared in Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social and is forthcoming in two anthologies of feminist and queer writings by women of color.

 

Adelina Vásquez CedilloOutreach Worker

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Adelina is an Outreach worker at CDM, based in the Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca office. Prior to coming to CDM, she worked on an anthropological survey in Guanajuato and served as a consultant in the INEA.