(617) 350-5480 ext. 211
Eva A. Millona is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the state’s largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration. She joined MIRA in 1999 and served as Director of Policy and Advocacy and as Deputy Director before becoming Executive Director in 2008, and she is now one of New England’s most highly quoted immigration experts. Prior to MIRA, Ms. Millona directed the refugee resettlement program in Central Massachusetts. In her native Albania, she practiced civil and criminal law, serving on Tirana’s District Court from 1989 – 1992, when she was the nation’s youngest district judge ever appointed.
Ms. Millona is also the co-chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants and serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2010, she co-chaired the nation’s largest immigrant integration conference, which MIRA hosted in Boston. She is the recipient of over a dozen major awards, including the prestigious 2009 USCIS Outstanding American by Choice Award, the 2010 Wainwright Bank Social Justice Award, and the 2011 and 2012 Powermeter Award, presented to the most influential people for Latinos in Massachusetts.
(617) 350-5480 ext. 206
Born in the U.S. and raised in Venezuela, Cristina received her bachelor's at Venezuela's University of Carabobo, where she co-founded a student movement to defend the autonomy of public universities. After graduating, she moved to the U.S. to pursue union campaigns in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina and New York City. In May 2008, she moved to Singapore to earn a Public Administration master's at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. In 2010, Cristina settled in Boston and joined MIRA to continue the fight for minority and worker rights. In March 2014, Cristina became MIRA's Organizing Director.
New Hampshire Immigrant Project Organizer
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Eva Castillo has a long history of working with and advocating for immigrants. She came to the States in 1975 to study at Western Michigan University, and she began her career at the nearby Hispanic American Council. In 1984, Eva moved to New Hampshire, where she worked first at the NE Farm Workers Council, and later at the Latin American Center in Manchester. She joined MIRA as the organizer for our project "NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees" in 2007.
Thalita joined MIRA in April 2014 as a field organizer. Originally from Brazil, she got a bachelor's degree in Communications from the Federal University of Espirito Santo and moved to Boston in 2011, where she is currently pursuing a masters in Global Studies and International Relations at Northeastern University. Prior to MIRA, Thalita worked in Boston as a Program Manager at the Catholic University of Brasilia, and in Brazil as a Communications Director for the State of Espirito Santo's Attorney General Office.
(617) 350-5480 ext. 205
Director of Finance and Operations
(617) 350-5480 ext. 201
Liz came to MIRA in August 2009 with over 14 years experience in the nonprofit sector and a strong background in financial management, including several positions as Finance Director. Most recently she served for five years as Director of Finance & Operations at the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS). She holds a B.S. in Accountancy from Bentley University, continues to serve on the Board of Directors of MAPS as Treasurer, and is a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP).
State Policy Director
(617) 350-5480 ext. 222
Shannon joined MIRA in August, 2011, following work as a policy advocate with the Immigrants Protection Project of Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. Originally from Rochester, New York, she earned her bachelor's from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where her studies focused on asylum law and immigrants' rights and included work in the West Bank with a Palestinian refugee advocacy NGO. Outside of MIRA, Shannon serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Muslim Bar Association.
Elsa Gomes Bondlow
Director of Development
( 617 ) 350 - 5480 ext. 218]
Fala português, habla español
Elsa arrived at MIRA after two and a half years at Tufts University, where she was responsible for multi-year major gifts fundraising. She also spent seven years working at the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), advocating for the advancement of people from Portuguese speaking countries. Born to a Cape Verdean family and raised in Portugal, Elsa has also been a Portuguese language instructor, a translation consultant, and has worked with language learning software development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Intercultural Studies with a Communications Minor from Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, CA and a Management Certificate in Health and Human Services from Suffolk University.
Director, New Americans Integration Institute
(617) 350-5480 ext. 228
Jeff joined MIRA after a diverse career that includes many years in academia and work as an adult ESOL instructor, more than a decade as a project manager and team leader in the high technology industry, and extensive public policy research on workforce development, entrepreneurship, and educational issues impacting Massachusetts' immigrant communities. Jeff holds a PhD in linguistics and literature from Harvard University, and a Master of Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Speaks Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, and Swahili
Christine was born in Rwanda. She joined MIRA in July of 2014 with over 10 years experience working in refugee and immigrant resettlement. She graduated from Divinity School in Kenya in 1999 and came to the U.S. in 2000. She graduated with a Master's of Social Work from Boston University in 2012. As someone who has been misplaced due to the 1994 genocide in her country, she has a passion for helping immigrants and refugees settle in the U.S. She is a board member of the Chelsea Collaborative and Umunara, Inc. In 2008, Christine received “Unsung Heroine Award,” after being nominated by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants State Wide in recognition of her work helping “uprooted people.”
Federal Policy Director
(617) 350-5480 ext. 212
Prior to joining MIRA in April 2008, Sarang was an immigrant rights advocate in New York City. There he designed a legal training program for the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans, and he served as the Interim-Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's New York Office. Sarang received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2005, his master's in International Relations from Boston University in 2004, and his bachelor's from Tufts in 1998.
(617) 350-5480 ext. 204
Frank and his siblings were raised speaking both Spanish and English in Syracuse, New York, by their Chilean immigrant mom. After completing his bachelor's at the University of Chicago, Frank worked as an adult ESOL teacher and as a music journalist and editor, winning three statewide journalism awards in the early 2000s. In May 2008 Frank earned a master's in journalism at Columbia University, and in April 2009 he joined MIRA as a spokesperson and strategic communications planner.