(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 for 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.
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 in 2007 as the organizer for our project "NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees."
afaturoti @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 216
Born in Boston, Ambrose's career has centered on education, politics, and public service. In 2009, he was appointed Special Assistant to Governor Deval L. Patrick, then managed the Governor’s Urban Agenda in 2010. His policy experience covered Recovery Act funding equity for communities of color, youth violence, CORI Reform, and immigration. In April 2011, he joined Newton Mayor Setti Warren’s campaign for US Senate as Trip Director and Lead Organizer in Communities of Color Statewide. For the last five years, Ambrose has directed the AmeriCorps New American Integration Program (NAIP), w hich focuses on increasing economic opportunity in refugee and immigrant communities. He moved to MIRA when the Coalition took over full program and fiscal management of NAIP in October 2015. Ambrose earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in English from The University of Virginia, and is currently finishing a MA in Theological Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
Director, New Americans Integration Institute
jgross @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 228
Jeff joined MIRA after a diverse career that includes many years as a college humanities teacher and adult ESOL instructor, more than a decade as a project manager and team leader in the software and telecommunications industries, and extensive public policy research on educational and economic development issues impacting Massachusetts' immigrant communities. Jeff holds a BA in linguistics from Yale University, a PhD in medieval literature and historical linguistics from Harvard University, and a Master of Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Director of Legislative Affiars
agrunder @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 222
Habla español, parlez français
Amy brings broad experience in law, human rights advocacy, and communications to her role as Director of Legislative Affairs. She did communications and program work at two Boston-based human rights organizations, Cultural Survival and Physicians for Human Rights, before earning a JD and Masters in International Affairs from American University. Amy then joined the Boston law firm of Palmer & Dodge LLP as a public finance attorney. She subsequently began an appellate immigration asylum practice, and was appointed to the governing council of the Massachusetts Bar Association Immigration Law Section in 2010. More recently, Amy taught in the legal studies department of Bunker Hill Community College, one of the most diverse colleges in Massachusetts.
jhenderson @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 201
Jenna is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Massachusetts who began her career working with a variety of nonprofits at a public accounting firm. Inspired by her clients' work, she decided to leave public accounting and worked at a variety of Boston-area nonprofits, including Maimonides School and Clinton Health Access Initiative. Her most recent position prior to joining MIRA was Controller of Excel Academy Charter Schools, which serves a diverse, low-income population in East Boston and Chelsea, and is also one of the highest performing public schools in the state. A Boston native, Jenna holds a Bachelor's of Science of Business Administration in accounting from The Ohio State University.
justice AmeriCorps Massachusetts Program Director
tmachowsky @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 217
Toni joined MIRA as Program Director for justice AmeriCorps Massachusetts in July 2015. Prior to joining MIRA, Toni provided pro bono legal services for immigrant families in Maryland with the Law Office of Michelle J. Moodispaw, LLC. Toni also volunteered as a pro bono attorney with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) in Washington, DC where she represented unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings. Prior to law school, Toni served in AmeriCorps*VISTA in San Diego, California. There, she worked with low-income communities to help develop literacy programs. Toni attended New England School of Law where she graduated cum laude and served as the Symposium Editor of the New England Law Review. Toni holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both International Relations and Spanish from Colgate University.
ctagengwa @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 227
Speaks Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, and Swahili
As someone displaced by the 1994 genocide in her native Rwanda, Christine has a passion for helping immigrants and refugees settle in the U.S. After graduating from Divinity School in Kenya in 1999, she came to the U.S. in 2000, earned a Master's of Social Work from Boston University in 2012, and joined MIRA in July 2014 with over ten years experience working in refugee and immigrant resettlement. Christine is a board member of the Chelsea Collaborative and Umunara, Inc., and received the 2008 “Unsung Heroine Award,” from the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants in recognition of her work helping “uprooted people.”
sparsons @ miracoalition.org
(617) 350-5480 ext. 218
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.
Valerie Vande Panne
Director of Communications
(617) 350-5480 ext. 204
Valerie began her career in drug policy reform, working with the Marijuana Policy Project and serving on the boards of Flex Your Rights and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. She went on to manage the campaign office of Robert Morgenthau’s successful, final run for re-election as New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney. She later served as a non-attorney member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Drugs and the Law Committee. She is also an award-winning independent journalist, with work that has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian [UK], the Harvard Gazette, Politico, Salon, and El Planeta en español, among other publications. She is a former news editor of High Times magazine. Most recently, she was editor-in-chief of Detroit’s alt-weekly, the Metro Times.