EBSC has a vibrant team of lawyers, paralegals, advocates, volunteers, and allied organizations who help advance our mission.

Our Staff

Sister Maureen Duignan
Executive Director

A native of Ireland, Sr. Maureen Duignan joined EBSC in 1984 working with migrants in detention and has been Executive Director since 2000. She has earned many awards for her work with immigrants, including the National Award from the National Guatemalan Council. She speaks Spanish and French.

Email Sister Maureen.

Michael Smith, Refugee Rights Program Director

Michael co-founded EBSC’s Asylum Program in 1992. He has mentored thousands of law students and pro bono attorneys over the years. An expert on the treatment of indigenous peoples in Guatemala during the civil war, he is author of two books and numerous articles and was honored by the Dalai Lama.

Email Michael.

Kaveena Singh,
Managing Attorney

Kaveena started as a legal intern at EBSC in 2003. After earning a BA from Brown University and a JD from UC Hastings, she clerked at the LA Immigration Court through the Attorney General’s Honors Program and was a staff attorney at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As Managing Attorney, she supervises all aspects of EBSC’s legal program.

Email Kaveena.

Manuel De Paz,
Coordinator, CDE Program

A Salvadoran refugee, Manuel joined EBSC in 2006. He organizes free informational workshops on a range of immigration topics and provides referrals for housing, jobs, and education. He also directs our organizing efforts. For an excellent article on Manuel, click here. Manuel became a U.S. citizen in 2008.

Email Manuel.

Lisa Gano,
Assistant Director

Lisa  joined EBSC in 2018 and brings a wealth of experience in program and organizational management. Her background is in planning and operations in the  international humanitarian sector and she is delighted to be providing operational and administrative support to EBSC.

Email Lisa.

Lisa Hoffman,
Development Director

Lisa is passionate about supporting community-based organizations to obtain funding and support for their vital programs. Lisa started as a volunteer at EBSC and began working as Development Director in 2017 and ASV Director in 2018. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and speaks Spanish, Russian and French. 

Email Lisa.

Miriam Henneberger,
Financial Manager

Miriam, a native of Guatemala, joined EBSC in 2016 as a contractor providing support in bookkeeping, administrative and financial planning staff and Board of Directors. She is proud to serve an amazing organization and its dynamic employees, whose hearts are in helping the immigration community.

Email Miriam.

Cynthia Coronel Borboa,
Office Administrator

Passionate about immigrant and civil rights, Cynthia received her BA at UCR with a major in Philosophy / Law and Society. She received her paralegal certificate from SFSU and began interning at EBSC in 2018. She has been the Office Administrator since April 2019. She loves to dance, run, and spend time with her family.

Email Cynthia.

Juan Enriquez,
Interim Office Administrator

Juan came to EBSC in 2019 as interim office administrator where he is the first point of contact for clients. Born in Mexico, Juan received asylum in 2019 with EBSC’s help. Committed to LGBT advocacy, Juan has been active in the OLAS LGBT Sanctuary Project, providing community-building support to LGBT asylees.

Email Juan.

Abigail Rich,
Staff Attorney

Abigail joined EBSC in 2016 as a Liman Fellow and has been a Staff Attorney since 2017. She leads our work on trauma-informed practices and wellness. Abigail previously worked with immigrants and refugees at Yale Law School, where she earned her JD. She is an Advisory Committee member for OLAS – LGBT Sanctuary Project.

Email Abigail.

Alexander Kristallis,
Staff Attorney

Alex started volunteering at EBSC in 2016 while completing his Law and Politics degree at Queen Mary, University of London. He then joined EBSC in October 2019 after completing an MA in international human rights law at Georgetown University. He primarily helps clients apply for affirmative asylum, residency and citizenship applications.

Email Alex.

Angela Fitzsimons,
Staff Attorney

Angela has been a staff attorney at EBSC since 2015.  She represents asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors.  She is very grateful to work with the supportive and dedicated staff at EBSC and to serve the immigrant community.

Email Angela.

Irene Ross,
Staff Attorney

Irene received her JD with honors and a public interest law concentration from JFK University School of Law. She was awarded a fellowship with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and practiced as a tenant attorney before moving into immigration law. Prior to joining EBSC, Irene was a pro-bono attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative.

Email Irene.

Shiori Akimoto,
DOJ Accredited Representative

Shiori, an immigrant from Japan, began volunteering at EBSC in October 2012 while working on her bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. At EBSC, Shiori coordinates our DACA and Public Charge programs, organizes free citizenship processing workshops, and works on family petition cases.

Email Shiori.

Cristina Ceballos,
Coordinator, LGBT Asylum Program

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Cristina’s passion for immigrant rights came from bearing witness to the obstacles her own family faced. Cristina joined EBSC in 2017 and works primarily with LGBT asylum seekers. She also coordinates the OLAS-LGBT Sanctuary Project. Cristina started as a volunteer in 2013 while attending UC Berkeley, where she earned a BA in Sociology.

Email Cristina.

Anna Flurry,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Anna graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and Latin American Studies. She started as a receptionist in September 2018 and currently works as a paralegal with a focus on work permits and community resources. She is fluent in Spanish.

Email Anna.

Brenda Gomez Vazquez,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Brenda began volunteering at EBSC in 2016 and joined as a staff member in 2017. In 2018 she received her bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and a minor in Spanish Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Brenda is a DACA Recipient and is very grateful to be able to co-coordinate the DACA program at EBSC. She’s also the Coordinator of the Naturalization Program and works with beneficiaries of Asylees.

Email Brenda.

Cristina Campos,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Cristina volunteered at EBSC and joined as staff in 2017. Raised in LA, she comes from a family of resilient Salvadoran immigrants. Witnessing the lack of low-cost legal help available to her community prompted Cristina to pursue a career in immigration law. She earned a B.A. in Legal Studies and a B.A in Latin American Literature from UC Berkeley.

Email Cristina.

Esmeralda Perez,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Esmeralda began volunteering at EBSC in 2018 while working on her Paralegal Studies certification at San Francisco State University. In early 2019, she joined EBSC as a paralegal assisting asylum clients. She received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at San Francisco State University.

Email Esmeralda.

Kathy Brasil,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Kathy has been a paralegal since 2016, helping people apply for asylum and legal permanent residency. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice, studying the relationship between social inequality and international migration. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is studying American Sign Language and Mam.

Email Kathy.

Liliana Macias,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Liliana became passionate about immigrant rights while growing up in the border town of San Ysidro. After earning her BA in Political Science from UCLA in 2014, she moved to the Bay Area and volunteered for EBSC as an asylum interpreter. In 2016, she became a paralegal for unaccompanied minors.

Email Liliana.

Yuko Matsumoto,
Refugee Rights Advocate

Yuko began interpreting for EBSC in 2012 while completing an MA in Latin American studies at UC Berkeley. As a paralegal, she assists unaccompanied minors and LGBT asylum applicants from Brazil. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. She received her BA in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America.

Email Yuko.


Board

  • Bill Balderston – Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
  • Sister Maureen Duignan, Executive Director – Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia 
  • Sarah Barry Fike – St. Joseph the Worker 
  • Margaret Fine, Secretary – Community Member at Large
  • Everett Kalin – Community Member at Large
  • Maria La Boissiere – Haiti Education Program
  • Eduardo Martinez, Chair – Richmond City Council Member  
  • Glenda Pawsey – St. John’s Presbyterian Church 
  • Ada Recinos, Treasurer – Community Member at Large
  • Alex Schafran – Community Member at Large
  • Andrea Valverde – Community Member at Large
  • Roberta Weisbard, Vice-Chair – Member at Large 
  • Dorothy Wonder – Epworth United Methodist Church