Advisors & Ambassadors
Talia Azzaretto is an associate attorney at Burns & Levinson LLP, focusing on estate planning as well as estate and trust administration. She enacts sophisticated planning strategies tailored to her clients’ goals and strives to educate her clients throughout the planning and administration processes. She holds a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a B.B.A., summa cum laude, from Loyola College in Maryland. In her spare time, Talia enjoys getting outside in nature with her husband and two young children.
Jake is an immigration and human rights lawyer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently a staff attorney at the International Rescue Committee. Previously, he was a staff attorney at Catholic Charities, and a staff attorney and legal fellow at Project Citizenship. He has a JD with Honors in the Concentration of International Law from Boston University, and a BA, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University. Jake is the son and grandson of former refugees from Cuba, and the great-grandson of Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Turkey. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, and speaks conversational Kyrgyz and Spanish.
Tiffany is the office manager for the Boston Celtics headquarters where she has been for the past 4 seasons. Along with the many hats she wears in her current role, in 2020 she became the pilar lead for the Voting and Civic Engagement Committee under the newly formed social justice initiative of the company called Boston Celtics United. Previously, she was a personal chef for several years and taught baking classes for middle and high school students in Lexington MA. Tiffany became very passionate about naturalization when going through the process with her dad who was a permanent resident for over 30 years. By seeing firsthand the sometimes difficult and long process made her think of others who don’t have the help her dad had and became very passionate about breaking down barriers for people in need. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys cooking for fun, baking bread, reading a good book and weekend getaways.
Juan is a Senior Vice President at Bank of the West working in their corporate group where he works in helping large corporate clients define their financing strategies. He has 30 years of experience in international Banking leading teams on diverse areas of Risk Management and was previously Chief Risk and Credit Officer for Santander.
Juan and his wife Susana are first-generation immigrants and became US citizens in 2015. They recently moved with their 3 children to San Francisco after 10 lovely years in Boston where he was a Board member at Project Citizenship
He is a graduate of ICADE (Madrid) and Middlesex University (London) and a Harvard Business School Alumni.
Brenda is a partner of Ropes & Gray, in the firm’s Private Client Group. She serves as trustee of numerous trusts, represents fiduciaries in the settlement of estates, and prepares estate plans for individuals. Brenda works with multiple generations of families with accumulated wealth, entrepreneurs, private and public company executives and shareholders, and professional public personalities, and other high net worth clients. Her practice involves the administration of client estates and trusts, including post-mortem tax planning and giving advice regarding fiduciary responsibilities. Brenda serves as executor for estates of varying size and complexity, helping clients through diverse personal transitions and providing advice on risk management, fiduciary investments and efficient tax alternatives to avoid potential issues or disputes. In addition, she coordinates the proper disposition of individual and family assets including art, antiques, real estate, and other valuables and works with well-known auction houses and advisors when appropriate. Brenda’s practice also involves estate planning, including advising clients on various charitable and philanthropic endeavors. She works closely with financial planners and philanthropic advisors to develop comprehensive plans to meet the unique needs of her clients. Brenda has a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from Cornell University.
Dr. Susan Eaton is Professor of Practice in Social Policy and Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy. At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes.
Susan is an author, most recently, of the book, Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about myriad efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities across the United States. She also is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut and The Other Boston Busing Story: What’s Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. (New Press, 1996).
Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School and an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, Susan founded and co-directed the storytelling project One Nation Indivisible, which amplifies the voices and work of people creating and sustaining racially, culturally and linguistically integrated schools and other social institutions.
Deva Hirsch is an accomplished philanthropic and nonprofit professional with local, national and international leadership experience. She is Executive Director of the Rich Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. Deva previously served as Executive Director of the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation in Boston, the Executive Director of the Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation in Atlanta and as Co-Director and Vice President for Program at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Deva is the Founder and President Emeritus of Hands on Tokyo, a cross-cultural clearinghouse matching corporate and volunteer interests with community needs. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Music Project and the Advisory Committees for GreenLight Fund Atlanta, Project Citizenship and the U.S.-Japan Council. Deva has an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Nonprofit Management from Tufts University and a BA in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Georgia.
Garey is a Business Development Manager for JPMorgan Chase in Boston, MA. With over 14 years of experience in financial services, Garey has a demonstrated expertise in helping businesses utilize technology strategically to improve cash flow, mitigate risk and to scale the growth of their companies. He is passionate about financial technology and has a certification as a Treasury Professional with AFP and an accreditation as an ACH Professional with NACHA. He graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of Missouri and is currently completing his MBA with a focus in Analytics at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Outside of work, Garey enjoys going on long walks with his wife and is passionate about giving his time to several philanthropic initiatives within this community and the Greater Boston area.
Bill is a Senior Associate with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy in Boston, MA, where he has practiced immigration law for seven years. He developed an interest in immigration law, and in the pathway to U.S. residency and citizenship more specifically, through study of Mandarin Chinese in Beijing, teaching kindergarten at a predominantly Somali-American charter school in Minneapolis, and completing assignments abroad in Kochi, India and Shanghai, China. Bill is the pro bono coordinator for Fragomen’s Boston office and has taken an active role in strengthening the office’s pro bono program, and looks forward to continuing to grow the partnership between Fragomen and Project Citizenship with his Fragomen colleague on the A&A Board, Kelly Renaud. In his free time, Bill enjoys outdoor activities, especially long-distance bike trails, cross-country skiing and is an avid fan of the U.S. men’s national soccer team (looking forward to seeing matches at Gillette Stadium in 2026!).
Jennifer is Corporate Counsel at Cognex Corporation, a public technology company in Natick, Massachusetts, where she specializes in securities filings, M&A, ESG, commercial agreements and sales to the life sciences industry. Jennifer was previously a Corporate Associate at DLA Piper LLP where she represented public and private companies in equity financings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance matters. Jennifer is a dedicated pro bono attorney and has volunteered for a number of local immigration organizations, including Project Citizenship. She holds a J.D. from Boston University, and a B.S., magna cum laude, from Boston University. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys cuddling with her two cats, exploring local bike trails and getting in an exercise class.
Jim is a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group who specializes in complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on the defense of financial institutions in consumer class actions, enforcement actions and complex business litigation. As a member of this practice, Jim has defended against state and nationwide class actions and multi-district class actions around the country. His work has covered a wide variety of consumer class actions and government investigations facing the financial services industry, including banks and mortgage servicers in a host of challenges to mortgage servicing, fair lending and predatory lending practices and auto lenders in loan origination and servicing matters. Jim is a member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations, and has written and spoken on a variety of topics pertaining to financial services and class action litigation. He attended Seton Hall University where he obtained his B.A. in 1985 magna cum laude. He graduated from Rutgers School of Law in 1993 magna cum laude. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Jim is married with two teenage daughters, both of whom have also volunteered for Project Citizenship.
Mike McGurk has over 30 years of experience in virtually all aspects of patent law. Working with clients ranging from small start-ups to large Fortune 100 companies, he provides counsel in due diligence matters, global portfolio development and adversarial proceedings. Mike’s practice is informed by his background as a patent examiner for the USPTO, as a litigator for ten years, and as an expert in due diligence matters large and small. His extensive due diligence experience includes pre-litigation, acquisition, in-license, freedom-to-operate product and/or process clearance, design around, validity and patentability matters. Mike works primarily in the pharmaceutical, chemical, medical device, clean energy and mechanical technologies.
Nancy L. Moss is a communications professional with decades of experience in both profit and not-for-profit settings. She most recently served as communications director at edX, the online learning initiative founded by Harvard and MIT. Previously Nancy was head of the Boston office of RF|Binder Partners, a global New York-based communications consultancy, where she worked with corporate and nonprofit clients including CVS, Dunkin’ Brands, Staples and Microsoft. Before joining RF|Binder, Nancy was Director of Global Public Relations for Reebok International.
An accredited member, APR, of the Public Relations Society of America, Nancy has a B.A., with honors, from Simmons College and an M.A. from the University of Colorado. Nancy has served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston University’s College of Communication.
Amilcar is a Director for the Cybersecurity, Privacy and Forensics practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has been focused on helping organizations understand and effectively manage cybersecurity risks. He holds a System Engineering degree, as well as an MBA from Hult International Business School and other post-graduate studies and certifications in the cybersecurity field such as CISSP and CISM. Amilcar has had the opportunity to learn about different cultures thanks to having work responsibilities across multiple countries in Latin America. As an immigrant since 2014, he faced many challenges before getting a permanent residence card so he can relate to the stress that it comes with. He is always lending a hand and sharing what he has learned to others that arrive new to the country. Amilcar enjoys the beach, and he is big into boating.
Carolyn is a retired partner with the Boston office of Ropes & Gray LLP and was a member of its tax department. She joined the firm in 1970 and her practice has focused on exempt organizations, including representation of a number of colleges, universities, museums, and hospitals. She speaks regularly on issues of charitable giving and tax and corporate problems of tax exempt organizations. Carolyn is the co author of the “Harvard Manual Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving” last published in its 9th Edition as well as co author of the BNA portfolio, “Charitable Contributions for Corporations.” She has served as a member of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Public Charities Advisory Committee. She has served as a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, as a Regent of the American College of Tax Counsel and on the Governing Council of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. She has also chaired the Exempt Organizations Committee of the Tax Section. Carolyn is an alumna of Wellesley College and holds LL.B. and LL.M. degrees from Duke University School of Law, where she serves as a member of the Board of Visitors. Carolyn is an emeritus trustee of the Boston Athenaeum and serves as a Trustee of Boston Preparatory Charter School’s support foundation. She has served as a trustee of many New England non-profit organizations and continues to work in a volunteer capacity with various non-profit organizations including The Trustees of Reservations, Historic Boston, Incorporated, and Native Plant Trust. Carolyn is married to Robert T. Osteen, M.D. (B.A., Dartmouth College), and has two daughters.
O’Neil A.A. Outar is a first-generation college student, educated in NY, NH, and MA. He holds a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts, both from Tufts University. As of 2018, O’Neil has served as Vice President of Institutional Engagement at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he has created innovative and successful fundraising advancements. O’Neil has extensive experience in the development and advancement field and has helped raise over $9 billion dollars for several institutions. Previous development positions have included Interim Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Pittsburgh, Senior Associate Dean and Director of Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, the first Vice President for Advancement at the University of Alberta, and several similar roles at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology in various campaigns and at his alma mater, Tufts University. In addition to these roles, he is also a special advisor to The Guyana Foundation, a trustee of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, a Commonwealth Study Conference Leader, a Ditchley Scholar, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Knowledge Advisory Group, an MIT Leader-to-Leader Fellow, and a former member of the Board of Directors for Project Citizenship – where he now serves as an advisor and ambassador to the organization.
Kelly is a business immigration attorney advising organizations of all sizes. She has extensive experience with complex applications for professionals in the EB1 and O-1 classifications in the biotech and life sciences industry. She is currently an associate with Fragomen in their Boston office and has volunteered with Project Citizenship and other local immigration non-profits representing folks in bond and removal proceedings, participating in citizenship clinics, and providing informational sessions following immigration policy changes. Kelly is a member of her firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion network, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Massachusetts and American Bar Association, and in her spare time enjoys learning languages and trying new whole food plant-based recipes.
Janet Rickershauser counsels nonprofit organizations on a broad array of governance and tax issues and works with individuals and families on charitable giving strategies such as creating a family foundation or making an endowment gift.
As an experienced estate and tax planning attorney, Janet counsels individuals and families on complex estate planning and charitable giving strategies, such as creating and administering family foundations, establishing charitable remainder trusts, and making endowment gifts.
Janet holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University, and she speaks French and some Russian and Spanish.
Seth Rolbein began his career as a journalist on Cape Cod in the 1970s. He then joined WGBH-TV in Boston as a writer, reporter and documentary filmmaker, also writing for many regional and national publications, including The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. His magazine and book-length fiction and non-fiction has spanned many topics (and continents), and his documentaries on National Public Television have won multiple national awards. Throughout, the Cape has been his home; he became editor-in-chief of the region’s weekly newspaper chain before starting The Cape Cod Voice. He then served for six years as chief of staff and senior adviser for Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf, translating a journalist’s perspective into public policy initiatives. Seth then joined the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance as head of the Fisheries Trust and Senior Policy Adviser. He works with community members, state and federal officials, and like-minded organizations. “Connecting the dots” as he likes to say, bringing people together, understanding how decisions are made, who has a say, and who benefits, are his main interests.
Nancy Rachel Rousseau, a Haitian-American, has lived in Massachusetts for twenty-five years. Focused on rebuilding community, Ms. Rousseau has committed her life to helping others advance their own lives and serving as a bridge to resources. She believes community will improve as each person – young and old – is empowered to do more. Nancy is Founder of Cultivate Womanhood, Inc. – home to the Boston’s Next Top Model Summer Program, a confidence-building program for girls, which is currently under reorganization. She is a proud member of the Psi Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, for which she serves as the 1st Vice President and Chairperson of the Connection and Social Action Committee.
Ms. Rousseau is a two-time graduate of Northeastern University. She holds a Master of Science in both Nonprofit Management and Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Management.
Alicia is an associate in Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Group. She represents clients in a variety of complex litigation matters in both federal and state court, including general commercial litigation, post-closing disputes, and consumer financial services litigation. Alicia also dedicates a significant portion of her practice to pro bono immigration services, devoting particular attention to unaccompanied minors and asylum-seekers. Ms. Rubio received her B.A. from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Boston College Law School. She was thrilled to join the Project Citizenship board in 2016.
Charles is a partner in Latham & Watkins Litigation Department. He has market-leading, first chair intellectual property litigation experience. Formerly with Goodwin Procter’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, Charles focused on intellectual property matters with emphasis on patent litigation. He has represented clients in Asia, Europe and the United States as lead counsel in district courts throughout the United States and before the U.S. International Trade Commission. He has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and Boston magazines. With a background in chemistry and physics, he has represented clients in a diverse range of technologies. Charles has also handled antitrust, false advertising, trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition claims. He is married with a daughter and an avid fan of baseball and basketball. Charles is a frequent and dedicated pro bono volunteer for Project Citizenship. He has volunteered at numerous workshops, and has provided many hours of pro bono service assisting citizenship applicants as well as a Board member.
Mary is a Senior Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel at Santander Bank and its parent holding company in Boston, Massachusetts, where she serves as Deputy Corporate Secretary, advises the board and management on corporate governance matters, and supports the activities of the board, board committees, and executive management committees. Prior to her role at Santander, Mary practiced law at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York, after which she worked at an advisory firm outside of Boston and facilitated education sessions for Fortune 500 directors regarding emerging corporate governance matters. Mary earned a J.D. from Boston University and a B.A. from Kenyon College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children – and their cat and dog who are diligently trying to understand one another.
Melanie currently works as Program Manager at The Klarman Family Foundation. Previously, she was Director of Community Engagement at ASG. Prior to her role at ASG, Melanie worked at Project Citizenship for over 6 years, ultimately serving as Deputy Director. Melanie holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University, and has served on the Commission for Immigrant Rights and Citizenship in the City of Cambridge. When she isn’t working, or training her puppy, Melanie can be found playing or watching soccer with friends and family.
Luis Vélez is a lawyer and professor at the Sergio Arboleda University School of Law in Bogotá D.C. He is a graduate of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City; advanced studies in Social and Criminal Justice at Boston College. Luis Vélez has a master’s degree in Criminal Law and Criminology from the Externado de Colombia University. He is Doctor Honoris Causa, Ibero-American Doctoral Cloister of Mexico. Former “faceless” judge and prosecutor in Colombia. He was Director of Investigations of the Office of the Attorney General in Bogotá D.C. and Cali. Additionally, he was Academic Director of the School of Judges in his country. He worked as a researcher at CICIG, at the UN, in Guatemala. He worked with the Secretary of Transparency of the Presidency of Colombia. He is a consultant in Mexico on the rights of victims and the fight against the crime of forced disappearance. He is the author of various publications. He worked with Citizenship Now in New York City and with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Boston.
Amy M. Wax has her own practice and has been exclusively practicing immigration law since 2000. She is on the Dedham Human Rights Commission and was adjunct clinical faculty for the Immigration Clinic at Boston College Law School for many years. She is currently a committee chair in the Immigration Law Section of the Boston Bar Association. Attorney Wax was the sole attorney at the Committee on Refugees from El Salvador for several years and also worked as a staff attorney at Catholic Charities.
Amy handles all types of immigration cases, including family-based petitions, consular processing, deportation, NACARA, asylum, naturalization and applications for relief for victims of domestic violence. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and frequently gives presentations to the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities. She also has taught several years for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. She holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
Amy has been a dedicated pro bono attorney for Project Citizenship providing a Crimmigration training, lending her immigration expertise, and serving on the Board.
Myles Weisenberg was Vice President of Development at Brandeis University for nearly 20 years, overseeing a $1B Campaign. Prior to that he was President of The Miriam Hospital Foundation and first Executive Director of Development for Lifespan Hospitals in Rhode Island. He is a consultant for Mystic Aquarium and volunteers at numerous not-for-profits.
He received his BA from Brandeis University and his MBA from Columbia University. He lives in Boston with his wife Marsha, daughter Jamie and their puppy, Apollo.