Joan Hodges-Wu, MA, LGSW

Founder & Executive Director

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A social worker by profession and a torture treatment specialist by training, Joan Hodges-Wu has dedicated her career to serving low-income, English limited, vulnerable immigrant populations. Joan is a nationally recognized torture treatment subject matter expert, a regular advisor to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and the lead author of the Survivor of Torture Psychosocial Well-being Index. A version of her tool serves as the national program evaluation measure for ORR's $10 million Survivor of Torture program. Frustrated by the limitations of the traditional torture treatment service model, Joan founded the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project in 2016 to connect all persons fleeing persecution, including survivors of torture, to critical services in a non-stigmatizing, solutions-focused, community-based setting. Joan holds a Masters in Refugee Care from the University of Essex in England and a Masters in Social Work from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.

 

Cindy Hallberlin

BOARD CHAIR

Cindy is a senior executive and attorney with more than 30 years of experience developing and delivering innovative solutions to organizational challenges in complex private and public organizations. She has also been recognized for managing high performing teams that consistently create groundbreaking results. Cindy currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Easter Seals Disability Services serving Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Prior to joining Easter Seals, Cindy  was President and CEO of Good360.  During her six year tenure, she was responsible for donating more than 2 billion dollars’ worth of products to thousands of nonprofits and schools around the world. Under her leadership, the organization won a coveted $850,000 prize for sustainability in Verizon’s Powerful Answers competition, was ranked by Forbes as one of the Top 10 most efficient charities and won the Director’s Award from the Committee for the Encouragement of Corporate Philanthropy. She has also served as Chief Ethics, Diversity and Accountability Officer for U.S. Foodservice and was Employment Counsel and Ethics Officer at Giant Food of Maryland. Cindy holds a JD from Antioch School of Law and a BS in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 

Lindsay Muir Harris, Esq.

BOARD vice CHAIR

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Lindsay is an an Assistant Professor of law at the University of D.C.'s David A. Clarke School of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. Prior to this, Lindsay was a Legal Fellow with the American Immigration Council focused on ending family detention. Previously, Lindsay was a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney at Georgetown Law's asylum clinic. Following her Ninth Circuit Clerkship, Lindsay established and led the African Women’s Empowerment Project at the Tahirih Justice Center, providing legal services to African immigrant women fleeing gender-based violence. She also developed and taught the Refugee Law course at George Mason University School of Law. Lindsay is an expert on post-grant issues facing asylees and has published on the use of country conditions experts in gender-based asylum cases, gender-based asylum claims in South Africa, and on gang-related asylum claims in the U.S. Lindsay serves on AILA's National Asylum & Refugee Committee, as well as various local DC committees. Lindsay received her J.D. from Berkeley Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, and served on the editorial staff of the Berkeley Journal of International Law. For her work in Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and with the East Bay Community Law Center, Lindsay was awarded the 2009 Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy. 

 

ELIZABETH NEARY, MBA

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Elizabeth Neary is a Manager with Accenture’s New York Strategy Consulting practice. Elizabeth has managed projects for several global brands focusing on growth strategy initiatives and analysis of leading consumer goods. She brings a variety of private sector skills to ASAP including her experience assessing new market entry, needs assessments, strategic planning, and developing comprehensive consumer frameworks. Elizabeth holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business with specializations in Strategy and Finance.

 

TESS BOLDER, LGSW

Tess Bolder is a communications professional and licensed social worker. Tess received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her Master's in Social Work from the Catholic University of America. Tess currently works at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing where she provides trauma counseling and serves as a Development Associate with a focus on fundraising. Tess worked as a strategic communications consultant for litigators on criminal justice reform. In this capacity, she designed communications campaigns around five Supreme Court cases and provided communications support to the Innocence Project, the Equal Justice Initiative, and numerous law firm pro bono departments.

 

SUSAN KLAVENS HUTNER

BOARD MEMBER

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Susan is an attorney with over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, with an expertise in international economic sanctions.  She has worked extensively with non-profit organizations providing a wide range of services in countries subject to U.S. and U.N. sanctions.  While in private practice, she served various non-profits as pro bono counsel.  Susan graduated from Tufts University, received her J.D. from the George Washington University where she was a member of the Law Review, and earned an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


ADVISORY GROUP MEMBERS

MR. L., ASYLUM SEEKER FROM GUATEMALA

MS. U., ASYLEE FROM IRAQ

MS. J., ASYLEE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

MR. V., ASYLUM SEEKER FROM BURMA

MR. M., ASYLUM SEEKER FROM ETHIOPIA

MR. A., ASYLUM SEEKER FROM ETHIOPIA

MS. K., ASYLEE FROM AFGHANISTAN

MR. G., ASYLEE FROM BURUNDI