Board of Directors 

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Nabeel Ahmed
Co-Chair & Treasurer
Vice President, Finance
Vocera Communications
                     nabeel@reftrans.org

Nabeel is a finance executive and currently the Vice President, Finance at Vocera Communications, a company that provides integrated, intelligent communication to instantly connect people in mobile, mission-critical environments. Formerly, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Wanderful Media a mobile advertising solution for retailers, and Chief Financial Officer of MarketTools, a provider of software and services for online market research. Prior to MarketTools, Nabeel was at eBay, Inc. in a variety of finance leadership roles at eBay's San Jose headquarters as well as in Germany and Switzerland. He started his career at Ernst & Young in Toronto, Canada. Nabeel's undergraduate degree is from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Canada, and he has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Nabeel lives in San Jose with his wife and twin boys. He joined the RT Board in 2013. 

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Yaacov Silberman
Co-Chair 
Chief Operating Officer
Rimon, P.C.
yaacov.silberman@rimonlaw.com

Yaacov is the Chief Operating Officer and a Managing Partner of Rimon, P.C., a law firm based in San Francisco. Rimon is a California Benefit Corporation and a certified B Corporation, in recognition of its civic and environmental stewardship. As part of that commitment, Yaacov often acts as pro bono counsel to clients of Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, a division of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Yaacov received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. from Yeshiva University. Yaacov lives in Oakland with his wife and baby daughter. He joined the RT Board in 2013. 

Dawn Angelo
Coach, Mentor, and Writer
dawnangelo@icloud.com


Dawn Angelo has served in leadership roles for the past 20 years in both established and emerging nonprofit organizations. Leading during times of transition has been a constant throughout her career. While at the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and Volunteers of America she learned that engaging others, communicating with transparency, and leading authentically helps in navigating complex organizational issues and identifying a new path for moving forward. She is passionate about helping others through her work now as a coach, mentor, and writer.

Dawn has a BA from Augsburg College and MA in Organizational Leadership from The College of St. Catherine, both of Minnesota. She has attended Executive Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship programs at the Harvard Business School University and Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

She joined the Refugee Transitions Board of Directors in 2015.

Michael Evans
Managing Director
Newport Board Group
michael.evans@newportboardgroup.com

Michael Evans is the Managing Director for the Newport Board Group; a national Board and CEO Advisory firm. Prior to Newport Board Group, Michael L. Evans had been with Ernst & Young. During his many years with the firm, he served as a tax, audit, and consulting services partner. Prior to Ernst & Young, Michael was with Interregional Financial Group and a law firm engaged in corporate law.  

Michael served as an advisor to Concern Worldwide and as project and country manager for various Maternal and Child Health projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, project managing maternal and child healthcare projects and internal financial reviews in several countries in Africa. Michael currently serves on various for-profit and nonprofit companies.

Michael is a CPA and attorney. He joined the RT Board in 2016. 

Jane Evans-Ryan
Strategic & Leadership Communications Executive

jane@genuitypr.com

Jane is a communications executive and Principal at Silicon Valley-based Genuity Public Relations. She provides strategic and executive leadership communications services to science-based technology companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Her passion is the protection and advancement of human rights, especially the rights of disadvantaged women and children. She supports RT and its programs with a deep belief in self-empowerment, and by applying her entrepreneurial experience and communications know-how.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Jane holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Santa Clara University in California.

She joined the RT Board in October 2016.

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Ko Ko Lay
Director

National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB)
konge2006@gmail.com

Ko Ko Lay is a Burmese activist who continually struggles for peace, social justice and freedom in Burma. While living on the Thai-Burma border, he served as Secretary of Information for the Central Executive Committee of the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF). After moving to the United States, he received an A.S. degree in Photography; B.A. degrees in Industrial Design and Global Peace; and an M.A.I.A degree in Social Change Design and Conflict Resolution with an emphasis in International Conflicts. He is a founder of the Open Students Network for Burma at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Ko Ko has also served his third term as a member of the Strategic Coordinating Committee, the only worldwide Burmese coalition group including the National Coalition Government Union of Burma (NCGUB) and National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB).

In 2008, Ko Ko acted as a representative of 88 Generation Students Exile group during their Asia Five Countries Tour, and ran as an Operations Director for the Credential Challenge campaign at the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was elected President of the International Foundation for Burma National Congress (IFBNC) which was founded at a conference in Buffalo. Currently he is serving as the President of the IFBNC, Director of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) in San Francisco, and as a core member of 88 Generation Students Exile. Additionally, Ko Ko owns a photo and design studio in San Francisco. He joined the RT Board in 2012. 

Christopher Loperena
Assistant Professor, International Studies, University of San Francisco
Co-Director, Master of Arts in International Studies Program
cloperena@usfca.edu

Christopher Loperena is an assistant professor of International Studies and Co-Director of the Master of Arts in International Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. His scholarly interests include indigenous and black land politics in Latin America, race and racialization, and critical development studies. He’s a teacher-scholar and activist, and has worked extensively in support of indigenous and black land rights in Central America. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Latin American Studies and an A.B. from the University of Chicago. Christopher joined the RT Board in 2015. 

Yuliya A. Oryol
Partner
Nossaman LLP
yoryol@nossaman.com

Yuliya A. Oryol is Co-Chair of the Public Pensions and Investments Practice Group at Nossaman LLP and serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Oryol represents public pension plans and other institutional investors, government agencies, multi-national corporations and privately held companies in a broad range of investment, corporate and real estate matters. Ms. Oryol appears before boards of directors to present on issues related to investments and works with investment officers and in-house counsel on investment related matters. She also regularly speaks to industry and professional organizations on alternative investments and other investment related matters and also publishes on this subject.

From 2000 to 2003, Ms. Oryol worked in Seoul, South Korea where she performed corporate transactional work for American, Asian, and European clients, including South Korean institutional investors and financial institutions.  

Prior to private practice, Ms. Oryol was a Judicial Intern for the Hon. Daniel M. Hanlon, California Court of Appeals, First Appellate District and a Judicial Extern for Chief Magistrate Steele Langford, U.S. District Court, and Northern District of California.

Ms. Oryol is fluent in Russian and proficient in Spanish. She joined the RT Board in 2015. 

Jane Pak
Community and Nonprofit Leader, Development and Strategy
Regional Representative (Northern California), Human Rights Educators USA
Doctoral Student, International & Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco
                     janepak08@gmail.com  

Jane comes to human rights education through both her lived experiences as well as approximately 17 years working on education-related matters in nonprofit, government, and business contexts. As a daughter of parents who both fled a country when they were young, human rights and education have been driving forces throughout Jane’s life and career.

Specifically, Jane has worked to enhance educational access and quality, and improve circumstances for children and families by coupling her business, analytical, and strategic planning background with her passion for education and human rights. Previously, Jane has worked at Refugee Transitions as Director of Strategy and Development; WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies as Director of Resource Development and Senior Program Associate; and the Canadian Consulate as a Business Development Officer.

Jane holds a BMATH from the University of Waterloo in Canada, a MBA from Clarkson University, a M.A. in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in International and Multicultural Education, with a concentration in Human Rights Education at the University of San Francisco. Jane also currently serves as a regional representative (Northern California) for Human Rights Educators USA.

She joined the Refugee Transitions Board of Directors in 2016.

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Jillian Spindle
Director of Development
Mission Economic Development Agency
jspindle@medasf.org

Jillian Spindle is the Director of Development at the Mission Economic Development Agency, a San Francisco nonprofit agency that works to achieve social and economic justice for the Latino immigrant community. In her time at MEDA she has helped grow the organization’s programs and services, and launch the Mission Promise Neighborhood, which is building a cradle-to-career continuum of services in SF’s Mission District. Prior to MEDA, Jillian worked on community technology, workforce development, and youth development initiatives in Chicago, Jamaica, and Honduras. She has a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She joined the Refugee Transitions Board of Directors in 2014.

Jenni Yoshida Smith
HR Professional, Volunteer, Wife, and Mother
jenni@cleanpeople.com

Jenni had built her career in Human Resources focused in the high tech industry, holding positions at Charles Schwab, Apple, and Facebook. These positions spanned program management, diversity, training and development, and human resources business partner roles. People succeeding has always been at the center of her focus and what she was most passionate about. After 17 years in high tech, Jenni decided to refocus her time on her family and giving back to the community. She has two children in elementary school. She volunteers at their school, a coding nonprofit “Code for fun”, and tutors through Refugee Transitions.

Jenni received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Boston College. She recently joined the Refugee Transitions Board of Directors in September 2015.

 

Advisors

Charles R. Conradi
Vice President - Tax and Treasurer
The Clorox Company

Chip Conradi joined The Clorox Company in 2000 as Vice President – Tax, and was appointed Treasurer in 2004. In this role, he is responsible for global tax, treasury and credit activities for the Company and its affiliates. His duties include, among other things, advising the Company’s fiduciary committee on investments in the Company’s benefit plans.

Prior to joining Clorox, he was a Senior Vice President and head of the International Tax Group at Bank of America in San Francisco.  Chip has held other tax positions in industry, including a 3-year assignment in Tokyo, Japan.

Chip received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and his Juris Doctor, with honors, and his Masters Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. Chip is a member of the California Bar.

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Stephen N. Roberts
Partner
Nossaman LLP
sroberts@nossaman.com

Steve is a partner at Nossaman LLP in San Francisco, where he has practiced law as a litigator throughout his career. He earned his law degree, a J.D., from the University of Chicago Law School, and before that an A.B. in political science from the University of the South. Previously Steve chaired a committee of the American Bar Association with the responsibility of providing legal aid to refugees. He has also worked with Bay Area nonprofit groups that deal with issues of the aging, and serves on the board of another nonprofit addressing transportation problems. Steve is RT's former Board Chair. He served on the RT Board of Directors from 2005 to 2015.   

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Clemantine Wamariya
Human Rights Advocate & Storyteller

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Clemantine was six years old when the Rwandan genocide began in 1994. She and her sister Claire became separated from their family and lived in refugee camps in seven different countries before immigrating to the United States in 2000.

After starting her formal education at the age of 13, Clemantine went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in comparative literature. 

Since her early teens, she has traveled throughout the country sharing her message of personal resilience and advocating for action to advance human rights. She has been a special guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and at Chicago Ideas Week.

In 2011, President Obama appointed her to serve on the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and she also serves on Women For Women International board. Recently, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls organization described Clemantine as “a compelling storyteller and fierce advocate for girls worldwide.”