Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

Paula Fitzgerald

Paula Fitzgerald has been practicing immigration law for over ten years. Paula joined Ayuda in 2008 and help build Ayuda’s Virginia office. Paula’s immigration legal work focuses on humanitarian relief, including VAWA self-petitions, U visas, T visas, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions. She is also experienced in family-based immigration matters, consular processing, waivers and NACARA cases. She serves on the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. Prior to Ayuda, Paula worked as an immigration attorney at Hogar Hispano and Hunton & Williams LLP. Paula received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.

Arleen Ramirez Borysiewicz, Director of Program Initiatives

Arleen Ramirez Borysiewicz

Arleen Ramirez Borysiewicz has close to 30 years of experience in fundraising, strategic communications, community relations, board development, branding and marketing. Prior to Ayuda, she worked for 26 years with a DC-based national higher education nonprofit, leading programs for diverse college students, corporate and foundation fundraising, alumni affairs, external relations, board recruitment and management. Arleen received her MPA degree from The George Washington University, and B.A. in broadcast communications from the University of the Philippines.

Rossana Molina, Staff Accountant

Rossana Molina
Rossana Molina has been with Ayuda in the Operations and Administration Department for over 5 years, functioning as our Staff Accountant and Human Resource Analyst. Before joining Ayuda, Rossana worked for a CPA firm preparing corporate and individual tax returns and providing bookkeeping services for various clients including non-profit organizations. Prior to that she worked for an Immigration Law firm as a Full Charge Accountant. An active community member, Rossana volunteers with the immigrant population in Northern Virginia by helping parents and families thrive in new environments. Rossana graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelors degree in Accounting from Strayer University.

Erin Larkin, Domestic Violence/Family Law Supervising Attorney

Bio to come.

Carolina De Los Rios, Social Services Director

Carolina De Los Rios

Carolina is the Social Services Director at Ayuda where she oversees multiple programs for survivors of trauma.   Carolina has over 12 years of experience working with at-risk youth, survivors of trauma, and immigrant communities in the Washington metropolitan area. Additionally, Carolina has been actively involved in the anti-trafficking field in the region, participating and leading coalitions and victim services task forces, and providing training and consultation to law enforcement agencies and social services providers nationwide. Prior to joining Ayuda, Carolina served for eight years as Director of Client Services at Polaris and most recently at Mary’s Center as Social Services Director. Carolina holds a MA Degree in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Maryland. In addition, she holds a certification in Professional Counseling Studies from the University of Baltimore.

David Steib, Language Access Program Director


David Steib is the language access director at Ayuda. The Language Access Program trains interpreters, educates service providers, advocates for enforcement and amendment of local and federal language access laws, and arranges interpretation and translation for dozens of nonprofits throughout the DC metropolitan area.

Prior to Ayuda, David was the assistant director of the Office of Public Interest at American University Washington College of Law. He serves on the boards of the DC Language Access Coalition and the Washington Council of Lawyers. David received a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. He earned his BA in Spanish and Theater Studies from Yale University.

Susannah Volpe, Immigration Managing Attorney


Susannah the managing immigration attorney of the DC office. She is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. After law school she worked for Catholic Charities of Central Texas, where she handled family based immigration matters, humanitarian visa applications, and deportation defense, focusing on remedies for juveniles. She moved to Walker Gates Vela, a small immigration law firm, to expand her removal defense practice. In this role, she handled criminal immigration matters and continued to assist clients pursuing humanitarian relief before the Immigration Courts, as well as representing clients in family based immigration cases, naturalization, DACA, and other visa applications. She has presented numerous CLEs on topics ranging from immigration law for criminal defenders to special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) procedures and is a volunteer mentor to attorneys handling SIJS cases in Texas family and immigration courts.

Victoria Lopez, Managing Attorney

Bio to come.

Christina Wilkes, Chair

Christina Wilkes

Christina Wilkes is a partner at Grossman Law, LLC, an immigration law firm in Bethesda, Maryland, which she joined in 2012. Christina’s practice focuses on family and humanitarian based immigration matters, with a particular emphasis on unaccompanied immigrant children. Prior to joining Grossman Law, she spent seven years at Ayuda (2005-2012), where she wore many hats. She founded and directed the Children’s Project from 2005-2008, served as interim executive director from late 2008-2009, and legal director from 2008-2012. She was inducted to Ayuda’s Hall of Fame in 2014 in recognition of her critical impact on Ayuda.

Diego Marquez, Vice Chair


Diego Marquez joined General Electric Company as sanction attorney in spring 2015.  Prior to this, he was with Alston & Bird LLP for seven years as a senior associate in the International Trade & Regulatory Group in the Washington, DC, office. He advised clients on a wide range of legislative, public policy and regulatory matters, specializing on issues pertaining to international trade, federal elections and government ethics. He also managed the pro bono practice at Alston & Bird, focusing primarily on asylum work and other immigration law matters.

Diego received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2007, where he was a line editor for the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. He graduated from Davidson College in 2003 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in mathematics.

Kate Ambler, Secretary

Kate Ambler

Kate Ambler is an associate research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. Her work currently focuses on the evaluation of anti-poverty programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on smallholder agriculture, gender, and household decision-making. She also has a research interest in migration issues, covering information asymmetries in remittance transactions from the United States to Central America and seasonal migration in Malawi and Senegal.

Kate is originally from El Paso, Texas and previously lived in Lima, Peru where she was a Project Coordinator for Innovations for Poverty Action. She holds a BA from Williams College and a PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Guillermo Birmingham, Treasurer

Guillermo Birmingham is currently the Vice President for Management & Administration at Global Communities. He assumes executive oversight of IT, Human Resources, Administration, and Finance. Birmingham previously served at Global Communities as Deputy CFO from 2008 to 2010. Since then he has served as Director of Administration at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Prior to his service at PAHO and Global Communities, Guillermo served for more than 26 years in the United States Air Force, where he held a series of positions that included service at field installations in financial management, operations, and as a three-time squadron commander to include a three-year stint at Andrews Air Force Base from 2003 to 2005.

He also served in the Pentagon as Chief of Accounting Policy and as CFO of the USAF Directorate of Services, a $2 billion worldwide military hospitality and recreation operation.  Before retiring as a Colonel in 2008, Guillermo spent two years as the Secretary General of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA), promoting cooperation and information exchange among the 18 member countries’ air forces. Originally from Panama, Guillermo is fluent in English and Spanish.

Michael Woods

Michael Woods is a Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Verizon, where he handles national security, public safety, and cybersecurity policy. Prior to joining Verizon, he served in the Justice Department (National Security Division), the FBI’s Office of General Counsel, the National Counterintelligence Executive, and as a federal prosecutor. He began handling U Visa cases with Ayuda in 2011 through Verizon’s in-house pro bono program. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School (1992) and Oxford University (1987).

Michael Tubman


Michael Tubman is a senior fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), where he directs C2ES policy strategy and outreach with Congress and federal agencies. He came to C2ES after bipartisan service in the administrations of three Alaska governors. He also has worked on sustainability projects for the World Bank and USAID.

Michael has been involved with Ayuda since attending the 2004 Gala. He has been a board member since 2011, and chair since 2012. Over the years, his respect for the staff, mission, clients, and Ayuda community has grown even stronger. He is proud to be a part of the Ayuda family.

Michael has been active in other parts of the immigrants’ rights community. He has been an asylum-seeker host family and a tutor for those with limited English proficiency. He holds a Master of Arts in international policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Stacy Brustin


Stacy Brustin is an associate professor of Law and Co-Director of the Civil Practice Clinic at The Catholic University of America. She and her students represent low-income clients in family law, employment, and public benefits matters. Stacy also engages in court-reform efforts, policy development, and scholarship focused on family law and access to justice. Stacy earned her B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Stacy’s involvement with Ayuda dates back to 1989 when she began as a staff attorney in our family law unit. Stacy came to Ayuda after completing a post-graduate fellowship in human rights in Mexico City where she worked with community-based organizations engaged in developing the leadership capacity of women. When she joined Ayuda, she brought her experiences and inspiration from her time in Mexico and started the Hermanas Unidas project for survivors of domestic violence, which continues today. After leaving Ayuda, Stacy continued as a volunteer and supporter throughout the years and proudly joined the Board in 2011. She is the co-chair of the Board’s Internal Committee.

Lucian “Mickey” Martinez


Mickey Martinez has practiced law in Washington since 2007. He is currently a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division. He has previously worked as a litigation associate at Gilbert LLP from 2010 to 2014 and at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP from 2007 to 2009.  From August 2009 – August 2010, he was a Simpson Thacher Public Service Fellow at the Victory Fund, where he served as assistant general counsel and assisted in their successful effort to increase the number of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in appointed positions in the executive branch of the federal government. Before law school, Mickey was a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for 16 years.

Mickey has been on the Board of Directors of Ayuda since 2011 and the Vice Chair since 2012.  He is proud to support Ayuda’s mission. Mickey holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

David Ramos

david ramos

David Ramos is the assistant vice president and regional multicultural markets officer for BB&T in the Greater Washington area. He has held this position for close to three years now, but has been with the company for eight years. A George Mason University alumnus and a recent graduate of Wake Forest University, David has extensive experience in financial management. As well as working as the site manager for BB&T, David is also active in the community and works towards addressing social issues in the Latino community in the DC area. He is bilingual with language fluency in English and Spanish.

Cora D. Tekach

Cora D. Tekach is the founding attorney of Tekach Law Firm, PLLC. She has over 20 years’ experience in immigration law and is a published author. She has provided her expertise and skills to dynamic law firms such as Greenberg Traurig and Maggio & Kattar and has also spent some time working as a lecturer for Catholic University of America – Columbus School of Law. Cora received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Rutgers University and her JD from American University – Washington College of Law. A Pennsylvania native, she currently resides in the DC area. She is fluent in Spanish.

Advisor, Advisor

Christina Wilkes


Ayuda does not list individual email addresses in order to prevent spam. Most staff members can be reached at: firstname@ayuda.com.