Ayuda is pleased to announce the addition of four esteemed individuals to our Board of Directors for the fiscal year 2024. Join us in giving them a warm welcome:

Agnes Buanya CareFirst

Agnes Buanya works for CareFirst team as a Manager of Population Health Consulting. In this role, she manages a team of Population Health Strategy Consultants who are responsible for value-based contracts and develops approaches for managing overall patient population needs. 

Agnes has a passion for community-based work as it relates to the immigrant population. Agnes is an immigrant from Ghana, West Africa and joined the Ayuda Board to help other immigrants navigate the complex immigration system and needs that arise from adapting to a new cultural experience. 

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Agnes holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy, an M.P.P. in Health Policy, and an M.A. in Applied Sociology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. 

Joyce Cowan, formerly Morgan Lewis

Joyce Cowan, a healthcare and public policy lawyer, formerly a partner in Morgan Lewis’ Healthcare Practice, has more than 30 years’ experience counseling healthcare organizations and other clients on transactions, regulatory compliance, and public policy matters. Joyce also has experience organizing advocacy groups and coalitions to influence federal healthcare policy. Joyce has advised clients on healthcare delivery, Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare issues. Joyce also works with emerging businesses, primarily in the healthcare sector. 

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Throughout her legal career, Joyce has maintained an active pro bono practice, including assisting individual clients with their immigration needs. Most recently, Joyce was on a team that won a significant pro bono victory on behalf of low-income Pennsylvania households seeking retroactive emergency food benefits denied to them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Joyce lives in Washington, D.C., and has served on other nonprofit and private Boards of Directors. She received her BA from the University of Washington, and her JD from the George Washington University Law School. 

Rob Fifer, Formerly Fifer Associates

Rob Fifer is a retired management consultant and CEO coach. He was also CEO of his own consulting companies: Kaiser Associates, and then Fifer Associates. His clients included some of the largest and most successful companies in America as well as numerous smaller companies. Rob helped his clients: choose more logically among their strategic priorities; build and lead their senior teams; drive out inefficiencies; enhance the effectiveness of their external messaging; and build sustainable, winning cultures. 

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Today, Rob does the same work on a pro bono basis for nonprofit organizations, with a particular focus on nonprofits that help immigrants win the right to stay in this country. 

Rob graduated from Harvard College with a degree, magna cum laude, in economics, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. For the past 27 years, Rob has also been the General Partner of an investment partnership. 

Hans Manzke, The Clearing

Hans Manzke has always been a seeker—a poser of “why” questions. He explores and applies that natural curiosity at the Clearing, a small Washington, DC-based change management consulting firm. In this role, Hans deploys his ‘seeker’ perspective to contribute to positive change, particularly at the intersection of personal development and navigating significant transitions. 

As a Senior Principal and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Lead at The Clearing, he’s built his work philosophy on the core belief that we are most fulfilled and effective when we bring our full selves and strengths to bear in service of positive change.

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With nearly 20 years of experience in change management, Hans coaches and advises senior leaders across public, private, and nonprofit sectors. 

He is also the author of “For All: Democratizing Big Ideas,” a book exploring concepts, frameworks, models, and mindsets that shift how the world thinks about itself and how we exist in it. The book aims to level the playing field of work and life, providing an accessible entry point into the world of big ideas for those looking to access the next version of themselves. 

Beyond his professional pursuits, Hans is passionate about cycling, Washington, D.C., its vibrant culture, music, his neighborhood, family, and his bulldogs. He holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Russian History from Middlebury College and is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach as well as a Certified Leadership Circle Coach and Practitioner. 

Ayuda Board Of Directors

Full roster for Ayuda’s 2024 fiscal year (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024)

  • Paul S. Lee (Board Chair): Pro Bono Partner, Steptoe & Johnson
  • Veronica Nannis (Vice Chair): Partner, Joseph Greenwald & Laake LLP
  • Sadina Montani (Governance Committee Chair): Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Miguel A. Martinez Jr. (External Committee Chair): Director of Government, Regulatory Affairs, and Public Policy, PwC
  • Kevin Metz (Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair): Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Jill Flack (Secretary): Former Assistant General Counsel, Exelon and Pepco Holdings
  • Agnes Buanya: Manager, Population Health Consulting, CareFirst
  • Joyce Cowan: Healthcare and Public Policy Lawyer
  • Rob Fifer: Retired Management Consultant and CEO Coach
  • Alejandro Guadarrama: Counsel, Tax Controversy and Litigation, Skadden
  • Hans Manzke: Senior Principal & DEIA Lead, The Clearing
  • Victoria Ortega: Business Litigation Associate, Blank Rome LLP
  • Marie Talwar: Senior Program Manager, General Electric Company
  • José Antonio Tijerino: President / CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Samir Varma: Partner, International Trade, Thompson and Hine LLP

Ayuda is grateful for the diverse expertise and dedication each member brings, reinforcing our commitment to supporting low-income immigrants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

We look forward to achieving significant milestones together!

Visit our leadership webpages to view bios and headshots for Ayuda’s complete Board of Directors.