Staff

  1. Alex Miller

    Alex Miller joined ICIRR as the Development Associate in January of 2018. A New York native, Alex recently moved to Chicago from Louisville, Kentucky where he served as the Development Associate at Neighborhood House, an organization providing social services to an economically underserved neighborhood. Alex’s move to Chicago marks his return to the area, having graduated from Lake Forest… Continue

  2. Amanda Varela

    Amanda Varela is the Western Suburban Organizer at ICIRR. In her role, she works to engage community leaders of the near western Chicago suburbs primarily around access to healthcare. Amanda is originally from southern California and is the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. She received her Bachelors degree in English and Sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. Since graduating,… Continue

  3. Artemio Arreola

    Artemio is currently the Political Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In his position, Artemio manages our New Americans Democracy Project, which is a non-partisan civic engagement program that seeks to engage and mobilize voters on issues our members and allies prioritize. In addition, Artemio deals with many different political organizations and individuals… Continue

  4. Breandán Magee

    Breandán Magee, a native of Belfast, Ireland, has joined ICIRR as the new Senior Director of Programs. He will oversee a newly amalgamated department that includes the New Americans Initiative, the Immigrant Family Resource Program, Uniting America, WIC and SNAP. He will be responsible for the $6.5 million in state funding that ICIRR grants to our partner agencies every year. He brings… Continue

  5. Celina Villanueva

    Celina Villanueva is currently the NADP and Youth Engagement Manager at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. With a focus on building immigrant power, developing leaders and expanding our democracy to be inclusive of new voices, Celina ties in her background in organizing, civic engagement and youth development to engage immigrant communities and allies throughout Illinois… Continue

  6. Dagmara Avelar

    Dagmara Avelar was born in Quito, Ecuador but grew up in Bolingbrook, IL. She earned a BA. in Justice Studies with a minor in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University located in Chicago, IL. As the Programs Manager for the New Americans Initiative (NAI) and Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP), she is part of the team responsible for overseeing program implementation,… Continue

  7. Demian Kogan

    Demian Kogan has been ICIRR's Director of Organizing since April of 2016. Demian and his family immigrated from Argentina to Israel to Chicago, and he has been in the US since the age of three. He has 12 years of grassroots community organizing experience. Most recently he served as the Associate Director of Communities United, an ICIRR member organization based out of Chicago's Northwest Side.… Continue

  8. Evelyn Venegas Cuzco

    Evelyn Venegas Cuzco, is the Family Support Network Coordinator at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In her current role, Ms. Venegas oversees the family support network hotline and conducts training and presentations about current immigration issues and policy. Ms. Venegas was born in Quito, Ecuador. She grew up in the north side of Chicago in the neighborhood of… Continue

  9. Fred Tsao

    Fred Tsao is the Senior Policy Counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In this position, he provides technical support, trainings, and presentations on immigration-related topics to service providers, immigrant community organizations, and others who work with immigrants. He also provides updates and analysis of changes in immigration policies and procedures to ICIRR… Continue

  10. Idalia Flores Guzmán

    Idalia Flores Guzmán, is a native from Zacatecas, Mexico. She is currently a program coordinator for the New Americans Initiative (NAI) and Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Ms. Flores is responsible for program implementation, monitoring, reporting, and outreach. An important part of her role is providing… Continue

  11. Kim Suh

    Kim Suh is the Finance & Accounting Manager at ICIRR.

  12. Lawrence Benito

    Lawrence Benito is ICIRR's CEO/Executive Director. In his role, he is responsible for running all facets of the organization. Lawrence has a proven executive track record and over 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations. Formerly as Deputy Director for ICIRR, he was the lead of the senior management team, overseeing the program and political operations. He also served as… Continue

  13. Luisa Sosa

    Luisa Sosa was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala but grew up in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago. She is a first generation college graduate who earned a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As the Volunteer Coordinator, she is responsible for coordinating ICIRR's volunteer program and recruitment efforts. As an… Continue

  14. Luvia Quiñones

    Luvia Quiñones serves as the Health Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this role, Luvia oversees the In Person Counselor Program, the Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative and in collaboration with ICIRR's members develops ICIRR's health policy agenda with a special focus in access to health care and on health care reform. Prior to… Continue

  15. Marilu Rodriguez

    Marilu was born in Guerrero, Mexico. She moved to Chicago at the age of 11. She obtained a B.A on Political Science with a minor on Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University, making her the first person in her family to attend and receive a degree from a higher education institution. She has had different roles throughout the years at ICIRR which include; Community Leader, Intern, Office… Continue

  16. Phoebe Flaherty

    Phoebe Flaherty is a healthcare organizer at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Phoebe’s primary focus at ICIRR is working with the Healthy Communities Cook County coalition on a campaign to expand healthcare access to the uninsured in Cook County. Phoebe comes from a labor organizing background; she has 3 years of experience organizing airport workers in New York with… Continue

  17. Sandra Hoyt

    Sandra Hoyt is the Senior Director of Finance and Administration.

  18. Sara Rusnak

    Sara Rusnak is the Program Coordinator, specializing in the New Americans Initiative and the Immigrant Family and Resource Program. She is responsible for program implementation, monitoring and reporting, as well as outreach. An important part of her role is providing technical assistance, training, and support to partner organizations. She has previous experience serving immigrants as an ESL… Continue

  19. Stephanie Alban-Franco

    Stephanie Alban-Franco is currently a program coordinator for the New Americans Initiative (NAI) and Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP). Dedicated to public service, she has always looked for ways where she could assist people the best way possible. She has over five years of customer service experience. Her past work experiences have helped her understand the importance of serving anyone… Continue