Board of Directors
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago is seeking two new Board members. Our Board is comprised of a dedicated group of people who are active in the governance of the organization. We are looking for candidates who share our passion for advocating for immigrant children who come to the U.S. on their own. We have a specific need for a Board member with Human Resources experience.
Teresa Sullivan (President) read more
Teresa Sullivan is a staff attorney with the Children and Families Practice Group of LAF, the Legal Assistance Foundation, in Chicago. Prior to joining LAF, Teresa spent five years as a commercial litigator in private practice. Teresa received her JD degree from the University of Chicago, during which time she was proud to serve as a child advocate with the Young Center. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis. Between undergrad and law school, Teresa spent one year as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs followed by three years as a healthcare consultant with Epic Systems. Teresa is also active on the Leadership Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago, having served as the VP of Fund Development from 2014-2016.
Anita Maddali (Vice President) read more
Ms. Maddali is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of Clinics at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Professor Maddali’s primary research and teaching interests are in immigration law, specifically the intersection of immigration and family law, and clinical legal education. Following law school, Professor Maddali was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and later clinical professor at Northwestern University School of Law’s Children and Family Justice Center. She represented unaccompanied immigrant minors fleeing persecution and developed a clinical course focusing on the representation of immigrant minors with delinquency issues. Additionally, Professor Maddali litigated education, employment, and immigration cases in federal and state court for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and developed a poverty law clinic while working as a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at DePaul University College of Law. Professor Maddali is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with distinction.
Richard Naponelli (Treasurer) read more
Mr. Naponelli is the Senior Director of the Office of Gift Planning at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Mr. Naponelli worked as an associate with Perkins Coie’s Trust & Estate Planning practice. Mr. Naponelli has extensive experience working with benefactors desiring to make planned and structured gifts to the University of Notre Dame as well as creating business and estate plans for both individuals and family groups to facilitate succession planning and wealth preservation from his time in private practice. Mr. Naponelli previously worked at Winston & Strawn LLP and Madden, Jiganti, Moore & Sinars LLP. He earned a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and an MSA from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business. He obtained a BBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Julian Dibbell (Secretary) read more
Mr. Dibbell is a Chicago attorney in the Technology Transactions practice of Mayer Brown LLP. Before joining Mayer Brown in 2014, Julian worked as a journalist and author covering the Internet and other digital technologies. Julian received his JD degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his BA from Yale.
Sandy Black read more
Ms. Black has been a residential Broker with RE/MAX in Chicago for 24+ years. She is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame with designations in Distressed Property (CDPE) and Negotiation Skills (CNE) and a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. Sandy has volunteered for the past 15+ years with VOSH (Volunteers in Optometrics in Service to Humanity) traveling to Central American cities to support free eye clinics and provide to those in need. Sandy is a Board and Executive Committee member of the Aquitania Cooperative in Chicago. Sandy served 12 years on the Board of the Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing in Chicago. She also served as a Council member for Lutheran Memorial Church.
Richard Levy read more
Mr. Levy is a litigator and a senior corporate advisor at Jenner & Block LLP. He has served as a director of three New York Stock Exchange Companies. His extensive corporate practice has focused on corporate reorganization, debt restructuring, bankruptcy litigation, bank regulation, and corporate transactions and governance. He has been involved as lead counsel in scores of major insolvency matters, in and out of court, and he has argued and tried numerous cases as principal attorney in State and Federal Courts throughout the country. He also successfully argued a major anti-trust case in the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr, Levy serves on the firm Pro Bono Committee. He has been a lecturer on bankruptcy issues for the Practice Law Institute, ALI-ABA and the Illinois State and Chicago Bar Association.
Sophia Park read more
Sophia Park is a corporate tax lawyer. She has been in-house with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s tax department for the last ten years. As Director Tax Planning, Sophia is responsible for the company’s global tax planning matters. Prior to going in-house, she practiced with the Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie in California and New York and with the international tax services group of Coopers & Lybrand/PricewaterhouseCoopers. Sophia received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Elissa Steglich read more
Ms. Steglich is Clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Law’s Immigration Clinic. Previously, Ms. Steglich was the Legal Services Director at the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey. She also taught Immigration Law as an adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ. She was the managing attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, Illinois from 2002-2006, and Trafficking Project Officer at DePaul College of Law, where she conducted extensive field research on trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Steglich received a BA in English from Haverford College and a JD (with honors) from the University of Texas School of Law.
Simone Tseng read more
Ms. Tseng is currently Strategic Advisor in the strategic planning group of Rush University Medical Center after serving twelve years as Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Program Development. Prior to joining Rush, she worked in strategic and program planning at University of Chicago Medical Center. She received a B.A. In Biological Sciences from Brown University and a Master’s in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. During the past two years, she has served as a Child Advocate with the Young Center in Chicago.
Lori Wittman read more
Formerly Chief Financial Officer at Care Capital Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CCP) since the spin-off from Ventas, Inc. (“Ventas”) in 2015. Prior to joining Care Capital Properties, Inc., she served as Senior Vice President, Capital Markets and Investor Relations at Ventas, Inc., from March 2013 to August 2015, after serving as Vice President, Capital Markets and Investor Relations from July 2011 to March 2013. Prior to that, Ms. Wittman was the Chief Financial Officer and Managing Principal of Big Rock Partners, a real estate private equity firm with over $500 million of assets under management at its peak. Ms. Wittman previously served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer for General Growth Properties and held various capital markets and finance positions with Heitman, Homart Development Company, Citibank and Mellon Bank. Ms. Wittman received a B.A. in Geography and Sociology from Clark University, a Masters in City Planning from University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Ms. Wittman is on the Board of Directors of IMH Financial Corporation and Chairs the Compensation Committee.
Elvis Garcia Callejas read more
Elvis Garcia Callejas is a Migration Counselor at Catholic Charities of New York where he helps unaccompanied and separated children navigate the immigration system and successfully integrate in New York. Mr. Garcia Callejas, a former unaccompanied minor from Honduras, also serves as a national advocate for unaccompanied children, regularly speaking in national forums on the plight of children and others fleeing the violence in Central America. Mr. Garcia Callejas is the founder and the program manager of La Union F.C., a free soccer program that serves more than 100 refugees, unaccompanied minors, and children of immigrant in Manhattan. Prior to his work with Catholic Charities, Mr. Garcia Callejas interned with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), contributing to its 2014 Children on the Run report. He also interned in the office of Senator Dick Durbin, and was the Deputy Field Organizer for Terry McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Garcia Callejas is also the founder and owner of a small business in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Mr. Garcia Callejas graduated from Calvin College in 2013 with a dual degree in International Development and Spanish. He was a recipient of both the Entrada Scholarship and the Magnus Charitable Trust Scholarship.
Frances de Pontes Peebles read more
Frances de Pontes Peebles is the author of the novel The Seamstress, translated into nine languages and winner of the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, the Friends of American Writers Award, and the Michener–Copernicus Fellowship. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has received a Fulbright Grant, Brazil’s Sacatar Foundation Fellowship, and was a Teaching Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is co-founder of Project Heirloom, a documentary project that focuses on collecting, sharing, and preserving family stories of migration. Her novel, The Seamstress, was adapted for film and mini-series in Brazil as Entre Irmãs. Her second novel, The Air You Breathe, is forthcoming in August 2018 from Riverhead Books.
Beata Leja read more
Beata Leja is a partner at the law firm of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. Beata’s practice includes both employment-based and family-based immigration law. In 2017, she was named a Leading Lawyer in Immigration Law by Leading Lawyers magazine, and has also been recognized as a Rising Star in Immigration by Super Lawyers Magazine in each year since 2011. She has been awarded the Pro Bono Guardian award by AILA for her pro bono services to the immigrant community. She is an Adjunct Professor at John Marshall School of Law in Chicago, where she teaches a course on employment-based immigration law. She is an active member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she has served on the LGBT Committee, the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Liaison Committee, the USCIS Texas Service Center Liaison Committee, and numerous other committees. Beata is a 2007 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she served as a Child Advocate for the Young Center’s predecessor. Prior to law school, she was a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools as a corps member of the national service corps Teach for America. She has a Master of Education from National–Louis University and two Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and International Relations from the University of Southern California. She is fluent in Polish and conversant in Spanish. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.