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Board of Directors

Gloria Terry (Chair)

Gloria Aguilera Terry joined the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) in January 2008 as President, and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2013. In her role as CEO, Gloria guides and directs the statewide activities of TCFV, such as the Texas legislative session. She has been successful in establishing and fostering statewide tactical partnerships, working with staff to provide outstanding services to programs, and strategically positioning TCFV to create the influence necessary to continue serving the needs of victims and their families. Ms. Terry came to the Texas Council on Family Violence from El Paso, Texas where she served as Executive Director of the Center Against Family Violence (CAFV). During her tenure at the CAFV, Gloria managed a significant border community domestic violence program with a $1.8 million dollar budget and a staff of fifty employees. Ms. Terry, a 2003 Leadership Texas graduate, holds a BBA from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her extensive community service includes serving on the Tarrant County Family Advocacy Steering Committee; Collaborative Council for the Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families with the Texas Supreme Court; VAWA Planning Committee with the Governor’s Office; National Leadership Committee with Center for Disease Control; and Diversity Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Gloria has been a member of the NNEDV board since 2013.

Paul Mifsud (Vice Chair)

Paul is Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Labor Relations & Player Programs, at the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Paul was an associate in the Labor & Employment Department of Proskauer Rose, LLP, in New York. Paul was a principal draftsman of Major League Baseball’s first domestic violence policy, anti-hazing & anti-bullying policy, and the MLB workplace code of conduct. In this respect, Paul is responsible for League-wide education and training of players under these policies. Paul has been involved in nearly every player grievance that has been arbitrated since 2001, including many challenging discipline under the Joint Drug Program, and in the negotiations with the Players Association over discipline and training for violators of the Joint Domestic Violence Policy, which was implemented in 2015. And Paul has participated in dozens of salary arbitration cases since 2001, performing the role of lead counsel for the Commissioner’s Office in over 20 cases since 2006. Paul is a 1995 graduate of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he majored in Economics and minored in Russian language. He received his J.D. from N.Y.U. School of Law in 1998. Paul lives in Irvington, New York, with his wife and three children.

Susan Higginbotham (Treasurer)

Susan Higginbotham is CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and has more than 30 years of experience in addressing mission-related issues including domestic violence, reproductive and sexual health, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health. Susan previously served as Executive Director of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) based in Philadelphia; President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chester County; and executive director of the AIDS Fund. Before relocating to Pennsylvania, Higginbotham was executive director of a community-based domestic violence center in South Carolina, and went on to lead the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVSA) as executive director. Susan received her BA in psychology and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master’s degree in Counselor Education and Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Saat Alety (Secretary) 

Saat Alety is the Director of Federal Affairs and Public Policy at Allstate, the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. In this capacity, Alety leads the company’s advocacy efforts with Congress, the White House, and federal agencies, in addition to its public policy development. Previously, Alety served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. As Sen. Scott’s senior policy advisor on financial services issues, Alety also served as the Majority Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development. Prior to his tenure as a Senate staffer, Alety spent almost three years as Communications Director to U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. While spokesperson, Alety was also a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Royce for his housing and capital markets portfolio on the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to his Capitol Hill experience, Alety has held positions with the Financial Services Roundtable (now Bank Policy Institute), the leading trade association for the financial services industry, and Senator Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign. A native of Naperville, Illinois, Alety began his career in the office of U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL). He currently serves on the board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the grant committee for The Allstate Foundation. Alety is also an alumni advisor for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association.

Sara Barber

Sara Barber is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA). Prior to joining SCCADVASA in 2014 she worked in a batterer intervention program for 13 years. She is the Vice-Chair of South Carolina’s Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, served as the Chair of NNEDV’s Public Policy Committee and serves on multiple community and statewide committees focused on issues connected to domestic and sexual violence. She has a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelors of Arts (Honors) in American Studies from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, and has also completed graduate work in Art History.

Sarah Holland

Sarah Holland is the U.S. Public Policy lead for Google’s strategy and programs on youth and technology, focusing on consumer privacy and data innovation. Prior to joining Google, she served as Legislative Assistant and Senior Advisor to Senator Mark Pryor on online safety, communications and technology, foreign policy, and education issues. In Spring 2018, Sarah received a project-based fellowship on artificial intelligence and its governance at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. Sarah received a B.A. from the University of Arkansas and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University, and also studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is the immediate past board chair of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Board of Directors.

Rhonda Cunningham Holmes

Rhonda Cunningham Holmes is the Executive Director of Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), an affiliate of AARP. She leads a team of 65, including attorneys, long-term care ombudsman specialists, social workers, and support staff in providing direct legal and social work services to DC seniors, and advocacy for residents of long-term care facilities. Ms. Holmes joined LCE in 2018 and under her leadership has expanded LCE services, especially for veterans; placed increased emphasis on advocacy; and has introduced a Racial Equity Initiative to better enable staff to address the client community, largely people of color, with cultural awareness and humility. In March 2022, Ms. Holmes was elected to serve on the board of Directors of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Parks Foundation and on the Board of Directors of DC Refers. Ms. Holmes has been a member of the Fordham Law Advisory Council since its inception in 2018. She is an advisory board member and past chair of the board of directors of Montgomery Housing Partnership. Ms. Holmes holds a JD from Fordham University School of Law; an MBA from the University of Rochester Simon School of Business, and an A.B. from Duke University. She is the 2021 recipient of the Honorable Deborah A. Batts Life of Commitment Award from the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University School of Law. Prior to joining LCE, Ms. Holmes was the deputy director of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She was a litigator at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP where her practice focused on intellectual property, insurance and complex commercial litigation cases in federal and state courts and continuously held a portfolio of pro bono cases.

Karen M. Jarmoc

Karen Jarmoc has served as the AVP Corporate Sustainability Leader at The Hartford since December 2020 where she is principally responsible for the strategic direction and tactics in relation to ESG reporting, messaging, commitments, and data verification to protect and strengthen the company’s reputation by ensuring it meets increasing expectations for transparency and progress with respect to sustainability related matters. Prior to The Hartford, Jarmoc was the Chief Executive Officer at the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for nearly ten years where she served on the NNEDV policy committee and the IPV Prevention Council at the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence. Jarmoc has served in the Connecticut General Assembly representing the 59th House District, where she was vice-chair of the Children’s Committee. She is on the board of Grace Academy and Hartford Performs in Hartford, formerly the Connecticut Airport Authority and in 2019 served on Governor Ned Lamont’s transition team. She is Co-Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity and immediate past board chair of the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls and Asnuntuck Community College Foundation.

Wendy Mahoney

Wendy Mahoney is Executive Director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has over 30 years of experience in the non-profit and social service fields. She has held her current position since 2013. Prior to this position, she has held other leadership positions such as the Principal Consultant for Divine Strategies, LLC, Executive Director for Mississippi Families as Allies for Children’s Mental Health and Executive Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mississippi. Wendy’s vast array of experiences and successes come from her years of non-profit management; program development; grant writing; direct service; school administration; community leadership and development; cultural responsiveness consulting; and personal and professional development trainings. A great passion is her mentorship of young girls into adulthood by providing experiential and life skill development opportunities. She has served on the NNEDV Membership Committee as Co-chair and Chair, therefore completed 6 years of service on the committee. One of Wendy’s published works is “Domestic Violence” in the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance. She has served on many boards and advisory committees such as Disability Rights Mississippi, Five Talents, Inc., Mississippi Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth, and Mississippi Department of Health Office Against Interpersonal Violence Steering Committee.

Karuna Nain

Karuna Nain is Director, Global Safety Policy at Facebook based in Menlo Park, California where she is responsible for working with internal and external stakeholders on issues of child online safety and well-being, women’s safety, and suicide prevention. In her past six years at Facebook, Karuna has developed Facebook’s Safety Center, Bullying Prevention Hub, Parents Portal, Youth Portal and Digital Literacy Library and led the global expansion of the company’s suicide prevention resources and the pilot program for victims to proactively report non-consensually shared intimate images. Karuna serves on the board the National Network to End Domestic Violence and is on the Family Online Safety Institute’s Member Group.

Blessing Okorougo

Blessing Okorougo is the Head of Social Advocacy at Tinder where she works with the product team in developing strategic partnerships and creating consumer programs with a focus on social impact and safety. Prior to this, she served as Head of Trust Partnerships at Airbnb where she led a team in support of platform safety for its global communities. With over a decade of experience rooted in the global development and philanthropic sector, Blessing has a history of facilitating public-private partnerships and supporting nonprofit engagement to transform social issues impacting vulnerable and historically underrepresented communities. Blessing holds a graduate degree from King’s College London, Department of War Studies and a dual Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego. She is a founding Steering Committee member of the Peninsula Philanthropy Network in support of Bay Area mission-focused giving.

Sarah Prout Rennie, JD

Sarah Prout Rennie, JD, is Executive Director for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCEDSV). Ms. Rennie has been an attorney for over twenty years and has extensive experience serving survivors. Ms. Rennie has been a trainer for MCOLES (Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) on sexual assault and domestic violence since 2009 and is also a FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers) certified trainer on elder abuse. She is the author of numerous articles that have been included in the Michigan Family Law Journal on human trafficking, meeting the needs of rural LGBT survivors, elder abuse and child custody and domestic violence. Ms. Rennie’s work on economic justice has also been published in the Michigan State Bar Journal and the Management Information Exchange Journal, and her article on the fundamental right to parent was featured in the Wayne State Law. Her work with trauma informed care of survivors of violence in the criminal justice system has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit News and on ABC news.

Amy Sonderman

Amy Sonderman is an experienced nonprofit leader and strategist. Amy is currently the Deputy Director of Global Stakeholder Engagement at U.S. Pharmacopeia, where she builds and manages relationships with organizations representing patients, practitioners and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Amy activates multiple coalitions of stakeholders and influential partners to support critical patient advocacy issues related to medication quality, safety, and access. Prior to her time at USP, Amy was the Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Development at the National Consumers League. There she led all aspects of external affairs and fundraising, vastly increasing revenue from corporate sponsorship and organized labor. She also developed relationships with partners across sectors, such as founding a Health Advisory Council of more than 60 partners in the public health community. Prior to that Amy worked in fundraising or membership roles for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Girl Scouts of America and was the Associate Executive Director at the Greater Pittston YMCA. Amy graduated with honors from University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Political Science and earned a Masters in Public Administration from Marywood University, where she was inducted into the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Amy currently serves as a director on the Fairfax County Park Foundation Board as well as on the development committee for the Falls Church City Library Foundation. Amy lives in the City of Falls Church with her husband and daughter.

Deborah J. Vagins, President and CEO

As the President and CEO of NNEDV, Deborah leads the organization’s work to create a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. NNEDV represents the 56 state and territorial domestic violence coalitions, is the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their advocates, and offers a range of programs and initiatives to address the complex causes and far-reaching consequences of domestic violence. Deborah brings to NNEDV decades of experience as a guiding voice in civil, women’s, and human rights legal and policy advocacy, with a focus on economic and racial justice issues. She helps guide NNEDV’s vision and strategic partnerships to identify emerging issues and trends in the field to develop intersectional solutions to support survivors.

Prior to joining NNEDV, Deborah was the Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Research at the American Association of University Women (AAUW). At AAUW, Deborah led the government relations, legal advocacy, and research department to advance the organization’s vision at the local, state, and federal levels. In this role, Deborah developed strategic campaigns through advocacy, case law development, and research to reshape a public policy agenda and to marshal broad support for gender equity initiatives with respect to economic security, education, and leadership roles for women. Most recently, she helped to lead the national Paycheck Fairness Act coalition and the organization’s fight against the Administration’s rollback of sexual assault and sexual harassment protections in schools. She is the co-author of several AAUW research reports, including The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap; Limiting our Livelihoods: The Cumulative Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women’s Careers; and Broken Ladders: Barriers to Women’s Representation in Nonprofit Leadership.

Before AAUW, Deborah was a Chief of Staff and Principal Attorney Advisor at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Vagins rendered legal interpretations regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other laws governing equal employment opportunity. She served as an agency representative on the White House Council for Women and Girls, the White House Equal Pay Task Force, and the DOJ Interagency Transgender Workgroup. Among other projects, she was part of the teams working on the EEOC’s groundbreaking positions on LGBTQ workplace protections, the EEOC’s pay data collection initiative, and new guidance on retaliation and pregnancy discrimination.

Prior to joining the EEOC in 2015, Deborah was the Senior Legislative Counsel on civil rights issues for the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. In this position, Deborah led campaigns on federal legislative and executive branch actions, including on employment discrimination and pay equity, voting rights, racial disparities in education and the school-to-prison pipeline, disability rights, and other civil and human rights issue areas. She worked closely with coalition partners and key congressional, White House, and federal agency staff to advance a national civil rights agenda.

At the ACLU, Deborah was instrumental in advocating for passage of major civil rights laws, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and, among others. She helped design and successfully advocated for executive action on employment and education issues, including the Department of Labor’s executive order banning punitive pay secrecy policies in federal contracting and the Department of Education’s racial disparities in school discipline guidance. She co-chaired several national civil rights coalitions advocating for passage of federal bills, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Democracy Restoration Act. While at the ACLU, Deborah drafted and co-authored numerous congressional statements, articles, and reports including: Working in the Shadows: Ending Employment Discrimination for LGBT Americans; Promises to Keep: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act; The Democracy Restoration Act: Addressing A Centuries-Old Injustice; and Cracks in the System: Twenty Years of an Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law.

Prior to joining the ACLU in 2005, Deborah served as the Acting Deputy General Counsel and Senior Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR). The general counsel’s office provided recommendations to the White House, Congress and federal agencies to improve national civil rights policies and preserve constitutional protections. Deborah and the staff conducted investigations, held briefings, and drafted comprehensive analyses to develop national policies regarding voting rights, Title VI enforcement, environmental justice, racial disparities in education, and affirmative action.

Before working at USCCR, Deborah was an associate in the employment discrimination and civil rights practice group at Cohen Milstein, where she litigated high-profile nationwide civil rights class actions. She represented more than 1.5 million women from Wal-Mart in the largest Title VII employment discrimination class action in history. Prior to that, Deborah was an associate at Sidley & Austin in the civil, criminal, and constitutional litigation practice group and founded the firm’s Committee for the Recruitment and Retention of Women. Earlier Deborah worked at EMILY’s List and clerked at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

Deborah frequently lectures, speaks at press conferences and rallies, and has made appearances on The TODAY Show and NBC Nightly News and in Glamour, USA Today, Time, the New Republic, The New York Times, C-SPAN, TIME, Washington Post, AP, CQ, NPR, The Hill, Huffington Post, and others. In 2019, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts for her work in civil and women’s rights.

Deborah graduated magna cum laude from the Washington College of Law at American University, where she was an editor of the law review and the recipient of the Gillett-Mussey scholarship for her contributions in the field of gender equity. She received her B.A. with distinction from Swarthmore College.