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Board of Directors

Susan Higginbotham (Chair)

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.

Amy Sonderman (Vice Chair)

Amy Sonderman is currently the Senior Director of Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement at U.S. Pharmacopeia, where she leads U.S. advocacy efforts as well as 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. 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 also serves as a director on the Mary Riley Styles Library Foundation. Amy lives in the City of Falls Church with her husband, daughter, and golden retriever.

Sara Barber (Treasurer)

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.

Angelina Mercado (Secretary)

Angelina is the Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In her nonprofit career, Angelina has worked to address the root causes of poverty and trauma in the lives of women and children, first as a volunteer for Wahine Moving Forward, a financial literacy program for survivors of domestic violence, then as the Director of Advancement for Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network, a movement for children. Angelina currently serves on the board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and as the Co-Chair of the Hawai‘i Women’s Coalition, a statewide network of organizations and individuals working to advance legislation on gender issues, and on the Community Advisory Board of Hawai‘i Public Radio. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaiʻi, was the Vice President of Communications then Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for the Junior League of Honolulu. Prior to moving to Hawaiʻi, Angelina was a Vice President in the Global Funding Group at RBC Capital Markets in New York. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Connecticut College. An animal lover, Angelina’s family in Hawai‘i includes her rescue pets Xoe and Biscuit-Rose.

Paul Mifsud

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.

Saat Alety

Saat Alety is a Partner at Federal Hall Policy Advisors (Fed Hall), a leading boutique and bipartisan government affairs firm in Washington, D.C. Named to The Hill’s Top Lobbyist list in 2021, Alety most recently led Allstate’s advocacy efforts with Congress, the White House, and federal agencies, in addition to its public policy development at the federal, state, and local level. Alety previously served as Majority Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development under U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. As Sen. Scott’s senior policy advisor on financial services issues, Alety led efforts that resulted in the enactment of legislation to grow consumer access to banking services, prevent synthetic identity theft, and modernize mortgage credit standards. Prior to his tenure as a Senate staffer, Alety spent 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 House Financial Services Committee portfolio. 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 the Romney 2012 presidential campaign. A native of Naperville, Illinois, Alety began his career in the office of U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL). He serves on the boards of directors/advisors for College to Congress, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), and the One Love Foundation. Alety is also an alumni advisor to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and a recipient of its Jose M. Montano Jr. Award for “going above and beyond to sustain a pipeline of AAPI Hill staffers and leaders on the Hill.” In 2022, Alety joined his undergraduate alma mater Loyola University Chicago as an adjunct professor in its political science department, teaching PLSC 238: Political Advocacy for the school’s Washington program. He has also guest lectured for students at the University of Chicago, New York University, and American University.

Jennifer Hanley

Jennifer Hanley is North American Head of Safety at Meta where she handles safety policy for the U.S. and Canada. She works with internal teams, external partners, and government stakeholders on issues including women’s safety, child safety, bullying, digital well-being, and suicide prevention. Prior to joining Facebook she served as Vice President for Legal and Policy at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) where she directed FOSI’s government outreach and policy strategy. During her time at FOSI, Jennifer built relationships with government officials and external partners, led research projects, and advised leading technology companies on best practices, policy developments, and emerging issues around online safety. Jennifer is a magna cum laude graduate of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and is a member of the Maryland Bar and District of Columbia Bar. She previously held internships with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, EchoStar, Comcast, and the U.S. Department of Education. Jennifer graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from The George Washington University where she studied Political Science. She resides in the DC area with her husband, a U.S. Diplomat, and son.

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.

Blessing Okorougo

Blessing Okorougo is the Head of Social Impact & Sustainability for Youth To The People. Previously, Blessing worked at Match Group where as Director of Product Partnerships she worked with relationship apps Tinder and Hinge to create consumer programs with a focus on online safety and GBV education. Prior to this, she led Trust Partnerships at Airbnb and Meta where she oversaw the development of platform safety programming for its global communities. With over a decade of experience rooted in the international development and the nonprofit sector, Blessing has a history of facilitating public-private partnerships and philanthropic capital to transform social issues impacting vulnerable and historically marginalized 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.

Leila Rouhi

Leila Rouhi is Vice President of Trust and Privacy at Amazon, overseeing a broad portfolio of devices including Ring, Alexa, FireTV, Halo, Key, and Sidewalk. She previously served as President of Ring, where she led the company’s privacy, security, and community partnerships, as well Ring’s Neighbors App and Subscriptions teams. Leila first joined Ring as General Counsel, and led the team through an acquisition by Amazon in 2018. Prior to Ring, she was Director of Legal Affairs at True Religion Brand Jeans, where she provided legal oversight for all aspects of their retail operation. Leila has also represented clients in mergers & acquisitions, fashion, and entertainment and media. Leila counts outdoor recreation and DIY home renovation among her many interests. She also volunteers at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline as a crisis counselor and at InsightLA, a non-profit meditation center teaching mindfulness practices based in Buddhist tradition. Leila holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a BA in economics and Politics from Mount Holyoke College.

Dr. Wendy B. Mahoney (non-voting)

Dr. Wendy Mahoney has over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit and social service fields. She has held leadership positions as Executive Director for Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Executive Director for Mississippi Families as Allies for Children’s Mental Health, and Executive Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mississippi. In addition to being the Principal Consultant for Divine Strategies, LLC, and Director of Grants Management for Ten One Strategies. Dr. Mahoney’s vast array of experiences and success 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 training. Dr. Mahoney’s published works include “on knees not in flesh” in The Christian Public Servant and “Domestic Violence” in the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance. Other works include a national training entitled, Recognizing Early-Onset Mental Health Disorders: Key Warning Signs for Educators, which was recognized by the University of Columbia as best practice in the field of children’s mental health. Wendy has traveled extensively throughout the country providing training, resources and support on children’s mental health, organizational development, and domestic violence. She mentors young girls into adulthood by providing experiential and life-skill development opportunities. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Tougaloo College, Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and 6th year certificate in Education Administration both from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She received a Doctor of Theology from Grace Through Faith School of Ministry. One of Wendy’s most humbling accomplishments was the ordination as a pastor in her current ministry. This aligns with her passion for marketplace ministry and seeing people healed and made whole in many areas of their lives. She is also pursuing a doctorate degree in Public Policy and Administration from Jackson State University.