Staff

  • Gabriela Marquez-Benitez, Membership Director

    Gaby amplifies DWN’s work from Chicago by developing and supporting member campaigns to take action to end immigrant detention. Coming from a family impacted by the immigrant detention and deportation machine, she recognizes and deeply appreciates the Network’s commitment to center the work led by those directly affected in order to create meaningful change. In addition to local community involvement, you can find Gaby experimenting with new recipes, spending time with her family in the South or hanging out with her dog, Lager.

  • Liz Castillo, Organizer

    Liz Castillo is part of the organizing team at Detention Watch Network, with a focus on family detention and anti-expansion efforts in Texas as well as other southern states. Liz admires Detention Watch Network’s vision of a world without immigration detention centers and is excited to learn and fight alongside members and allies committed to turning that vision into reality. When not working, Liz enjoys stumbling across new artists, curating playlists, and getting caught up in the music with loved ones at karaoke and/or the dance floor.

  • Feven Ferai, Finance and Operations Manager

    Feven is responsible for overseeing the internal finances along with managing the day to day operations of DWN. She recognizes and values DWN’s commitment to expose and fight the injustices of immigration detention. Outside of work, you can find Feven spending time with friends and family or traveling.

  • Bárbara Suarez Galeano, Organizing Director

    Bárbara supports the organizing team by working alongside local and regional members to develop campaign strategies and community engagement plans to fight against the proliferation of immigration detention. She enjoys working at DWN because of the strength and diversity of its members and the network’s commitment to support and build up the leadership of frontline communities. Prior to joining DWN, Bárbara was deeply involved in a variety of social justice struggles ranging from indigenous sovereignty movements in México to anti-displacement organizing in Chicago. When time allows, Bárbara enjoys visiting her family in Miami, otherwise she can be found lounging around her apartment watching horror films with her feline roommates, Nina and Scrappy.

  • Setareh Ghandehari, Advocacy Manager

    Setareh manages DWN's federal advocacy by collaborating with our membership and coalition partners to advance DWN's goals in Washington, DC. She is inspired by DWN's bold abolitionist vision and the leadership of directly impacted communities.  Prior to joining DWN, Setareh was the Director of the Labor & Employment Committee of the National Lawyers Guild and was previously a Program Associate for the Legal Orientation Program at the Vera Institute of Justice. Outside of work, Setareh loves spending time with her family, hiking, singing in the car, and having impromptu dance parties in the kitchen.

  • Marcela Hernandez, Organizer

    Marcela is part of the organizing team working alongside members leading the Communities not Cages campaign in the West. She also engages local communities in Defund Hate campaign efforts. Marcela is inspired by DWN’s commitment to abolition and following the leadership of communities directly impacted by detention. Before coming to DWN, Marcela worked at Public Counsel and organized with OCAD in Chicago, the Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition and the Immigrant Youth Coalition in California. During her free time, Marcela enjoys attending herbalism classes and going out dancing with family and friends.
  • Aimee Nichols, Associate Director

    Aimee oversees DWN’s operations, including finances, fundraising, human resources, and capacity building. She appreciates the Network’s clear commitment to and work towards a world without immigration detention. Prior to joining the DWN team in 2017, Aimee worked on federal immigration reform advocacy, first with the Alliance for Citizenship and then at Community Change, where she was part of a successful unionizing drive. When not at work, you can find Aimee running in Rock Creek Park, reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle, or exploring new restaurants.

  • Carly Pérez Fernández, Communications Director

    Carly is responsible for growing DWN’s online base, supporting members communications needs, and crafting the Network’s message. In this role, Carly feels inspired by the many ways members work together to strengthen the fight to end immigration detention. When not at work, Carly enjoys being outside whether it’s kicking around a soccer ball, lingering over a long meal or going on a hike in her native Oregon.

  • Shadé Quintanilla, Communications Associate

    Shadé creates content and manages DWN’s social media channels, while also supporting the Communications Director in crafting DWN’s message. What Shadé admires most about DWN is the Network’s dedication and commitment to racial equity, community decision-making, and a world without immigration detention. Prior to joining DWN, Shadé worked in digital media and entertainment. In her free time, you can find Shadé exploring the different neighborhoods of LA, taking her dog to the park, or enjoying the local art and music scene.

  • Karen Roxas, Development Associate

    Karen is committed to DWN’s capacity building through fundraising and development support. She greatly appreciates DWN’s ability to push the envelope to truly attain justice for immigrant communities while also being committed to its staff and members’ well-being. Before joining DWN, Karen organized migrant workers in Los Angeles around the issues of wage theft, labor trafficking, and immigrant rights. When not writing fundraising emails and grant reports, you’ll find Karen playing live music with her band Higher Unity, trying out new renditions of coffee-oat milk combos in LA cafes, releasing dopamine at the gym, or marching the LA streets and supporting local community organizers.

  • Silky Shah, Executive Director

    Silky works to maximize the reach and impact of the Network. She manages DWN’s program and communications and shares responsibility for shaping its strategic direction. After over a decade of fighting against immigration detention, she deeply appreciates the community forged by the Network and the spirit and resilience of its members. When not living out of a suitcase in D.C., Silky enjoys exploring the mountains, islands and forests of her home in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Jolie Steinert, Administrative Associate

    Jolie supports the finance, operations, and membership teams, as well as, Silky Shah, the Executive Director. Jolie admires Detention Watch Network’s bold vision for a future where people can migrate freely without fear of being detained, and appreciates the opportunity to work alongside fierce advocates from all over the country. Prior to joining DWN, Jolie was the Development Associate for the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. When Jolie isn’t working you can find her baking (and eating) cakes, playing with her dog Noni, or catching up on the latest TV with a glass of wine.

  • Luis Suarez, Field Advocacy Manager

    Luis serves as a coalition builder for DWN members and allies who engage in advocacy work at the national level. He appreciates being a resource for DWN members and folks previously detained while also connecting local communities to Capitol Hill. Prior to DWN, Luis worked as the Policy Coordinator for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice. When he isn’t working, you will find Luis doing Crossfit, dancing, and binge-watching TV shows.

  • Gabriela Viera, Advocacy Associate

    Gaby supports DWN’s mission through federal advocacy work and coalition building, while serving as a policy resource for the network. She appreciates DWN’s relentless accountability to a single, unambiguous vision of abolition. Prior to joining DWN, Gaby was introduced to advocacy work in her role as the Program Assistant for Immigration and Refugee Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Outside of work, Gaby will either be found eating new cuisine in DC, screaming reggaeton lyrics on the dance floor, or being babied by her family in her beloved home state of New Jersey.