Our Team

Board of Directors

Casey Douma, Attorney for Pueblo of Laguna – Board President
Justice Richard Bosson, NM Supreme Court, Retired – Board Vice President
Larissa Lozano, Attorney for Freedman Boyd Hollander Golberg Urias & Ward P.A.
Jeneva Martinez, Founder of Roswell Homeless Coalition
Regis Pecos, Co-director of the Leadership Institute

Staff

Sireesha Manne

Executive Director

Ms. Manne joined the Center in 2008 as an attorney and has been a key part of its leadership team over the last decade, engaging in the Center’s legal and advocacy work, strategic planning and management.

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Sovereign Hager

Legal Director

Ms. Hager has more than 10 years of experience working to advance economic and social justice. As an attorney at the Center, she has worked extensively to increase access to public benefits through administrative, legal, and legislative advocacy.

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Stacey Leaman

Development Director

Since joining the NM Center in 2004, Ms. Leaman has contributed to the Center’s administrative, communications, research, fundraising, and program work.

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Maria Archuleta

Communications Director

Ms. Archuleta joined the Center in March 2017 to support the organization’s expanding communications efforts.

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Melissa Candelaria

Senior Education Attorney

Melissa Candelaria is a senior education attorney and a member of the plaintiff’s legal team for Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico.

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Alisa Diehl

Senior Education Attorney

Alisa Diehl joined the Center in June 2020 as a senior education attorney, and a member of the legal team for the Yazzie plaintiffs in Yazzie/Martinez vs. State of New Mexico.

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Nicolas Cordova

Attorney - Healthcare

Mr. Cordova works to improve the healthcare system for children and families in New Mexico.

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Teague González

Public Benefits Director

Teague González brings twelve years of experience directly representing homeless and disabled adults and children to the Center's public benefits team.

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Stephanie Welch

Workers' Rights Director

Ms. Welch works to strengthen public enforcement of the minimum wage and overtime laws in New Mexico, promote worker protections such as paid sick leave, and improve farmworkers’ pay and working conditions.

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Felipe Guevara

Attorney - Workers' Rights

Felipe Guevara works to improve farmworkers’ pay and working conditions, promote worker protections such as paid sick leave, and strengthen public enforcement of the minimum wage and overtime laws in New Mexico.

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Maria Griego

Economic Equity Director

Ms. Griego works to expand and protect access to safe and affordable housing in New Mexico and to eliminate unjust fines and fees imposed by the legal system.

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Lindsay Cutler

Attorney - Economic Equity

Ms. Cutler works to address predatory lending practices and debt collection reform to protect the rights of borrowers in New Mexico. 

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Verenice Peregrino Pompa

Attorney for Public Benefits

Verenice Peregrino Pompa partners with community organizations to remove barriers to public benefits, focusing on child care assistance, increasing food security, and immigrant issues

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Alex Williams

Healthcare Policy Advocate

Alex joined the Center as a Legal Analyst in 2019 and works primarily for the Healthcare and Economic Equity teams. During law school, he focused on environmental law and externed with the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.

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Kelsey O’Keefe

Development and Operations Manager

Ms. O’Keefe was a non-profit arts administrator before making the switch to civil legal services in 2014.

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Paloma Mexika

Communications Associate

Paloma Mexika joined the Center in 2019 as a Communications Associate. She is passionate about dedicating her life to New Mexico’s future.

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Feliz Baca

Office Manager

Feliz Baca has in-depth experience and skills developed by working in public service professions, including non-profit, higher education, and local governmental agencies.

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Laura Blum

Full Charge Bookkeeper

Laura Blum has worked in non-profit financial management for over 30 years.

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Partners and Co-Counsel


Daniel Yohalem

Mr. Yohalem's law practice focuses on first amendment, civil rights, open government, employment, and class action cases for plaintiffs, particularly in the areas of equal pay for women, whistleblower, discrimination, and retaliation claims.

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Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks

Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks (Tlingit-Tsimshian) is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Native American Budget and Policy Institute, which conducts research, budget and policy analysis, social justice advocacy, and litigation to empower Native American communities to create self-determined and systematic change ...

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Christy Chapman

Christy joined the Center under NABPI in 2019. She brings an indigenous lens to address transforming education, promoting health sovereignty, and empowering Native communities to thrive economically. 

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