Co-Executive Directors Alba Jaramillo and Melissa Bowe begin a new era for the JFON Network
On behalf of our entire JFON network of 19 affiliate offices across the USA, we are pleased to announce our new leadership team for National Justice for Our Neighbors. Co-Executive Directors Melissa Bowe and Alba Jaramillo will guide our organization —and the network—with vision, purpose, and passion.
Alba Jaramillo, J.D., has 19 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and is a recognized and celebrated national and local leader in immigration advocacy and human rights. As executive director for Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors, she has led the organization to become an influential voice and stakeholder in border policy, while helping hundreds of asylum seekers gain safety in the United States.
“I grew up undocumented in the United States; like many of our clients, my family navigated the immigration legal system while facing barriers common to low-income immigrant families,” she states. “My experience as an undocumented immigrant is the reason I attended law school, so that I can serve other immigrants and vulnerable communities.”
Melissa Bowe, J.D., has served in multiple roles at National JFON over the course of nine years. Most recently, as Deputy Director, she ran our advocacy consultant program, programming, and personally cultivated and helped launch over half of our current JFON affiliate offices. With deep institutional knowledge of NJFON and the needs of the network, she has been—and will continue to be—a vital partner in advancing our values and our mission.
“We are excited about the opportunities our co-directorship offers for collaboration and relationship-building across the network,” she says. “We believe this model of shared decision-making is in line with the change initiative we have already begun at National JFON: a social justice framework rooted in anti-oppression, holistic management, innovation and building a structure that supports our organizational values.”
As co-executive directors, Alba and Melissa are uniquely qualified to strengthen and energize the network, to raise our profile within and outside of the immigration justice space and the United Methodist Church, and to further increase our advocacy work.
“Alba and Melissa bring individual as well as team strengths to this new model of leadership for our organization,” says NJFON board chair Rev. Dr. Cynthia Weems. “I could not be more optimistic about the future.”
Stay tuned for more about our new co-executive directors and their plans to strengthen and energize our JFON network!