OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MSGR. ARTURO JOSÉ BAÑUELAS
President & Chairman of the Board | Pastor, St. Mark’s Catholic Church
Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas is the founding chair of the Hope Border Institute and is pastor of St. Mark’s Catholic Church in El Paso, TX. Msgr. Bañuelas has founded a number of initiatives in theology, ministries and border activism He is the founder and past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) as well as the founder of the Tepeyac Institute, a diocesan ministry formation center. Msgr. Bañuelas earned a doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.
ALEX R. ALMANZÁN
Secretary | Assistant Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas
Alex works as an advocate for indigent criminal clients as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the last twelve years by providing individual representation in all federal criminal defense matters. He volunteers as a member of team Adelante, a pre-trial diversion program for first time offenders, the only program in the nation that results in dismissal of drug trafficking indictments for successful participants. Additionally, Mr. Almanzán has represented United States citizens return to the United States in the U.S. and Mexico Prisoner Treaty Transfer Program. After graduating from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, he served as a law clerk to Sr. United States District Judge David Briones. At St. Mary’s he served as Editor-in-chief of The Scholar, the school’s specialty law journal. He completed his bachelors in Public Policy at Stanford University.
MR. J. KEVIN APPLEBY
Senior Director of International Migration Policy, Center for Migration Studies
J. Kevin Appleby is the former senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies of New York and the Scalabrini International Migration Network. He also previously served as director of migration and public affairs in the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Appleby holds a law degree from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University.
MS. LORENA ANDRADE
Executive Director, La Mujer Obrera
Ms. Lorena Andrade is the executive director of La Mujer Obrera, an internationally acclaimed & award-winning, 30-year-old grassroots organization dedicated to development and advocacy in defense and recognition of Mexican migrant women workers’ heritage, rights and contributions. La Mujer Obrera’s community development model is ecological, community-led, and leading to full community empowerment and self-sufficiency.
DR. MILTON J. BRAVO
Director of Audience Development, Commonweal Magazine, NY
Adjunct Assistant Professor, St. John’s University, NY
Dr. Milton Javier Bravo is an adjunct assistant professor of theology at Saint John’s University in New York as well as director of audience development at Commonweal Magazine. He holds a Doctorate from Fordham University. Dr. Bravo’s dissertation, entitled “Una Comunidad Católica: Assessment of U.S. Hispanic popular Catholicism among college students,” explores the beliefs, rituals, and symbols embedded in the cultural and religious practices of young Hispanic Catholics living in the United States. His research interests include contextual theology, ecclesiology, and U.S. Hispanic Catholicism. In his role with Commonweal Magazine, he elevates narratives and voices that reflect the current and emerging demographics in the American society.
MS. MELISSA CEDILLO
Graduate Student, Harvard Divinity School
Melissa Cedillo attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles where she earned a BA in Theological Studies. Currently, she is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School studying religion, ethics, and politics through a public policy lens. Melissa is a member of the Harvard Prison Divestment campaign and HDS Catholics. She is dedicated to advocating for preventative domestic violence policy, immigration advocacy, pushing for prison divestment, and decarceration work.
Executive Director, Hope Border Institute
Dylan Corbett is the founding executive director of HOPE. Dylan formerly worked as a staffer to the bishops of the United States at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development as well as with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty and social justice program of the USCCB. He has worked in the international development and nonprofit sectors in Washington, DC, Central America and South Asia, and has studied at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.
MR. KENNETH FERRONE
Treasurer of the Board | Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Southern NM
Kenneth Ferrone is the current Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico. His 25-year academic career includes serving in leadership positions at the University of Chicago, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Chapman University. Kenneth received his Bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and his Masters degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
DR. LUIS FRAGA
Director, Notre Dame Institute of Latino Studies
Dr. Luis Ricardo Fraga is the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science, Director of the Institute for Latino Studies, and Fellow at the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame. He has been on the faculty at the University of Washington, Stanford University, and the University of Oklahoma. He is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Rice University.
DR. MARK LUSK
Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Mark Lusk is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Texas at El Paso, Dr. Lusk, is an experienced field worker and researcher in Latin America. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, he has lived and worked extensively in South America. He currently studies resilience and trauma among refugees. Dr. Lusk is licensed in Texas as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).
REV. ROBERT MOSHER, SSC
Director, Columban Mission Center
Father Mosher is the SSC director of the Columban Mission Center in El Paso, TX. He is Catholic priest originally from Massachusetts, and a member of the Mission Society of St. Columban, also known as the Columban Fathers, which has promoted sustainable living and care for the planet for many years throughout the world. Fr. Mosher is also a Member of the Interfaith Clergy Alliance of El Paso and Southern New Mexico. He worked in Chile for nearly 30 years before returning to the U.S. and arriving in El Paso in 2011.
DR. NICHOLAS D. NATIVIDAD
Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, NMSU
Dr. Nicholas D. Natividad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University. His teaching and research interests focus on civil and human rights. His scholarship focuses on transnational and local community practices of human rights informed by indigenous and post-colonial methodologies that address inequality, crime, and violence. Dr. Natividad is an advocate for community engagement initiatives and believes education should offer outlets for students to learn from and give back to their communities.