A refugee and immigrant to various countries herself, Nilou is deeply committed to standing up for the rights of immigrants in the United States and worldwide.
Prior to founding Pangea in late 2012, Nilou started a sliding-scale, low-fee private practice, where she represented immigrants of many backgrounds seeking relief from deportation and other areas of immigration law. She also served as supervising attorney of the refugee services program and oversaw caseworkers at Omid Advocates for Human Rights both, abroad and in the United States. As an attorney with the African Advocacy Network ("AAN"), Nilou represented immigrants in their asylum proceedings and other immigration matters.
Prior to relocating in San Francisco, Nilou was a Fulbright Fellow in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where she worked with Timap for Justice, a legal services organization dedicated to access to justice for the rural poor. As part of the fellowship, she taught a year-long Human Rights seminar for the law school clinic at Fourah Bay College and conducted policy research on labor and employment issues in Sierra Leone.
During law school, Nilou co-taught two Immigration Policy seminars based on research she conducted with classmates through Georgetown Human Rights Action (GHRA). As president of GHRA, Nilou worked to institutionalize the research missions and policy seminars through Georgetown's Human Rights Institute. Nilou also previously worked with the International Labor Rights Forum and the Protection Project in Washington, D.C., as well as the United Nations Development Project in Tehran, Iran, where she was born.
Nilou is the recipient of several awards and honorees, namely the James F. Slevin Award for academic excellence and dedication to social justice. She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service ('06) and her law degree from Georgetown Law School ('09), with certification in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from the Institute for the Study of International Migration.
Nilou is licensed to practice law in Maryland and California. She speaks six languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Farsi, and Sierra Leonean Krio.
Passionate about interacting with, learning from, and assisting people from all horizons, Marie is deeply committed to the promotion and defense of human rights and migrants' rights in the United States and abroad.
Involved with Pangea since its creation, Marie contributed to building its foundation and to increase the organization’s capacity.
Previously, at the 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Marie represented the California-based NGO, Human Rights Advocates. She presented her report on juvenile sentencing practices to the Council, and lobbied for the inclusion of protective language in the Resolution on the Rights of the Child. She also worked with the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights' Asylum Program in San Francisco, as an intake volunteer.
In addition to her proficiency in family-based immigration, asylum law, and deportation defense, Marie has experience in employment-based immigration, including immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. In 2010, she interned with the Global Migration Department of Baker & McKenzie LLP in Palo Alto, California. In 2012 and 2013 she continued practicing in this area as a contract attorney for Bertoni Law, in San Francisco, and the Law Office of Nancy Hormachea, in Berkeley, California. She also previously volunteered for Nilou's sliding-scale low bono practice and as a part-time attorney with Pangea.
Before attending Law School, Marie interned with the CentroAmerican Court of Justice in Managua, Nicaragua. She also volunteered at an elementary school in the Gao Region of Mali for one summer.
Marie earned her undergraduate and master’s degree in Political Science, Economics and Latin American Studies from Sciences Po (Institute of Political Studies) of Grenoble, France ('09), where she grew up. She received her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law ('12), where she developed her passion for migrants' rights and worked on papers involving ethics for immigration lawyers and comparative asylum law.
Marie is licensed to practice law in California. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
Growing up in an immigrant family and community, Bianca is dedicated to furthering the human rights of all migrants.
Prior to her work at Pangea, Bianca was the Program Director for the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative. During her work with the IMBR Initiative, she led the revision of the IMBR text and commentaries, the drafting of an IMBR handbook, and the creation of indicators based on the IMBR. The IMBR and accompanying materials are published in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Volume 28, Fall 2013. Her work with the IMBR began in law school, where she worked with three international universities in an IMBR-focused conference in Geneva. Her commitment to the IMBR continues as she currently sits on the steering committee of the IMBR Initiative.
During law school, Bianca represented an asylum seeker in immigration court through the Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). She worked for the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs/Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in the Office of Policy Review and Inter-Agency Liason, where she analyzed implementation of Hague private international law conventions. In 2009 she interned for Conectas Human Rights in São Paulo, Brazil, where she worked with the Foreign Policy Program. At Conectas she contributed to a range of projects, including researching Brazil’s foreign policy approach to the United Nations Security Council, encouraging international participation in Guinea-Bissau’s election, and editing the Conectas Human Rights Yearbook.
Bianca was a Global Law Scholar at Georgetown Law and was awarded a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. She received her undergraduate degreecum laude from Rice University ('05) and her law degree cum laude from Georgetown Law School ('11).
Bianca is licensed to practice law in California. She speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Born in the U.S., Céline believes that immigration makes this country more vibrant, compassionate and democratic.
Céline has advocated for immigrant rights in a variety of settings. Prior to joining Pangea, she worked at Bay Area Legal Aid helping low-income immigrants access public benefits and health care. Before that, she represented immigrant tenants facing eviction and housing discrimination in D.C. She also served as an outreach coordinator for LAF Chicago, helping the agency build its first ever Community Engagement Unit and launching an immigrant-focused Know Your Rights campaign.
Céline graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 2010. During that time, she interned with the Florence Project and National Immigrant Justice Center. There she interviewed over 100 detained unaccompanied minors in Phoenix and Chicago, gave Know Your Rights presentations, and successfully litigated a gender-based asylum case.
Prior to law school, Céline coordinated holistic services for asylum seekers at the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture. She also served as a certified French interpreter.
Céline received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Northwestern University ('05). She received her law degree cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law ('10), where she was the recipient of the Arlyn Minor Book Award for excellence in legal writing.
Céline is licensed to practice law in California. She speaks English, Spanish, and French.
Understanding first hand what it means to be an immigrant in the United States, Luis Angel has committed his life to empowering immigrant communities in their struggle for human rights and dignity.
For two years during law school, Luis Angel defended immigrants facing deportation as part of NYU's Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic. He also served as an articles editor of the NYU Law Review. In his last year of law school, Luis Angel challenged the inhumane, no-bond immigration detention system before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. During his law school summers, Luis Angel interned with the Bronx Defenders in New York City and the ACLU in San Francisco, working on immigrant justice projects.
Prior to law school, Luis Angel was active in the immigrant rights movement, where he helped organize various protests against the deportations taking place in the Bay Area and across the country. In an effort to understand his own migration history, his undergraduate studies focused on the U.S. displacement of campesinos from the countryside of Mexico. Graduating with honors, Luis Angel attended the University of California, Berkeley ('10), where he received his bachelor's in Political Economy and Political Science. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law ('15) as a Bickel & Brewer Latino Institute for Human Rights Scholar.
Luis Angel is licensed to practice law in California. He speaks English and Spanish.
As an American-born self-identified global citizen, Ande is passionate about working to realize a world in which all people’s dignity and human rights are celebrated, including their right to move.
Prior to relocating to California and joining Pangea, Ande lived and worked in Mexico for three years. He studied Spanish at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) while working with Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos (ASILEGAL), where Ande helped develop a human rights promoters training for LGBTI youth in Mexico City. In addition, he worked as a part-time translator and English teacher. Ande continued his advocacy work as the Social Media Coordinator with Fundación Arcoíris and the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans & Intersex Association, where he organized the ILGA World Conference in Mexico City in 2014. Ande also previously worked in communications and events planning with the Organization for Refugee, Asylum and Migration.
In college, Ande created an organization, Ally Outreach Council, to encourage allies to push for greater inclusivity of LGBTI students. His studies concentrated on the effects of changing conceptions of sexuality & gender on identity construction and subsequently community development. Ande studied abroad in Mexico and Morocco, and in this context, developed theories on the evolution of identity and community on the basis of intercultural exchanges and their impact on the socio-political level through sustained social movements.
Ande graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in History & Religion and in International Affairs.
Ande speaks English and Spanish.
The grandson of refugees, Etan believes that a society is measured by the way it welcomes newcomers.
Etan became involved in immigrant rights work after visiting Postville, Iowa in the aftermath of a devastating immigration enforcement raid. He committed himself to becoming an advocate and partner with immigrant communities in their struggle to achieve recognition and justice. Before law school, Etan researched the barriers preventing immigrants from accessing public benefits and worked for Farmworker Justice in Washington, DC, where he advocated for policies that would support immigrant farmworkers. He also trained as a union organizer alongside immigrant workers in the food service and hospitality industries.
During law school, Etan defended immigrants in removal proceedings as part of NYU’s Immigrant Rights Clinic and Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic. He argued a petition for habeas corpus challenging the mandatory detention of his client before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, securing the client’s release. He also represented asylum-seekers in immigration court in New York and Texas. During the summers, Etan worked at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and at the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project, where he learned the power of pairing legal strategies with community mobilization.
Etan received an undergraduate degree in history from Brown University (’09), and a law degree from New York University School of Law (’15). After law school, he clerked for the Honorable William A. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Etan is licensed to practice law in California. He speaks English and Spanish.