About Us

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Staff, Fellows & Interns

Staff

Ma'ayan Anafi

Policy Counsel

As a policy counsel, Ma’ayan works on strengthening and defending legal protections for transgender people at the federal and state levels.

Luc Athayde-Rizzaro

Luc Athayde-Rizzaro (he/him/his)

Policy Counsel

As Policy Counsel, Luc advocates to ensure transgender people can access life-affirming, nondiscriminatory health care at the federal and state level.

Arli Christian

Arli Christian

State Policy Director

As State Policy Director Arli works with state advocates to modernize name change laws, state ID regulations, and birth certificate policies, and is dedicated to improving and expanding access to legal services for trans communities through NCTE’s Trans Legal Services Network.

Gillian Branstetter

Gillian Branstetter (she/her/hers)

Media Relations Manager

As the Media Relations Manager for NCTE, Gillian helps answer questions from journalists and members of the press about policies, issues, and campaigns led by NCTE.

Mateo De La Torre

Mateo De La Torre (he/el)

Racial and Economic Justice Policy Advocate

Mateo De La Torre is a transgender Latino from Tijuana, Mexico. As the Racial and Economic Justice Policy Advocate at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) he helps shape the organization’s advocacy and policy work for transgender people of color and those with low or no-income.

Lauren M. Dow (she/her/hers)

Executive and Development Associate

As Administrative and Development Associate, Lauren coordinates the activities of our busy Executive Director, organizes external events and speaking engagements, and serves as initial point of contact for the organization.

Tucker Duval

Tucker Duval (he/him/his)

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Tucker fosters the operational efficiency and fiscal health of the organization by executing financial and operations-related tasks, including processing financial transactions, managing the administrative and operational needs of NCTE, coordinating selected human resources

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan (she/her/hers)

Director of External Relations

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the Director of External Relations at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), where she oversees public education and field organizing operations.

Debi Jackson (she/her/hers)

Family Organizer

As a Family Organizer, Debi connects with families of trans youth across the country, offering guidance on how they can tell their stories and feel empowered to advocate for their children anywhere from the local, state, or even federal level.

Mara Keisling

Mara Keisling

Executive Director

Mara Keisling is the founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.

Rebecca Kling

Rebecca Kling (she/her/hers)

Education Program Director

As the Education Program Director, Rebecca elevates the stories of transgender people and their allies by overseeing NCTE’s Voices for Trans Equality and Families for Trans Equality programs, and by conducting both storytelling and messaging trainings with trans people and allies across the country.

Lisa Mottet

Deputy Executive Director

As Deputy Executive Director, Lisa is responsible for stewarding the organization's advocacy, fundraising, and communications work and directs our local and state advocacy work. Lisa was the first attorney working full-time on transgender rights at the national level in 2001.

DeShanna Neal (she/her/hers)

Family Organizer

DeShanna Neal, a Family Organizer, works to help families of trans youth know their rights and find their voice.

Patrick Paschall

Patrick A. Paschall (he/him/his)

Director of Finance and Operations

As Director of Finance and Operations, Patrick is responsible for ensuring NCTE’s operational efficiency and fiscal health by overseeing finance, budgeting, human resources, staff development, technology, and other aspects of NCTE’s day-to-day operations.
 

Kayla Powell

Kayla Powell

Rapid Response Communications Manager

As Rapid Response Communications Manager, Kayla manages many aspects of NCTE’s social and digital media footprint and responds to breaking news items.

Daniel Shad

Daniel Shad (he/him/his)

Development Manager

As the Development Manager, Daniel is primarily responsible for organizing NCTE’s fundraising events and managing individual donor relations.

Harper Jean Tobin (she/her/hers)

Director of Policy

As Director of Policy, Harper Jean leads NCTE's advocacy with Congress and federal agencies and oversees NCTE's state policy work. She also serves on the board of HIPS, an organization that promotes rights, health and safety for those involved in sex work, sex trade, or drug use in the DC area.

Jami Westerhold (she/her/hers)

Development Director

As the Director of Development, Jami coordinates all aspects of fundraising, donor relations, and sponsorship development at NCTE. She focuses on building relationships and engaging NCTE’s supporters while working with corporate sponsors to develop partnerships.

Jay Wu (they/them/theirs)

Deputy Communications Director

As Deputy Communications Director, Jay participates in the management and execution of all aspects of NCTE’s strategic communications program, including but not limited to content creation, web maintenance, and taking point on partnerships with other organizations.

Fellows & Interns

TJ Billard

TJ Billard

Archival Fellow

TJ Billard is Archival Fellow at the National Center for Transgender Equality and a PhD candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Phoebe Thaler (she/her)

Undergraduate Intern

Phoebe is a rising senior at Roger Williams University where she majors in Political Science and American Studies and minors in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Anthropology + Sociology.

Alex Roberts (he/him)

Undergraduate Intern

Alex Roberts is a senior at Howard University and is majoring in Strategic, Legal, and Management Communication.  He currently volunteers with the Transgender Law Center, an organization dedicated to providing legal resources for transgender people across the country.

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