Bettina Mok, M.A., Executive Director (she/her)
Bettina comes to The Legal Clinic with over 20 years of non-profit management work experience, most recently as a development consultant for other non-profit organizations in Honolulu and the Bay Area. The daughter of two first-generation immigrant parents (Chinese and German), Bettina was born in Bangkok, Thailand and came to the US at the age of six. She has worked for youth-serving organizations, workforce development initiatives, environmental conservation groups, cross-cultural training initiatives, foundations, and international exchange programs. She is inspired by the power of collective action in the pursuit of justice for all.
Omar Vaquerano, Esq., Senior Attorney (he/him)
Omar was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2019 and to the Bar in El Salvador in 2016. He received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law (Atlanta, GA) in 2016, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) with a Business Law certificate from USC’s Gould School of Law in 2014, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocios in El Salvador (2012). Omar began his law career in his native home of El Salvador as an associate for two international commercial arbitration firms, representing foreign and local corporate clients in ad-hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings. After securing another law degree in the U.S., Omar clerked at a private firm in San Diego. He worked on family-based and employment-based immigration petitions and permanent labor certifications (PERMs). From 2019 to 2022, he worked as an immigration attorney at two other private law firms in California and Virginia, representing clients in immigration court and in connection with a wide range of immigration matters such as preparing waivers of grounds of inadmissibility, filing applications for advance parole, DACA renewal, U-visas, family petitions, and naturalization. He speaks English and Spanish fluently and some basic French.
Madeline Svengsouk, Engagement Coordinator (she/they)
Madeline started as The Legal Clinic’s Engagement Coordinator in April 2022. She designs content for TLC’s social and digital media outreach, collaboratively plans and executes fundraising events and campaigns, and engages TLC’s supporters. Before joining TLC, Madeline graduated with a B.A. in public health and psychology from Bryn Mawr College, where she studied transgenerational trauma, resilience, and identity formation among Lao Americans. Madeline is deeply passionate about social justice and equity for immigrants and refugees, partly due to her family’s migration history from Laos, Vietnam, The Philippines, China, and Italy. She is happy to be in Hawaiʻi, where she spent many summers listening to her grandparents’ tall tales about their journey to America, and she is excited to be part of an organization that allows other immigrant families to share their stories.
Maria Rallojay, Legal Assistant (she/her)
Maria’s commitment to immigrant rights is rooted in her experience as a first-generation immigrant. With a B.A. in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Maria has deepened her understanding of the history of immigration and social justice movements in Hawaiʻi and the disparities faced by underserved communities. Maria comes to TLC with a strong background in community outreach and a deep understanding of immigrants’ challenges. As a legal assistant, she provides critical legal and administrative support to our immigration attorneys and the organization. In this capacity, Maria hopes to help immigrants and their families navigate the complex field of immigration law and make a meaningful impact within the community. She is fluent in English and Ilocano.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Corey Park, JD (President)
Lowell Chun-Hoon, Esq (Vice President)
Attorney-at-law / Partner
King Nakamura & Chun-Hoon
Kelley D. Settles (Treasurer)
Certified Non-Profit Accountant
Roman Leverenz (Secretary)
Retired Social Worker
Amy Agbayani, PhD
Emeritus Vice Chancellor for Student Diversity
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Shanty Asher, JD
Pacific Islander Liaison Officer
City & County of Honolulu
Kevin J. Block, Esq.
Immigration Attorney / Founder
Maui Immigration Law
Agnes Malate, PhD
Director of Health Careers Opportunity Program
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Government Relations / Immigrant Advocate Aloha DREAM Team
Liza Ryan Gill, MA Coordinator Hawaiʻi Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Lisa K. Swartzfager, Esq.
Attorney-at-law / Partner Cades-Schutte
Susan Chong Wong, JD
Jason Sung Won Yoon, MPA
Consultant / Grantwriter Sakhi for South Asian Women
Clare Hanusz, Esq., RIP
On Feb. 24, 2023, our colleague, trusted advisor, and fellow board member Clare Hanusz (Immigration Attorney and Founder of Aloha Immigration) passed away peacefully after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Ever a devoted and strong supporter of immigrant justice and The Legal Clinicj (TLC), Clare and her family have generously requested that donations be made in her memory, to any of four organizations/causes that Clare cared deeply about, including TLC. www.thelegalclinichawaii.org/donate.
A true angel now, Clare, you are with us in spirit.
Rev. Thomas Choi, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Honolulu
John Robert Egan, Esq. Immigration Attorney; Director of the Refugee & Immigration Law Clinic-Univ. of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law