Cathy Cramer Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Cramer holds day-today responsibly for LIFT's administration, fiscal management, fundraising, programming, and the implementation of the organization's strategic plan. Ms. Cramer joined LIFT in February 2017 and brings to this position broad experience as a nonprofit leader and attorney with multi-faceted experience working in the private and public sectors in New York City. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Cramer was the Executive Director of the New York Interschool Association and the Faculty Diversity Search, a consortium of independent schools in New York City that works to increase the diversity of their faculty, to strengthen their connections to public institutions in the city and to have innovative educational programming across several schools. She has been a consultant on board development, fundraising and strategic planning for several New York-based nonprofits and previously worked in the New York City Council President’s Office and for the New York City Board of Education on matters pertaining to child welfare, women's and adolescent health, and intergovernmental relations. She was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of New York City and is still an emeritus board member and is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Sanctuary for Families, a domestic violence and anti-trafficking nonprofit. Ms. Cramer is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University Law School.
Liv Johanson Berg Chief Operating Officer (COO)
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ms. Berg functions as LIFT’s principal administrative manager and is responsible for the organization’s ability to build sustainable growth and increased impact. Ms. Berg joined LIFT in 2008, spending five years managing LIFT’s Development Department before transitioning to Operations. Her prior experience includes paralegal and office management roles at a boutique law firm, and working as an ESL teacher at Qufu Normal University in Shandong, China. Ms. Berg holds certifications in Nonprofit Accounting (CNAP) and Essentials of HR Management (SHRM), and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). She received her B.A. in Political Science and East Asian Studies from Skidmore College.
Rachel Andron Director of Programs
As Director of Programs, Ms. Andron is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of LIFT’s programs, including Family Court-based and community-based legal information services; Telephone, Email, and Live Chat Hotlines; and a social service program. Ms. Andron brings to LIFT a diverse background in family law, training, and program development. Prior to joining LIFT, Ms. Andron was the Director of Public Sector Career Planning in the Office of Career Services at Hofstra Law where she focused on career counseling and professional development for students interested in the public sector. Ms. Andron has served as the Director of the Public Interest Center at St. John’s University School of Law where she was a member of the law school’s senior staff overseeing all social justice, public interest and pro bono related programming. Her previous experience also includes serving as the Director of the Brooklyn Family Court Program for Safe Horizon managing a program which provides crisis intervention, legal advocacy and other practical services to crime victims in the family court system. Ms. Andron was the recipient of a 2003 Equal Justice Works Fellowship whose mission is to develop future leaders in public interest law. As a fellow, she worked at the City Bar Justice Center in New York City focusing on Family Justice Initiatives. Ms. Andron received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and her BA in Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.
Kristin D. Aswad Site Coordinator (Staten Island Family Court)
As the Site Coordinator, Ms. Aswad oversees the operation of LIFT's Staten Island Family Court site and supports families through intensive legal interventions and by addressing general inquiries.
Prior to joining LIFT in November 2016, Ms. Aswad was the Director of Court Services for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Manhattan Family Court, where she represented the best interests of children in custody and visitation cases, and partnered with Safe Horizon in running the Manhattan Family Court Custody and Visitation Mediation Services Project. Ms. Aswad received her B.A. from William Smith College, her M.A. from New York University, and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Noemi Baez, LMSW Family Resource Coordinator
As the Family Resource Coordinator, Ms. Baez oversees the social work programming at LIFT, including the parenting workshops, resource coordinating, and organizing partnerships. Prior to joining LIFT in February 2016, Ms. Baez was the Director of Programs and Trainings at The Family Justice Center in Brooklyn; an initiative created by The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. She provided victims/survivors of domestic violence with the necessary skills through case management, community resources and employment/ educational programs that promoted a life free of abuse and to live independently. She also worked at the Urban Justice Center where she provided case management and clinical counseling to a similar population. Ms. Baez also has an extensive background in working with adults who have mental health needs as well as substance abuse issues through CUCS (The Center for Urban Community Services) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Ms. Baez is a licensed social worker. She received her B.S. in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College and her M.S.W. from Fordham University. Ms. Baez has a strong passion for meteorology.
Ryan Gallagher Hotline Program Manager
As the Hotline Program Manager, Mr. Gallagher is responsible for managing Hotline Program Associates and day-to-day administration of the phone, email, and chat Hotlines. Prior to joining LIFT in August 2015, Mr. Gallagher was a student attorney with the Center for Social Justice’s Family Law Clinic in Newark, NJ where he represented victims of domestic violence and parents seeking to modify visitation and custody. Before that, he interned with the Research Department of Amnesty International and worked as a Research Fellow for the Center for Policy and Research investigating policies and events surrounding the ongoing War on Terror. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany, and his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Nathalie González, Esq. Site Coordinator (Manhattan Family Court)
As the Site Coordinator, Ms. Gonzalez oversees the operation of LIFT's Manhattan Family Court site and supports families through intensive legal interventions and by addressing general inquiries. Prior to joining LIFT in March 2015, Ms. González was a legal intern with the Children’s Law Center (CLCNY) and the law firm of Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP. She also participated in the Domestic Violence Litigation Clinic at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), where she worked as a student attorney, representing victims of domestic violence in various court proceedings. During law school, Ms. González served as an executive board member of New York Law School’s Moot Court Association. She received her B.A. from Boston College, and her J.D. from New York Law School.
Kathleen Z. Gupta Interim Director of Development and External Affairs
As the Interim Director of Development and External Affairs, Ms. Gupta is responsible for developing and overseeing initiatives to achieve LIFT’s short and long-range development goals. Ms. Gupta is a nationally certified fundraising executive (CFRE) and trained as an Interim Executive through Support Center/Partnership in Philanthropy. For over two decades, she served as Chief Development and External Relations Officer at Henry Street Settlement, where she managed a comprehensive fundraising, communications and volunteer department. Ms. Gupta is also a member of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, and a former board member of 9-11 United Services Group, United Neighborhood Centers of America and the NYC Chapter of the International Association of Fundraising Executives.
Yadira Martinez Hotline Program Associate
As the Hotline Program Associate, Ms. Martinez provides family law guidance on LIFT Hotlines. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Prior to joining LIFT in March, 2015, Ms. Martinez worked as a Customer Service Phone Operator for the Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Department at Tunstall Hospital Solutions Corporation. Prior to that she worked as an Administrative Assistant and Teller for Payomatic Financial Inc. While attending college, she interned at the Brooklyn Kings County Clerk’s Office as an Administrative Assistant for the Chief Clerk. She also interned at Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s district office in Williamsburg Brooklyn, where she served as a Constituent Representative and an Outreach Community Organizer. Ms. Martinez received her Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and B.A. in Human Services from Boricua College.
Ben Pongsanarakul Finance and Operations Manager
As the Finance and Operations Manager, Mr. Pongsanarakul is responsible for managing day to day finances, operations and supporting programs activities. Prior to joining LIFT in February 2016, Mr. Pongsanarakul was the Fiscal Manager for Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services in Boston, MA. Before that, Mr. Pongsanarakul was a Paralegal and Foreclosure Prevention Counselor for CAMBA Legal Services in Brooklyn, NY. Before that, he served with City Year New York as an AmeriCorps Member for the national Diplomas Now initiative in Queens, NY. During college, he interned with the Federal Trade Commission in the Division of Enforcement as an Investigative Assistant in Washington DC. He received his B.S. in Politics and Law from Suffolk University.
Kelsey R. Rodriguez Site Coordinator (Bronx Family Court)
As the Site Coordinator, Ms. Rodriguez oversees the operation of LIFT's Bronx Family Court site and supports families through intensive legal interventions and by addressing general inquiries. Prior to joining LIFT in August, 2016, Ms. Rodriguez participated in two judicial internships in the Bronx Family Court with the Honorable Judge Llinet Rosado, as well as the Honorable Judge Fiordaliza Rodriguez, where she learned about Custody/Visitation/Orders of Protections proceedings and Abuse/Neglect cases. Although she has always had an interest in Family Law, it was during her internships that her passion for Family Law flourished, and she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in Family Court. She is excited to be able to begin her legal career in the same courthouse that first introduced her to the area of Family Law. Ms. Rodriguez received her J.D. from CUNY Law School.
Richard Salatiello Grant Writer
As the Grant Writer, Mr. Salatiello is a member of the development team and is responsible for writing grant proposals and reports, researching funding opportunities and overseeing LIFT's grant management. Prior to joining LIFT in April 2011, Mr. Salatiello was the Director of Institutional Giving at the Innocence Project, where he secured major private support for the organization’s work to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners through DNA testing. Before that, he organized professional development programs for two associations in Washington, DC. At CASE: Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Mr. Salatiello managed conferences and online seminars for fundraising professionals. At the Council on Foundations, he coordinated conferences for grant makers. Mr. Salatiello was also a grant writer at the Vantage Consulting Group. He earned his B.A. and M.B.A. from Rutgers University.
Monroe Solomon, Esq. Court Programs Manager
As the Court Programs Manager, Monroe Solomon is responsible for overseeing LIFT's Family Court Programs, managing Site Coordinators, and supporting families through intensive legal interventions. Monroe started her career with LIFT as the Bronx Family Court Site Coordinator. Prior to joining LIFT in August 2015, she was a post-graduate Legal Fellow with New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), where she represented victims of domestic violence in various Family and Supreme Court proceedings. Before that, she worked as a legal intern for the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Monroe received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School
Susan Varghese, Esq. Site Coordinator (Queens Family Court)
As the Site Coordinator, Ms. Varghese oversees the operation of LIFT's Queens Family Court site and supports families through intensive legal interventions and by addressing general inquiries. Prior to joining LIFT in January 2015, Ms. Varghese was the coordinator of Delaware’s sexual assault advocacy coalition at ContactLifeline. Before that she interned with the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault and City Bar Justice Center Legal Hotline and volunteered on the Rape, Abuse Incest National Network Online Hotline. She received her B.A. from George Washington University and her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law.
Afroza Yeasmin, Esq. Hotline Program Associate
As the Hotline Program Associate, Ms. Yeasmin provides family law guidance on LIFT Hotlines. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Prior to joining LIFT in August 2016, Ms. Yeasmin was a legal intern with the Legal Aid Society’s Housing Help Program (HHP) and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS). She also participated in the Civil Justice through the Courts Clinic with the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School, where she advocated against the passage of the HR 1927 bill in Senate to facilitate greater access to the judicial system. Ms. Yeasmin also served as the President of the Domestic Violence Project at New York Law School, helping to raise money for Sanctuary for Families and NYLAG clients, as well as organizing educational events to better the discourse surrounding domestic violence. She received her B.A. from New York University, and her J.D. from New York Law School.
Lauren Zamora Site Coordinator (Brooklyn Family Court)
As the Site Coordinator, Ms. Zamora oversees the operation of LIFT's Brooklyn Family Court site and supports families through intensive legal interventions and by addressing general inquiries. Prior to joining LIFT in August, 2016, Ms. Zamora worked with the Charter High School for Law and Social Justice to teach rising high school students about their constitutional rights, criminal law and courtroom procedure. She also worked at a civil litigation firm in New York City on anti-discrimination cases and then interned with a criminal defense firm. During law school she also interned with the Office of the Public Defender in Maryland and tutored high school students about their legal rights concerning police intrusion. Ms. Zamora received her B.A. from University of Maryland, College Park, and her J.D. from New York Law School.