Staff + Board

 Staff

Pamelya_Herndon300DPIPamelya P. Herndon, Executive Director

Pamelya has served as Executive Director since 2011. She is deeply committed to the goals and mission of the Southwest Women’s Law Center of eliminating gender bias, discrimination and harassment; lifting women and their families out of poverty; and ensuring that all women have full control over their reproductive lives through access to comprehensive reproductive health services and information.

Ms. Herndon has helped an array of women of all races and ethnic backgrounds achieve their full economic and personal potential. She is a long time member of the National Council of Negro Women and sits as a member of the Board of Directors of U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union and as member of the Gold Award Committee of the Girls Scouts, New Mexico Trails.

Ms. Herndon has an impressive professional career that includes serving as a former Deputy Cabinet Secretary, General Counsel and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico.  She was once a former senior litigation attorney with the Internal Revenue Service as well as a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Texas.  She is licensed to practice law in Colorado, New Mexico, and before the United States Tax Court and United States Supreme Court. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her service to the community, Ms. Herndon was named as the 2012 “Public Lawyer of the Year,” the 2013 “Outstanding Lawyer” by the Albuquerque Bar Association and, in 2015 was named as a “Woman of Influence” by New Mexico Business First and as an “Outstanding Business and Professional Woman” by Iota Phi Lambda Sorority. In 2016 she received the Mary McLeod Bethune Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, and in 2017 she received the Priceless Award for her outstanding service on behalf of women from the Steelbridge Resource Center.

On some Sunday mornings, Ms. Herndon can be heard as the Southwest Gospel Diva hosting the Train to Glory radio program on KUNM and on some Sunday afternoons hosting All Things Considered and This American Life. She is an outstanding, versatile leader.

 

Elinor Rushforth, Senior Staff Attorney

Ellie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of New Mexico and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia and California. As the Senior Staff Attorney at the Southwest Women’s Law Center, Ellie’s work focuses on helping the Law Center continue to develop innovative collaborations through policy and advocacy work that has the power to transform communities. Ellie is particularly passionate about advocating for equal access to healthcare and protecting women’s access to reproductive justice, progressive pregnancy accommodations and policies that protect the economic security and well-being of families.

Prior to joining the Southwest Women’s Law Center, Ellie worked as an attorney with OneJustice, a nonprofit organization that that developed policies in response to the needs of vulnerable, targeted communities. While in law school, Ellie served as a law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tucson, AZ. In her spare time, Ellie enjoys yoga and backpacking in national and state parks.

 

Elena Rubinfeld, Staff Attorney

Elena was born and raised in New Jersey and received her B.A. in International Studies from American University. After graduation, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a small rural community in El Salvador for two years. During her service, Elena worked on projects focused in health and environmental promotion, small business development and increasing youth participation in local leadership. After returning from El Salvador, Elena worked as an Investigator at Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit serving the legal needs of Washington, D.C.’s most vulnerable children. She assisted attorneys who represented low-income parents whose children faced barriers to accessing health, education and affordable housing.

Elena attended law school at the University of New Mexico where she served as an extern for the Honorable Justice Daniels of the New Mexico Supreme Court, and Pegasus Legal Services for Children. Elena speaks fluent Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, and hiking and exploring New Mexico. As a staff attorney with the Southwest Women’s Law Center, Elena will use her passion for protecting rights to healthcare and equal access to opportunities to improve the lives of women and girls in New Mexico.

Board of Directors

Officers

Mary+Clark_thmbMary Clark, Board President 

Mary is the first sustainability manager at the University of New Mexico  overseeing the Office of Sustainability. Her other areas of expertise include recycling, campus community gardens and greenhouse gas inventory. Mary is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in Economics and European Studies.

 

 

 

 

Jenifer Getz, Board Treasurer

Jenifer is a Senior Auditor at Atkinson & Co, an Albuquerque based Audit and Accounting firm. She specializes in audits of not-for-profit organizations in New Mexico. She is a Graduate of Parsons School of Design, Emery Aviation College and CNM. She currently serves on the Board of the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation a social justice funder, based in New York.

 

 

 

Theresa SpencerTheresa Spencer, Board Secretary

Theresa is a 20-year veteran of the public broadcasting service having served at two stations in the PBS system. With strengths in fundraising and organizational development, she now serves as Director of Development for the largest public broadcaster in New Mexico. Theresa is a long-time advocate of reproductive rights and a former Board Chair for NARAL Pro-Choice where she successfully collaborated with fellow volunteers and staff to keep abortion safe and legal in the state. She has also served as Board Chair for Restore South Dakota, a restorative justice organization for youth offenders. Theresa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Drake University and a Masters of Arts Degree in Public Relations from the University of South Dakota. She has also earned certificates in non-profit management and mediation from the University of New Mexico. Theresa enjoys spending time with her feline companions Antonia and Neville.

Directors

Ashley Carter

Ashley Carter, JD

Ashley is an attorney working in Federal government in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She previously worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois representing state employees in federal civil rights lawsuits. Ashley graduated from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has previously served in board and leadership positions with the American Constitution Society, the Secular Student Alliance, and volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

Eunjin Choi, JD

Eunjin received a BA in English Literature from Andrews University and a JD from Boston University School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in the state of New York. Before coming to Albuquerque, NM in Spring 2017, she worked as a foreign legal counsel for a couple years at an international law firm in Seoul, Korea. During law school, she participated in a number of clinical and internship programs through which she represented international clients to help them secure legal status as well as their basic human rights. She also volunteered at ACCION International, The Refuge Pnan, and Shelter Legal Services during law school. Eunjin is fluent in Spanish and Korean and currently volunteers at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. She intends to pursue her passion and purpose in providing legal assistance and representation to the marginalized populations. In her free time, Eunjin enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and yoga.

 

Meagan Muñoz, Law Student

Meagan graduated from The University of New Mexico in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology before moving back to her hometown of Hobbs, NM to become an educator in 2013. She served as a teacher and coach in the Hobbs Municipal School District before becoming a law student at The University of New Mexico School of Law in 2017. Her experience has led her to a passion for women’s rights issues and continued involvement in her community. In her free time, she enjoys sports competitions and time spent with family.

 

 

 

Paster Janice IMG_3462

Janice D. Paster, JD – Recruitment Committee Chairman

Janice is a retired attorney and non-profit activist. She practiced law for twenty-two years before serving for eleven years as one of three trustees of a small family trust managing real estate. In the fall of 2015 she joined the boards of ADL New Mexico Region and the Jewish Community Foundation of New Mexico. Recently she accepted an invitation to join the ADL Civil Rights Committee. Ms. Paster has served as Chair of the Board of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. She also served as Vice Chair of the Board of New Mexico Voices for Children.

From 1988 until 1996 Ms. Paster was a member of the New Mexico State Senate. She is the only woman to serve as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and she also chaired the Interim Health Care Task Force, leading the passage of legislation to update New Mexico’s health law. She is a long-time advocate for reproductive freedom, quality child care, and equality for women and girls in other areas.

Janice earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MA from Tufts University. Ms. Paster also has a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

 

Moyna Robeson, Administrative Officer, Pediatric Shared Services – UNM  

Moyna is a retired Air Force Veteran. During her service, she served as a Paramedic in the US. Europe with medical missions in Africa.  She received a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Health Policy from the University of New Mexico and is the Administrative Officer for the Department of Pediatrics.  Her compassion is Health Care for everyone without bias.  Moyna currently serves as the Administrative Officer for Pediatric Shared Services at the University of New Mexico.

 

 

V.Romero-Leggott 2015Dr. Valerie Romero-Leggott, Vice Chancellor for Diversity – UNM

Valerie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in 1982. She went on to attend the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, receiving her Medical Degree in 1992. She has been a primary care provider for many years on the forefront of treating populations burdened by socio-economic, racial and ethnic disparities. Presently, Dr. Romero-Leggott serves as Vice Chancellor for Diversity at the UNM Health Sciences Center, Associate Dean for Diversity for the UNM School of Medicine, and Professor in the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine. She also serves as the Executive Director of the UNM Combined BA/MD Degree Program, a unique program to promote the recruitment of a diverse group of New Mexico high school seniors interested in practicing medicine in areas of greatest need across New Mexico. Her office promotes inclusivity and diversity throughout the Health Sciences Center and communities and creates opportunities to address the health disparities that affect all New Mexicans. One of her major duties is to provide multiple fora for discussing issues concerning underrepresented and underserved populations.

 

Dorine Sanchez

Dorine Sanchez, Senior Portfolio Manager/Chief Operations Officer – REDW Stanley Financial Advisors

Dorine served as the Investment Manager/Operations Manager for REDW Stanley Financial Advisors for twelve years before moving into her current position with the company. She is a graduate of Adams State College where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.