Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director

Lisa Haugaard

Lisa, the executive director of the Latin America Working Group, has spearheaded advocacy on human rights and peace issues in Latin America for two decades. She directs advocacy on Colombia, Central America, development and military aid and policy and coordinates coalition campaigns with U.S. and Latin American partners. Lisa has testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress and produced reports, memos, and blogs on human rights topics. She has participated in international human rights verification missions in Colombia, Mexico and Central America, including on extrajudicial executions, human rights defenders, migrant rights, and electoral observation.

Lisa has served as executive director of the LAWG since June 2002 and as senior associate from 1993-2002. Prior to her work at the LAWG, she was executive director of the Central America Historical Institute in Washington, DC and writer, editor and translator for the Jesuit Instituto Histórico Centroamericano in Managua, Nicaragua. She has a BA from Swarthmore College, a Master’s degree in Latin American studies from New York University, and was a Fulbright scholar in Central America. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mavis Anderson, Senior Associate


Since 1997, Mavis has covered U.S. policy toward Cuba, cultivating congressional, organizational and
grassroots support for the LAWG coalition's efforts to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba. She also works on U.S. policy toward Venezuela and other issues. Prior to her work with LAWG, Mavis was the program director for International Travel Seminars at the Center for Global Education at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, where she worked since 1982. During part of her time with the Center for Global Education, Mavis lived in El Salvador from 1988-1990, where she founded and coordinated the Center's El Salvador educational programs. A mid-westerner, Mavis received her Master's degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she focused her studies on international development. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Jennifer Johnson, Senior Associate


Jennifer began her work on issues relating to Mexico and the U.S./Mexico border region as a program coordinator for BorderLinks, a binational nonprofit organizationbased in Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora. While there, she taught experiential educational seminars on the impact of U.S. trade, law enforcement and immigration policy on border communities. As part of her graduate studies, Jennifer conducted research and mobilized support for an occupational health program in Hermosillo, Sonora. Jennifer worked for the Virginia Justice Center for Farm and Immigrant Workers, conducting advocacy on policy issues that impact immigrant communities and low-wage immigrant workers in Virginia. Jennifer has a B.A. from Earlham College in Peace and Global Studies and a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Emily Chow, Senior Program Associate


Emily works on the LAWG’s Cuba program and provides IT support for the organization. Her first experience in Latin America was in 2008 when she participated in a research and community service trip to Ecuador that focused on the indigenous rights movement and environmental protection among indigenous communities. This trip propelled Emily into the world of social justice and advocacy both in Latin America and the United States. Before joining LAWG as an intern, Emily studied abroad in Cuba in 2009. Her first-hand experience living in Cuba motivated her to work on advocating for U.S. policy change towards the island. Emily graduated from American University with a degree in International Relations, with concentrations in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Spanish and Latin American Studies.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Omar Antonio Martinez, Program Associate

omar_staff_pic_2Omar works on our Colombia and Central America Campaigns and is also our Finance Associate. Born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua, Omar spent the first seventeen years of his life developing a keen interest in Latin America as he observed the social hardships and political challenges facing his native country. In 2006, Omar moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, and attended Webster University where he pursued a double major in Sociology and Political Science. Gaining a theoretical perspective to enhance his personal experience and interest in Latin America and international politics, Omar participated in the Webster Study Abroad Program in Leiden, Netherlands where he focused his studies in International Law and Comparative Politics. Upon completion of his university studies, Omar moved to Washington, D.C and worked for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) before joining LAWG. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Emma Buckhout, Program Assistant

head_shot_EBEmma works on LAWG’s Mexico and Borderlands program, as well as serving as our Fundraising Associate. Though interested in Latin America and social justice work from a young age, Emma adopted a deep love for Mexico while volunteering for two years in Mexico City with Incarnate Word Missionaries. She met LAWG staff through work with the Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad, and interned with our Mexico program when she first came to DC. After working with NDN and the New Policy Institute’s 21st Century Border Initiative on immigration and US-Mexico policy, she is thrilled to return to LAWG full time. Emma graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an honors degree in International Relations and certificate in Spanish. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Latin America Working Group
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© 2009 Latin America Working Group