Cheryl Little, Esq. | Executive Director and Founder
Cheryl Little has been a tireless advocate for immigrant rights for over two decades and has established herself as one of this country’s leading experts in the immigration field. Cheryl’s extensive involvement in immigration dates from 1985 when, upon her graduation from law school with honors, she began working at the Haitian Refugee Center. In January 1996, she co-founded the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc. (FIAC), now Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice), and serves as its Executive Director. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the 2008 Morris Dees Justice Award, and was named “Person of the Week” by ABC. Ms. Little has authored many publications in the area of immigration, including law review articles and reports. Her most recent article, The War on Immigrants: Stories from the Front Lines, was published in a special Summer 2011 edition of Americas Quarterly. She has testified many times before Congress and appears regularly on television. Her appearances include 60 Minutes, Nightline, PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Frontline, The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN.
Susana Barciela | Policy Director
Since joining AI Justice as Policy Director in 2008, Susana Barciela has focused on national advocacy for more fair and just immigration policies. She has significant responsibility to lead AI Justice’s efforts to improve U.S. immigration policies and practices in a time of increasingly punitive enforcement efforts nationwide and the absence of sensible immigration reform. Susana is responsible for producing reports and manages AI Justice’s communications with the English and Spanish media. Susana comes to AI Justice from The Miami Herald, where she served as a writer for its Editorial Board for 11 years. She has been recognized for her understanding and writing on immigration issues by the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and AI Justice during its first annual dinner in 2003. Susana earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University. Born in Cuba, Susana was brought to the United States at age four and obtained legal status thanks to the Cuban Adjustment Act.
Shawn Joost | Director of Development
Shawn Joost joined AI Justice in 2012 as Director of Development. She came to AI Justice with several years of non-profit management and fund development experience in Miami. In her prior work, she was successful in expanding the resource base of a young non-profit organization and creating infrastructure for its continued growth. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Hastings College of Law, Shawn practiced law in California for ten years in the area of complex commercial litigation.
Working closely with the Board of Directors and AI Justice’s Management Team, she spearheads the efforts to create the resource base needed to expand the critical work of AI Justice’s legal and advocacy teams. She is a member of the California and Florida state bars. She has made Miami her home since 2004.
Lisette Losada, Esq. | Managing Attorney
Lisette Losada is the Managing Attorney at AI Justice and joined the team in August 1997. She has represented countless immigrants both in immigration court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. She has presented at numerous conferences and routinely speaks with the media regarding immigration laws and procedures. She also provides training and technical assistance to other attorneys and educational outreach to the community.
Prior to joining AI Justice, Lisette practiced immigration law in New York. She received her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School where she was the recipient of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellowship. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and is a member of the New York, New Jersey and Florida state bars.
Gail Wright | Director of Administration and Resource Management
Gail has been with AI Justice since its founding in January 1996 and is Director of Administration & Resource Management. She brings more than 30 years of knowledge working with not-for-profits, and has served as executive director of and development officer at several Miami area hospitals and not-for-profit organizations.
Gail supervises the Data and Grants management functions and is responsible for IT and Human Resources. She is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (NY) and has certificates in Human Resource Administration and Training from Florida International University.