AS DIVERSE AS OUR CLIENTS
GAIN’s small yet mighty staff oversees the screening and placement of referred cases, and provides training and supervision to our volunteer attorneys. GAIN staff members also represent a minority of complex cases in-house, and serve as reliable sources of knowledge on asylum, human trafficking, and humanitarian-based immigration.
Monica Modi Khant is the Executive Director of GAIN. As Executive Director, Ms. Modi Khant oversees, supervises, trains and mentors pro bono attorneys who represent immigrant victims of violence and asylum seekers. Ms. Modi Khant also oversees fundraising initiatives, outreach efforts and community relations in addition to her legal duties. She offers a unique perspective as an advocate for immigrant rights in the Southeast. Ms. Modi Khant received her BA from Rutgers University in 1995 and her J.D. from New England School of Law in 1998. Upon graduation, she was the Detention Attorney at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) where she represented detained asylum seekers. In 2000, Ms. Modi Khant continued practicing immigration law with private immigration firms in Boston, MA. In 2005, Ms. Modi Khant was appointed as the Director of Legal Services at the International Institute of Boston (IIB). With this position, Ms. Modi Khant worked extensively with victims of abuse and trafficking. She has also trained lawyers, law enforcement and judges on how to work with immigrant victims of violence. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Raksha, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization for the South Asian community. She is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2015 and has served as Pro Bono Liaison of the Atlanta chapter of the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ms. Modi Khant is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University and teaches Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery and in 2017, was named Atlanta Magazine’s “Women Making a Mark”. She is married to Sanjay, a physician with Emory Healthcare and has three children.
Alpa Amin is the Director of Legal Services at GAIN. Ms. Amin began her work with GAIN in 2008 as a Law and Policy Assistant, and in 2009, received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship through Greenberg Traurig and King & Spalding to develop and oversee GAIN’s Victims of Violence Project. In her current position, Ms. Amin recruits, trains and mentors volunteer attorneys from the Atlanta legal community and provides direct representation to immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault who need assistance with filing T-visas, U-visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions/Battered Spouse Waivers.
Ms. Amin is an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, a member of the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, and a graduate of the Leadership Buckhead Class of 2016. She works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement and is a frequent guest speaker on issues surrounding vulnerable immigrant communities.
Ms. Amin received a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies from Virginia Tech, and her J.D. from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.
Kate McNeely serves as the Director of Development at Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN). In this role, she administers fundraising initiatives and works alongside the Board of Directors to guide strategies which enable GAIN to help more clients with quality immigration legal services. Ms. McNeely joined the GAIN staff in 2018 with 10+ years experience in nonprofit fundraising, administration, and marketing. She most recently served Planned Parenthood Southeast (2015-2018) and Woodruff Arts Center (2005-2015). Ms. McNeely received her B.A. in 2002 from Guilford College and was born and raised in Buckhannon, WV. She volunteers to help other nonprofit organizations whenever she is able, and she is grateful for GAIN’s volunteer attorneys who dedicate their time and talent to ensure GAIN’s vision of safety, freedom, and opportunity for all.
Amir Naim is GAIN’s Asylum Attorney. Amir graduated with a B.A. in History from Emory University in 2010. After graduating from Emory, Amir received a CASA fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education to study Arabic language in Damascus, Syria for a year. Amir received his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in 2015. Prior to working at GAIN, Amir was a Staff Attorney at Access to Law Foundation in Norcross, GA, where he worked on many different types of immigration cases. Amir joined GAIN in 2017, where he works to recruit and train attorneys to represent asylum seekers, and provides direct representation to asylum applicants.
Mikaela Houghton is the Office & Development Coordinator at GAIN. In this position, Ms. Houghton oversees grant management, fundraising, and administrative activities of GAIN. Prior to serving this role, Ms. Houghton interned at multiple nonprofit organizations in development and communications capacities, including at The Global Village Project, a school for refugee girls in Atlanta, GA.
Ms. Houghton received a B.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Education from Long Island University’s Global College in Spring 2016 where she studied abroad in Costa Rica, India, and China, each for one academic year. Her senior thesis was entitled “The Journey from Burma to The United States; Narrating Female Refugees, An Educational Migration Lost in Translation.” She is currently enrolled in Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, where she will receive her M.S. in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Global Studies in Fall 2020.
Kierra Powell is the Program Coordinator at GAIN.In this role Ms. Powell organizes operation stability through administrative tasks, program planning, and classifying client data. She first came to GAIN as a Nonprofit Management and Development Intern, during which time she assisted with fundraising, volunteer management, and event planning.
Ms. Powell received a B.A. in Communications and Rhetoric Studies with a minor in Political Science from Oglethorpe University, where she graduated with Honors. Her senior thesis was entitled: “Thou and It: Personhood Actualized Through Water Rights”.
Yesica Nava is the Legal Assistant at GAIN. In this position, Ms. Nava assists the attorneys on the Asylum Project and the Victims of Violence Project. Her duties include developing and monitoring cases, translating documents, screening for potential clients and providing administrative support. Prior to her role at GAIN, Ms. Nava was a Legal Assistant at a nonprofit law firm in San Diego that was also dedicated to providing legal services to those in need.
Ms. Nava received a B.A. in Human Development with a concentration in Child Development from the California State University of San Marcos. While her intentions were to pursue a higher education in speech pathology, she found that her passion was in law, specifically immigration law. In the future, Ms. Nava hopes to attend law school and become an immigration attorney.
Abby Newman is the Victims of Violence Navigator at GAIN. In this position, Abby connects GAIN clients with various resources and organizations in the community in order to meet their non-legal needs. These resources include counseling, medical care, English classes, emergency shelters, food pantries, and other personal needs. GAIN’s legal services provided within the Victims of Violence and Asylum Programs, paired with the critical work Abby does in connecting these clients to social service agencies is at the heart of GAIN’s client-centered, survivor based approach to serving our immigrant clients who have been victims of violence in Georgia.
Abby received a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Family Studies from Berry College, Summa Cum Laude, where she studied abroad in Costa Rica and was the director of Berry’s English as a Second Language Program. She also conducted research on bilingual learning and developed a study called “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goal Framing on Native Spanish Speakers Learning English” and presented the study at the annual conference for the Association for Psychological Science in 2018. Abby is currently attending Auburn University pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.