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Announces New Executive Director


The Board of Directors of ASISTA Immigration Assistance is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Kirsten Rambo as Executive Director, effective October 5, 2020.

The decision to hire Dr. Rambo came after a national search for an Executive Director with the skills and vision to lead ASISTA in this critical moment.  

With over twenty years of experience in local, state, national, and international institutions aimed at preventing domestic and sexual violence, Dr. Rambo stands ready to use her proven nonprofit leadership skills to accelerate ASISTA’s growth, services, and national advocacy portfolio. Throughout her career, she has closely collaborated with immigrant and refugee organizations while incorporating a strong intersectional analysis of survivor rights and criminalization

"What an honor it is to be selected to lead this incredibly talented, dedicated team in this important work,” said Dr. Rambo. “ASISTA has long been a national leader in creating a safer and more just world for immigrant survivors of violence, even as the work has taken on increased urgency. I am excited and proud to help guide us into this next chapter.”   

For the last four years, Dr. Rambo served as the Executive Director of Stand Strong, a domestic violence organization on the Central Coast of California, where she grew the agency budget by fifty percent, including doubling the size of two core departments.  Previously, she held positions as the Director of Programs and Public Policy at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, where she successfully led two statewide, grassroots legislative efforts on behalf of survivors of family violence.  She led the national domestic violence prevention program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is a published author of Trivial Complaints, a book that examines the history of domestic violence law and activism in the US. Dr. Rambo holds a Ph.D. in Women's Studies from Emory University. 

The Board of Directors sends deep appreciation to outgoing Executive Director and Co-Founder, Gail Pendleton for her decades-long fearless advocacy on behalf of immigrant survivors. We will always be grateful for her pioneering activism that led to the creation and enactment of VAWA.  Her work of pairing strong advocacy with litigation and smart technical assistance built an enduring foundation for ASISTA. We will miss her and wish her well in her well-deserved retirement. 

Our best wishes to Gail and Kirsten as they embark on these exciting new paths!

With Warm Regards,



Amy Sanchez

ASISTA Board Chair