Our Team

Linda Miller

Executive Director of Civil Society, Ms. Miller is an attorney with 30 years’ experience in St. Paul dealing with underserved and frequently victimized populations. In her private practice, she specialized in civil rights and discrimination law. From 1994-1995, she served as President of the National Employment Lawyers Association – Minnesota Chapter. She also served as an adjunct facility member of the William Mitchell College of Law. She has also served in the United States Peace Corps in Kenya.

In 2001, Ms. Miller was appointed by the Commissioner of Public Safety to the Minnesota Victim and Witness Advisory Council, and is a member of the Immigrant Community Roundtable.

She received a Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Department of Justice in 2002 after developing best practice method of reaching out to immigrant crime victims including trafficking victims. She is the author of a journal article entitled Victimization of the Acculturating Immigrant, which was published in the “International Journal of Victimology” in 2007.

Ms. Miller founded Civil Society in 1996. Civil Society’s mission is to provide victims of human trafficking and exploitation with comprehensive services. She speaks internationally on the topic of international human trafficking victim service provision. 

Sachiko Kudoh

Sachiko leads Civil Society’s internal affairs, ensuring smooth day-to-day operations for both attorneys and clients, and heads up the organization’s communications and community outreach/public relations efforts.

Ms. Kudoh came to Civil Society with deep passion to serve victims of crime and be part of resolution and elimination of epidemic global problems - human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Prior to joining Civil Society, Ms. Kudoh participated in a Community Leadership Development Program concentrating on sex trafficking in the local community and contributed to community partnerships in Minnesota Twin Cities Metro Area.

Ms. Kudoh, originally from Northeast part of Japan, speaks Japanese and English. She received her B.S. at Metropolitan State University specializing in Violence against Women, Social Justice and Community Psychology.

Patricia Perez-Jenkins

Patricia Perez-Jenkins worked at Southern MN Regional Legal Services in the Refugees, Immigrant and Migrant unit from 2005 till 2009 working in the areas of employment, civil and immigration law. She left legal aid to start her own practice in 2010.

Currently her solo practice concentrates on immigration and family law cases specializing in victims of crime, domestic abuse, family immigration and waivers. She contracts with Civil Society to continue to provide services to victims who cannot afford a private practice attorney.

Since 2011 she also teaches, as an Adjunct Associate Professor, a course entitled Law in Practice (Practice Group) at the University of Minnesota Law School.She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, 2005. She has a B.A. from Harvard & Radcliffe College (1998) in Government/Political Science.  

 

Salima Khakoo

Ms. Khakoo is a Muslim immigration attorney who is East Indian by Ethnicity and born in Tanzania. She has a MA from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2002. She formerly was an immigration attorney with Ingber and Aronson Immigration Law Firm and now is providing immigrant legal services at American Dream Law in St Paul where she serves as CEO and Managing Attorney since 2005. 

Ms. Khakoo speaks Hindi, Kutchi, Gujarati and Urdu. She is also able to converse with Somali clients that we serve. She has served as adjunct faculty at Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of
Law. Ms. Khakoo is the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota's 2013 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.

Siv Dobrovolny

Ms. Dobrovolny, an attorney with Civil Society, represents sexual assault survivors on a variety of legal issues ranging from U, T, and VAWA immigration cases to divorce, custody and adoption in family law.  Working with a diverse client base is especially rewarding as Ms. Dobrovolny is a first generation immigrant and has lived and worked overseas.  Before working with Civil Society, Ms. Dobrovolny taught English at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and went to school in Skogn, Norway.  Ms. Dobrovolny graduated magna cum laude from Hamline University School of Law in 2005 and opened her own law practice in 2006.  Ms. Dobrovolny earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Foreign Language Education and speaks Turkish and Norwegian.

Marie Rivard

Marie is currently a Mission Coordinator and Collaborator for Human Trafficking Awareness Training with Airline Ambassadors International. A non-profit organization founded in 1996 whose focus is on Disaster Relief, Sustainable Development, Medical Escorts and Human Trafficking Awareness Training.

In July of 2010, Airline Ambassadors lead the first Congressional hearing to inform the Airline Industry and Congress of Human Trafficking incidences taking place on flights leaving disaster ridden countries. Since then AAI has worked closely with Customs Border Protection and consistent with Department of Homeland Security's "Blue Campaign" to develop the first travel industry specific Human Trafficking Awareness Training Program.

Since then Airline Ambassadors teams have provided over 30 Trainings to over 2000 individuals in airports across the United States as well as Kiev, Hungary and two trainings with Interpol in 2013 and 2015, the first of its kind in Europe.

Marie's history also includes Director of Missions with AAI and as Mission Coordinator leading missions for disaster relief with The Tsunami in Thailand in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.

Since then she has been an advocate with children and vulnerable people in the wake of disaster which includes Human Trafficking Awareness Training.

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CRYSTAL THIESFELD

Crystal is a professional Spanish Interpreter at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota. She also serves as a customer service representative for Sun Country Airlines. Crystal grew up in Isanti, MN, participating in multiple volunteer experiences through her school years. Through this she grew a passion for people and for three years served as a full time Missionary in Mexico following high school. Working with teens while being welcomed as family, she knew her life endeavor was to help bring families back together and being a support to those in need.

Chrystal gained fluency in Spanish from speaking it every day for 3 years, taking courses at the University of Minnesota, and from attending and graduating from Century College with an A.A. and A.A.S degree. Crystal makes her career in Interpreting/Translating.  She plans to continue her education in social services. Crystal is new to our team as a spokesperson and Spanish Interpreter for our families.

Theresa paulson

Theresa Paulson is a family law attorney from Saint Paul, Minnesota and has a criminal law back ground both as a defense attorney and a municipal prosecutor. She clerked for judges in Ramsey County, served the End Revenge Porn Now Legislative Work Group, and volunteered for the 10th District Public Defenders Office – Stillwater for two years. She is the President of the 19th District Bar Association for Chisago, Kanabec, Pine, and Washington Counties. Ms. Paulson was also a 9-1-1 Operator/Dispatcher for the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County for 10 years. She is passionate about justice for victims.