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The Team at the Office of Immigrant Relations

The team at the Office of Immigrant Relations is comprised of innovative thinkers and passionate community members who believe that immigrants make Santa Clara County stronger. We value our community and are proud to be employees of a County that loves our community as much as we do. 



  

Mike González, Interim Director 

he / ​him / his

I am from…Tijuana street tacos, birria and tortillas hecha a mano with mayonesa y frijoles.  

I am from…Crossing the US-Mexican Border to see family and friends.  

I am from…¿Mande? And always making time to see family. 

I am from… Mexican - Baja California & Guanajuato origins.

Mike brings more than ten years of experience shaping policies that address racial and health inequities for disenfranchised communities.  Mike’s commitment to equity and social justice is based on his experience growing up just a few miles from the Mexican border, where he frequently crossed to visit close family members. The experience gave Mike the ability to understand how policies, systems, and environments play a direct role in the determinants of health and success for our communities, especially the most vulnerable. Mike received his undergrad at Cal State Monterey Bay in Collaborative Health and Human Services, where he led health strategies in the Salinas Valley, targeting the health improvement of Mexican migrant farm workers and families. Mike then moved to San José to receive his Masters in Public Administration at San José State where he served in a variety of leadership roles to support Health Equity & Social Justice for the underserved, uninsured, and diverse communities throughout the Bay Area region. ​​



Teresa Castellanos, Immigrant Services Coordinator

she / her / hers
Focus areas: Community and staff education, research and resource development, legislative updates, Know Your Rights, immigration matters, workers rights, emergency planning, and custody options

I am from... home made tortillas, papas con chorizo and coffee.
I am from... the smell of wet earth, the sounds of crickets in the fields, and the smell of roses my grandmother planted around her house.
I am from... "Si se puede," "We are still here," and "You are my other self."

Teresa Castellanos has worked with the diversity of immigrant communities for over 30 years. She began her career as a labor organizer with Justice for Janitors and the Health Workers Union.  She worked for Catholic Charities’ Immigration Program leading the organizations' citizenship efforts in the mid-1990s. For the past 23 years she has been a guiding force behind the Santa Clara County's citizenship and immigrant integration programs. Through her efforts, in collaboration with community based agencies and other colleagues, 133,000 County residents have received assistance in their citizenship process.

She is a contributing author to Bridging Borders in Silicon Valley and KIN: Knowledge of Immigrant Nationalities, two books based on the data from the Summit on Immigrant Needs and Contributions, as well as the recent Office of Human Relations report A Tale of Two Valleys: The Price we Pay for Living in Santa Clara County.

teresa.castellanos@ceo.sccgov.org​



 ​​


Milina Jovanovic, Immigrant Services Coordinator ​
she / her / hers
Focus areas: research, analysis, events coordinator, citizenship, and leads the Immigrant Programs Task Force

I am from… Balkan versions of the Turkish coffee, gibanica, baklava and vitamin salad. 
I am from… the Neolithic matriarchal Vinca and Lepenski Vir, the smells of the rivers Danube and Sava, sounds of noisy boat restaurants, and busy cafés .
I am from… the land of rebels and anti-fascists, dreamers, and revolutionaries.

Milina Jovanovic has worked with numerous immigrant communities and researched a wide scope of immigrant issues since 1996. In the summer of 1999, she was hired by the Office of Human Relations to conduct research on 16 immigrant groups in Santa Clara County. With her unique research expertise gained and developed over the course of more than two decades in both Yugoslavia and the U.S., she has contributed to all research projects that originated within the Office of Human Relations. She was a contributor and co-editor of Bridging Borders in Silicon Valley and KIN: Knowledge of Immigrant Nationalities, two books based on the data from the Summit on Immigrant Needs and Contributions. She has worked with Immigrant Programs (IRIS/OIR) since 1999 and with the Dispute Resolution Program from 2010 to 2015.

She is a published author of two books and numerous articles covering a wide range of topics from ethnic studies and immigrant contributions to U. S. foreign policy, gender studies and ecofeminism. She has also taught Women and Gender Studies classes at Evergreen Valley College. 

milina.jovanovic@ceo.sccgov.org​​



 ​

 YuAn Lee, Administrative Assistant

yuan.lee@ceo.sccgov.org









 

Carolyn Lê, Public Communication Specialist
she / ​her / hers
Focus areas: media, communications, and digital and video production

I am from... fish sauce, phở lộn xộn, mango chili lucas, and hot cheetos with cream cheese.
I am from... "Ăn cơm chưa?"
I am from... resilie​nt Vietnamese refugees, the Monkey King, Scooby Doo, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

​Carolyn was b​​orn and raised in East Side San José, California and identifies as Southeast Asian, second generation Vietnamese American. At the Office of Immigrant Relations, Carolyn specializes in visual storytelling where she works to amplify the County’s steadfast commitment to immigrant communities through education, empowerment, and integration. Her work is informed by her experience in nonprofit arts for Southeast Asian Americans and grassroots organizing at the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system.
Her hobbies include woodworking and spoiling her dogs.

carolyn.le@ceo.sccgov.org


Alejandra Garcia, Community Outreach Specialist


alejandra.garcia02@ceo.sccgov.org​

Last updated: 6/26/2020 10:15 AM