Introducing New Board Members and Leadership Positions

[PRESS RELEASE] Sanctuary for Families is proud to announce the appointment of six new members to its Board of Directors and the election of new leadership roles.



Sanctuary for Families Announces New Board Members and Leadership Positions

New York, NY — Sanctuary for Families, New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender-based violence, is proud to announce the appointment of six new members to its Board of Directors and the election of new leadership roles.

Nefertiti J. Alexander, a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, focuses on complex commercial and civil litigation, white-collar defense, and government investigations. She represents clients in high-stakes disputes involving business tort, breach of contract, antitrust, and securities fraud in federal and state courts and arbitration. Nefertiti frequently speaks on diversity and inclusion in law firms and has received multiple awards for her achievements. She was a 2021 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow and currently co-chairs Sanctuary’s Legal Advisory Council (LAC).  She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from New York University.

Gregory Baker, a litigation partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, chairs the firm’s securities litigation practice and is a member of the firm’s management committee. A former senior counsel with the SEC’s Enforcement Division, Greg represents clients in government regulatory investigations and civil litigation disputes. He is actively involved in pro bono efforts and mentoring young lawyers.

Ingrid Bilowich-von Ahn, a Swedish-American lawyer and philanthropist, is co-founder and executive director of the ILVA Foundation. The Foundation’s ethos and focus areas are based on Ingrid’s work as a women’s rights advocate and her time as an Assistant District Attorney for Kings County, Brooklyn. Ingrid also serves on the Legal Advisory Council for Sanctuary for Families, the Board of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW), and the Advisory Council for the Robin Hood Foundation. She holds a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and is completing her M.Sc. in nonprofit management at Columbia University.

Jeannette Boot, a partner in the Investment Management Group at WilmerHale, advises clients on derivatives products and trading agreements. She heads the firm’s Well-being Working Group and has been involved in promoting mental health and well-being in the legal profession. Jeannette has also been a member of the Wellbeing Pledge subcommittee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs since 2019 and serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawyer Depression Project. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Diana Brummer, a partner in Goodwin’s Business Law Department and co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Industry group, has extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions. She focuses on complex joint ventures, senior, construction, and mezzanine financings, acquisitions and dispositions, loan workouts, real estate recapitalizations, and development. Diana represents a diverse range of clients, including institutional investors, pension funds, private real estate funds, and REITs. She is also active in pro bono work and was a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee of the National Women’s Law Center. Diana attended Cornell Law School and the University of Illinois.

Michele Dinn, a former institutional investor who holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, is a long-time volunteer with mission-driven nonprofit organizations in the health and human services sectors. She serves on multiple committees within Sanctuary for Families and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Board of Directors, where she chairs the Investment Committee. Michele previously served on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society New York City-Southern New York Chapter Board of Trustees and the Finance Committee, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Investment Committee.

In addition to these new appointments, Sanctuary for Families is pleased to announce the new leadership roles for its Board of Directors:

  • President: Michèle O. Penzer
    Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Vice President: Jamila Abston Mayfield
    Founder & CEO, The Jamila Mayfield Group, LLC
  • Vice President: Anita Kawatra
    Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Kallyope
  • Vice President & Secretary: Katharine Bieber Ogg
  • Treasurer: Francesca Odell
    Partner, Cleary Gottlieb

“We are thrilled to welcome such an accomplished and dedicated group of individuals to our Board of Directors. Their expertise and passion for our mission will be invaluable as we continue to advocate for and support survivors of gender-based violence. Our new board leadership further strengthens our commitment to governance excellence and strategic growth.”

Hon. Judy H. Kluger
CEO, Sanctuary for Families

About Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families is dedicated to the safety, healing, and self-determination of victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. We provide a range of comprehensive services and work to end gender violence through outreach, education, and advocacy.

For more information, please visit


Deutsche Bank Americas Grant will support homelessness prevention

The grant will fund new programming.

For Immediate Release


New York, NY (January 21, 2016) — Sanctuary for Families (Sanctuary), New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence, has been awarded a grant of $250,000 for domestic violence survivor homelessness prevention and strategy development from Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation (DBAF).   Sanctuary will use the DBAF grant to develop and implement a housing-focused pilot of its pioneering Economic Empowerment Program (EEP), which provides intensive career training focused on helping clients secure living-wage jobs.  The new pilot will help homeless domestic violence survivors who graduate from the EEP program find affordable permanent housing in the competitive NY housing market. Sanctuary will also convene thought leaders in the field to develop innovative evidence-based theories and implementation policies to systemically address homelessness for domestic violence survivors in NYC.

Finding affordable housing is a daunting task in New York City, and many landlords are reluctant to rent to domestic violence survivors. Under the housing pilot, EEP participants who have successfully met the program’s training standards and employment placement goals will be eligible for a security deposit to be paid directly to landlords.  This security deposit, coupled with employment and the city’s guaranteed housing subsidy for those who are eligible, will be the financial stimulus needed to convince landlords to sign leases.  Additionally, the funds will support EEP staff in bringing on a new Housing Fellow to work intensively with clients to identify affordable housing, and provide support for clients to be successful in their housing and career goals.

Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families, said “Poverty and homelessness are the high price that many survivors of domestic violence pay in order to escape abuse.  The key to eliminating homelessness among our clients is to help them attain sustainable living-wage jobs, which will reduce their need for public assistance and housing subsidies. It is equally important that we incentivize landlords to provide safe and affordable housing to our clients once their circumstances have become stable.   We are grateful to Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation for this generous grant that will help us break the cycle of abuse, poverty and homelessness for domestic violence survivors.”

In addition to this pilot, Sanctuary will also use the DBAF grant to develop innovative evidence-based theories and implementation policies to reduce homelessness among abuse survivors to a functional zero level. Sanctuary will build a broad collaborative of governmental, nonprofit, homelessness, and workforce development domestic violence service providers and advocates, as well as public and private funders, to develop these models.    The DBAF grant will enable Sanctuary to convene large-scale conferences in 2016 and 2017 and quarterly task force meetings to set milestones and scaling plans to accomplish this task.

Sanctuary for Families is committed to finding the solution to homelessness among domestic violence survivors in New York City through a holistic approach, with living-wage workforce training and employment placement strategies at its core.  New York City has recognized EEP as a formidable and effective solution to the crisis of homelessness and poverty among domestic violence survivors, and tapped the program to deliver workforce solutions to the population of abuse survivors living in shelters.  More than 50% of EEP’s current clients are homeless women, referred by HRA.   Over the past five years, EEP has graduated 494 clients, including 150 referred by HRA,  with consistent 65-70% job placement, 65% one-year retention, and salaries averaging $13.71/hour, over 50% higher than the state’s private industry minimum wage.

Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence.  Each year, Sanctuary empowers thousands of adults and children to move from fear and abuse to safety and stability, transforming lives through a comprehensive range of services.

Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank provides commercial and investment banking, retail banking, transaction banking and asset and wealth management products and services to corporations, governments, institutional investors, small and medium-sized businesses, and private individuals. Deutsche Bank is Germany’s leading bank, with a strong position in Europe and a significant presence in the Americas and Asia Pacific.


Ilyse Fink or Blaine Bilal/212-575-4545
For Sanctuary for Families /

Oksana Poltavets/212 -250-0072
Press & Media Relations, Deutsche Bank AG