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. 


 

Zelica Rodriguez-Deams, Director

Zelica Rodriguez-DeamsDirector 

she / her / hers

Zelica has nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit field as a community organizer, advocate and community builder.  Her prowess is in research and analysis, strategy development and program impact.  For the past 8 years, Zelica has served on the leadership team at SOMOS Mayfair, first as Director of Programs and then as Associate Director, designing a comprehensive program strategy that puts residents at the center of community change and transformation.

Before joining SOMOS, Zelica served as the Director of Policy & Organizing for SIREN, where she developed and won advocacy campaigns to increase equity, access, resources and rights for immigrant families. She also led SIREN’s robust civic engagement strategy that resulted in a multi-language civic campaign to increase awareness of voter rights and responsibilities amongst the immigrant community.  

Born in El Salvador, Zelica came to this country as a child.  She earned her Master’s in Political Science from San Francisco State University in 2007. 


 

Carolyn Lê, Public Communication Specialist

Erika S. RiveraProgram Manager 1 

she / ​her / hers

Before joining the County, Erika S. Rivera practiced family-based immigration law in both the non-profit and private sectors. Most recently, she split her time between her private practice and as a staff attorney at La Raza Centro Legal in San Francisco, focusing on family-based matters that required unlawful presence waivers.  Prior to private practice, she served as CET's Immigration and Citizenship Program's (CET-ICP) supervising attorney. She was also a staff attorney at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA), where she handled a wide array of cases. She has also served as a consultant for South Bay non-profits who were looking to set up in-house immigration services. Ms. Rivera is a foreign-born Salvadoran who is fluent in English and Spanish. She graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2007 and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2002. Since joining the County she has become a huge fan of Canva and enjoys other creative outlets like makeup and fashion.

erika.s.rivera@ceo.sccgov.org 

 


 

Teresa Castellanos, Immigrant Services Coordinator

Teresa Castellanos, Immigrant Services Coordinator

she / her / hers

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.

[email protected]


 

Milina Jovanovic, Immigrant Services Coordinator ​

Milina Jovanovic, Immigrant Services Coordinator ​

she / her / hers

Milina Jovanovic has worked with numerous immigrant communities. She has over three decades of research experience. Between 1999 and 2001, Milina was one of the researchers who focused on 16 immigrant groups in Santa Clara County, co-authored and co-edited Bridging Borders in Silicon Valley and KIN: Knowledge of Immigrant Nationalities. She has been with the Office of Immigrant Relations since its founding and with different County departments since 1999.

Milina is a published author of All Roads Lead to Jackson and translator of Serbian Americans: History, Culture, Press. Her other publications cover a wide range of topics from ethnic studies to U. S. foreign policy, gender studies, and ecofeminism. Milina has taught Gender Studies at Evergreen Valley College since 2019. Her hobbies include gardening, yoga, and learning about life from the wisest dogs.

milina.jovanovic@ceo.sccgov.org​​


 

Milina Jovanovic, Immigrant Services Coordinator ​

Aundraya Martinez, Management Analyst

she / her / hers 

Aundraya is a fourth-generation East San Jose native with familial roots in present-day Northern Mexico and the Island of Luzon of the Philippines. Before joining the Office of Immigrant Relations, Aundraya partnered with and in the Valley Palms community to co-design and implement a robust Valley Palms Unidos community platform prioritizing community wealth-building, improvements to the built environment, and violence prevention on the Eastside. She received her B.A. in Politics with minors in Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement from the University of San Francisco in 2014 and is a proud alumna of Notre Dame High School. Aundraya is active in her community serving as the co-chair of the Anti-Displacement Workgroup of the East San Jose PEACE Partnership, member of the Mission Integration Committee supporting the Notre Dame High School Board of Directors, and member of the 12th Cohort of the Latino Leadership Academy. She aspires to continue working towards innovative solutions that address the root-causes of inequity while uplifting the strength of community. When not working, Draya enjoys live music, reading, photography, trying new restaurants, going to A’s games, and planning her next trip!

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