Minh Dang, Director

Minh Dang is currently a PhD student in the School of Politics and International Relations, at the University of Nottingham. She is studying the wellbeing of survivors of slavery and human trafficking. Minh is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area region of California and a proud two-time UC Berkeley alum. Minh earned her B.A. in Sociology and Masters in Social Welfare, with an emphasis on Community Mental Health. From 2005 to 2011, she worked at UC Berkeley as an AmeriCorps Program Coordinator for the Public Service Center. She has served on the Board of YEAH!, The Morris Center for Healing from Child Abuse, and AnnieCannons, an organization training survivors of human trafficking to become web developers. Recently, she was a Team Manager at Linde Group, an IT consulting firm in Emeryville. Minh is an avid backpacker, poet, and runner. She is a fan of farmers’ markets, loves to sing, and controls the center of the soccer pitch. You will rarely find her without a journal or post-it notes, and she hopes to one day launch a stationery line called Minhspiration.

Fainess Lipenga, Director

Fainess Lipenga has been an active member of the National Survivor Network since 2013. As a survivor of labor trafficking, she uses her voice and experience to educate the community and raise awareness. Her mission is to prevent other survivors from being re-victimized and to give them hope and courage to heal, become leaders, and achieve their dreams. Lipenga has testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the challenges survivors face and presented to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She has provided training for pro bono lawyers, law students, physicians, law enforcement officials, and federal prosecutors. She has spoken at national conferences and developed expert training materials. Lipenga believes survivor voices and leadership are essential to advocacy on human trafficking. She is a certified nursing assistant and continues to pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

Jeremy McLean, Director

Jeremy McLean has been actively involved in promoting low-wage worker rights since 2011 as an outreach worker and staff attorney at the Worker Justice Center of New York, and as a worker organizer with Rural Migrant Ministries. Jeremy has advocated for many clients, focusing on agricultural and other low wage workers, through legal representation, rights education, and efforts to train other advocates. He has assisted clients in obtaining immigration remedies available to trafficking and other crime victims and in pursuing civil redress for those who have been trafficked or otherwise exploited. Jeremy has spoken on numerous occasions at conferences and training events on the importance of survivor rights and of listening to survivor voices in anti-human trafficking work. A native of Wyoming, he has extensive international experience having lived and studied in Mexico, Panama, Peru, Japan, and Israel. Jeremy graduated from Syracuse College of Law in May of 2013 after having completed graduate programs at universities in Oklahoma (M.S. in International Studies; Oklahoma State University) and Mexico (International M.B.A.; Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla). He also completed a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management while enrolled at Syracuse. Prior to his post-graduate education, Jeremy studied Spanish and Biology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Hannah Rose Murray, Director

“Dr. Hannah-Rose Murray is a historian based at the University of Nottingham. She researches c19th American slavery and abolition, in particular recovering the written, visual and oratorical testimony of formerly enslaved individuals. Her website,, follows the lecturing tours of men and women such as Frederick Douglass, Moses Roper, Josiah Henson and Ida. B. Wells in the British Isles. In tracing such tours, she exposes and analyses the cost of such extensive abolitionist activism on the bodies and souls of survivors, and hopes this research will provide context for survivor-activists in the contemporary world. With a strong record of public engagement, Hannah-Rose has organised numerous community events on both sides of the Atlantic, including talks, plays, exhibitions, heritage plaques, and workshops, all focusing on the testimony of historical survivors of slavery. She is honoured to be a part of the Survivor Alliance, and the organisation’s official historian!”

Savannah Sanders, Director

Savannah Sanders is the founder of and author of Sex Trafficking Prevention: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Parents and Professionals published by Unhooked books in 2015. Sanders has expertise in human trafficking, child abuse prevention, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, intergenerational abuse and is a strong advocate for survivor leadership. For more than 9 years, Mrs. Sanders has worked with communities across the country to provide survivor and trauma-informed training, consulting and curriculum development that impacts the way survivors of abuse receive services. She uses her dynamic background as a social worker, parent, foster parent, and survivor leader to impact the hearts and minds of those she works with.
Previously, Mrs. Sanders was the Director of Human Trafficking and Community Outreach at a 120-bed crisis shelter, working to fully integrated human trafficking services and increase identification for survivors of all forms of human trafficking. She also worked to develop regional protocols to increase response and training across Arizona to better serve survivors in rural communities. As the training coordinator for the Safe Action Project, sanders trained hospitality staff around the country on how to recognize and report human trafficking within hotels.
Mrs. Sanders has extensive experience in providing training seminars for rural communities, prevention, trauma-informed care, and integrating services. Among other awards, she received the Mesa Community College Distinguished Women’s Award in 2015. Sanders shares her compelling story of abuse and recovery as a source of inspiration and motivation for audiences across the United States, providing testimony on Emmy-nominated television news segments, documentaries and on talk radio. Sanders has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in women and gender studies from Arizona State University.

Sex Trafficking Prevention: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Parents and Professionals

Holly Smith, Director

Holly is the Director of the Human Trafficking Response Program at Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California. She joined Dignity Health in 2015, and oversees efforts to recognize and respond to trafficked persons in the healthcare setting. In 2014, Holly published an academic book titled Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery. Holly has a B.A. in Biology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and before Dignity Health, she worked as a Senior Microscopist for an environmental microbiology lab. She is a current blogger for the Huffington Post, is a nationally renowned speaker and trainer, and often advises law enforcement officials, legislators, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, and journalists. Holly is also a survivor of child sex trafficking and an activist against all forms of human trafficking and exploitation. She has testified before Congress and consulted for numerous organizations, including the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the AMBER Alert program.


Hannah Browne

Hannah Browne is the Programs Assistant for Survivor Alliance - having the joy and privilege of connecting with members, creating resources, helping schedule upcoming strategic meetings, and more. Alongside this, she is currently studying a Masters in Person-Centred Counseling & Psychotherapy at the University of Nottingham. She is also an Outreach Coordinator with the Jericho Project, a non-profit based within Nottingham. Prior to this, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and spent several years working with a non-profit organization based in Tijuana, Mexico. It was here - working alongside women who had been trafficked and exploited - that her decision to dedicate her life to the empowerment of survivors began. She feels so privileged to have the opportunity to live out this passion through this job, and work alongside such inspirational individuals; members and directors alike! In her spare time, she loves to read, explore, hike, and perfect her coffee-making.

Sharon Hawkins Leyden

Sharon, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been active in the field of social work for the past 33 years. Throughout her career, her work has focused on three primary issues: raising people out of poverty, helping people re-author stories of trauma and working for equality of access through social justice practices. Sharon began her work as an advocate and counselor in a family homeless shelter in Hartford, later co-running a program aimed at helping mothers with young children transition back into work. Following this she worked for 8 years as a psychotherapist for youth in the foster care system. Sharon later co-founded YEAH! (Youth, Engagement, Advocacy & Housing), a homeless shelter for youth ages 18-25. As Executive Director, Sharon spent a decade building a clinical program, advocating within the community, and fundraising for the agency’s day-to-day operations. In 2015 Sharon joined forces with the Berkeley Food and Housing Project. As the Director of Programming, she was responsible for designing, implementing and overseeing all the agency’s programs, as well as designing and implementing federally mandated homeless systems’ change across three major San Francisco Bay Area cities. Following this she implemented this new model across the entire county of Alameda. Sharon has co-chaired the City of Berkeley’s Sub-Committee on Homeless Youth, was a member of the working team on the Mental Health Services Act of California, and is trained and licensed as an Ayurvedic Health Counsellor. Her work in this area focuses on comprehensive health assessments designed to increase wellbeing. In her spare time, she volunteers her services to an Ayurvedic doctor and her health clinic in Nepal, spends time with family, walks as much as possible in nature and reads voraciously. She is currently debating whether to get a cat or a dog.

María Lozano

María F. Lozano is a primary school teacher from Chile. Since 2003 she has been the director of the NGO "Los Expresos", which aimed at working with youth in vulnerable areas of Santiago and young offenders. She has experience working as a project manager for Fundación Chile, where she advised teachers regarding educational improvement, alongside coordinating a pilot innovation on science and employability projects with teachers. She recently developed a virtual learning program for career development at the University of Nottingham. Currently, she is a facilitator at the Free University of Nottingham initiative, reaching under-represented groups at Nottingham Trent University. She loves long walks, and enjoys a variety of music styles.

Lara Powers

Lara Powers is a consultant who has been on the forefront of U.S. anti-trafficking efforts for 6 years, working on survivor leadership and empowerment issues, U.S. national human trafficking hotline development and management, U.S. statewide anti-trafficking response, data management, and analytics, monitoring and evaluation, U.S. policy advocacy, and trauma-informed care. She is currently she serves as the Regional Director of the Survivor Alliance Capacity Building Initiative, which aims to integrate local survivor leadership infrastructures into the anti-trafficking responses of three U.S. cities through survivor community organizing strategies and the creation of a survivor leadership development program. Additionally, she works as the Survivor Engagement Advisor at Polaris, where she uses her connections within the survivor community to systemically incorporate diverse survivor input across all of the organization’s programs. Previously, Lara was the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline Manager at Polaris, where she oversaw hotline case quality and response; protocol and policy development; outcomes and impact management; and staff training, wellness, and professional development. She started as a Hotline Advocate in 2012 before moving on to a role as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Specialist, where she oversaw the anti-trafficking response to calls originating in the 14 U.S. states. She has also provided training and consultations to a variety of audiences, including federal and local government and law enforcement, international delegations, service providers, judges, prosecutors, child welfare entities, juvenile justice agencies, healthcare professionals, and larger task forces and coalitions. Lara holds a Master of Arts degree in International Development from the American University’s School of International Service, with a concentration in human trafficking and gender-based violence


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