Meet Our Team
Denver for CEDAW Co-Chairs:
Alexis Newton, as a philanthropist and social activist, Alexis is committed to the empowerment of women and girls. She recently completed her Master’s Thesis in Health Psychology from the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico, where she focused her research thesis on the psychology of human traffickers. Alexis has previously worked with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) New York City and Mexico City Country Offices, and the Population Office of San Luis Potosí, Mexico (Consejo Estatal de Población de San Luis Potosí) on human trafficking issues. She is co-founder of NewKal Enterprises Inc. which focuses on launching innovative health products and technologies in Mexico. Alexis is Vice President of UNA Denver and serves as an advocate on the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking Hotline known as CoNEHT. She is a member of the Zonta Club of Denver, Beyond Our Borders and sits on the steering committee of Women Powering Change. Additionally, she is an Advisory Board member for the Global Fund for Women and a mentor for Watson University. Alexis has lived, worked, and studied in Mexico, Spain, Guatemala, and India, and has native-speaker fluency in Spanish.
Malliga Och is the CEDAW Co-Chair for the Denver for CEDAW City Campaign. She is an Assistant Professor in the Global Studies and Languages Department at Idaho State University. She has a PhD from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Malliga has extensive research experience in women and politics, international women’s rights, and in comparative feminist policy research. She has taught comparative and international politics courses at the University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and Community College Denver. Malliga holds a Magister Artium in Political Science, Communications, and Law from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and an MA in Political Science from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Kate Morgan, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Kate Morgan is a Program Associate for a local Denver nonprofit organization. She holds a Masters Degree in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She received her Bachelors degree in Psychology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. While an undergraduate student, Kate spent a semester studying abroad in England. In addition to working with Denver for CEDAW, Kate also works as a Research Assistant at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy. In the past, she has worked as an Events Co-coordinator at the Center on Rights Education, and a Media and Communications Assistant for the Human Trafficking Center.
Maha Kamal, Legal/Political Advisor
Maha is a founding partner at the Colorado Family Law Project. In addition to family law, Maha has a background in international affairs, international criminal law, and civil rights law. She has worked with several organizations in these areas, including the United Nations at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Maha is a graduate of CU Boulder (2007) and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (2013). She is currently completing her professional graduate certificate in International Security at Harvard Extension School.
Fawn Bolak, Policy Analyst Fawn is a graduate student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic work and research is centered on the intersection of gender and violence. Before moving to Denver to pursue graduate study, she worked as a Victim Advocate at the University of Central Florida Police Department where she provided comprehensive services for victims of crime, served on the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Taskforce, and participated in various community violence prevention efforts. In 2014 she was recognized for her accomplishments in this position by being nominated and awarded Victim Advocate of The Year. Additionally she is a former volunteer instructor with with Osceola County Jail, working specifically with individuals who experienced victimization and trauma prior to their incarceration, and facilitated workshops focusing on anger management, positive coping mechanisms and group-centered support and validation. Currently, Fawn serves as the Associate Director for the University of Denver’s Center on Human Rights Education, and is the 2nd year graduate representative for Korbel Graduate Student Association. Fawn is passionate about gender-based violence and gender equity initiatives, and community/grassroots collaboration around these issues. She hopes that passing CEDAW in Denver will help strengthen efforts against institutional and social inequalities in the city, that will eventually funnel up to the state and national level.
Ash Harden, Advocacy Chair Ash is the Western Regional Outreach Director for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition where she manages advocacy efforts in six states to preserve and protect funding for U.S. foreign assistance programs. She’s passionate about gender equity, global health, women and girls education, and food security. Previously, Ash worked for the Colorado Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign, where she was the Regional Field Director for southeast Colorado. She’s also served as the Program and Marketing Manager for the Business Council for Peace, where she supported and provided training to entrepreneurs in post-conflict countries, such as Rwanda and Afghanistan. While living in New York City, Ash was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before CFR, Ash worked in Udaipur, India training locally elected village representatives on leadership skills. She holds an MSc in Gender, Globalization, and Development from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Emory University in both International Relations and Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies, graduating summa cum laude. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Pi Sigma Alpha, as well as a proud mentor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Colorado and on the Board of the New Leaders Council Denver.
Molly Draben, Research Intern Molly will be graduating with a BA in Political Science and International Studies in May 2018 from Idaho State University. After Molly graduates, she hopes to work in the Mountain West either with a governmental entity or in the nonprofit sector. Molly is an Idaho native working for Bannock county’s election office. It has shown her, first hand, the connection between local government and the community. Molly works with both elected officials and the public to bridge the gap between people and their representatives. Molly is interested in policy research, local government, and gender politics. At Idaho State, Molly has put her passion for politics to work: she is a research assistant and representative for the College of Arts and Letters as a senator for the Associated Students of Idaho State University.
Alejandra Soto, Research Team Alejandra Soto is a young professional from Mexico City with more than 6 years of experience in development, international cooperation, public administration, foreign affairs, etc. She recently worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mexico in projects related to democracy and governance, particularly in projects related to Crime and Violence Prevention. She holds a Masters Degree in International Cooperation and Development, and a Bachelor degree in Political Sciences and Public Administration. Alejandra is passionate about foreign affairs, human development, international aid, democracy, human rights women empowerment, and languages. She is also a freelance translator and speaks french and Italian.
Grusha Amatya, Communication Intern Grusha is an International student from Kathmandu, Nepal. She will be graduating with a B.A. in International Studies with minors in Political Science and Marketing in May 2018 from Idaho State University. Also, Grusha is planning on pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration from Idaho State University. Grusha has previously worked with CWIN (Child Workers in Nepal) as a research intern. At Idaho State University, Grusha is working as a research assistant and customer service representative for the International Programs Office.