Co-Founder and Executive Director:
Ali Boak (she/her/hers) co-founded IOFA and currently serves as Executive Director. Ali launched IOFA in 1999, after returning from three years abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright scholar where she became aware of the extensive trafficking of children and youth.
A long-time advocate of public health, Ali brings to this position more than 20 years experience in organizational development, program design, grant writing, building strategic partnerships, designing and facilitating strategic planning initiatives, conducting research and evaluation, and writing curricula. Her work has focused on improving the health and well-being of vulnerable adolescents in more than 12 countries especially those who are parentless, unaccompanied, LGBTQ, juvenile justice involved or commercially sexually exploited.
Ali is an internationally recognized expert on the issues of child and adolescent trafficking and exploitation, and as a pioneer in this field, she has created several model programs and founded numerous organizations, networks, and coalitions to coordinate the multi-disciplinary work required to assist trafficked persons. Ali is known for her strategic responses to emerging problems and issues and her ability to bring groups together for a comprehensive response.
She is a founding member of the Freedom Network USA for Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (Co-chair 2004-2006), the New York City Task Force against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (Co-chair 2000-2003), the New York City Human Trafficking Task Force (Co-chair 2002-2004), and the Westchester County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (Advisor 2010-present). She has served on several advisory committees including the Catholic Charities USA Advisory Task Force on Domestic Child Trafficking and the National Child Welfare Advisory Board organized by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the Advisory Committee of the New York City Anti-Trafficking Network, and the ChildRight: New York Steering Committee.
She has been recognized by New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her contributions to the anti-trafficking effort in New York City and by Congresswoman Nita Lowey, County Executive Rob Astorino and by the Westchester County Board of Legislators in Westchester County. She received a Citation from the City Council of Ogre for her work with youth in Latvia. In October 2014, she was honored to receive the Community Partner Award from My Sisters’ Place.
Ms. Boak received a B.A. English and Political Science from SUNY Albany graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1992. In 1997 she received a Masters of Public Health (MPH) Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, the Division for Population and Family Health. She currently serves as a Leader-in-Residence at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and as a Town Board Member in Town of Pound Ridge, NY.