Our Team

Alison Boak, MPH Photo

Alison Boak, MPH

Co-Founder and Executive Director

aboak@iofa.org

Ali Boak 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.

Jody Haskin, MA Photo

Jody Haskin, MA

Program Director

jhaskin@iofa.org

Jody Haskin is the Program Director and Anti-Trafficking Specialist at IOFA. Jody has worked to support and lead various anti-trafficking programs for IOFA since 2013.  Currently, Jody leads the Training and Technical Assistance initiative funded through the Department of Justice Office on Violence against Women. Jody has trained both professionals and community leaders on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSE) and child labor trafficking through the Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project (AATOP) in Chicago, and has contributed to curricula and handbook development to guide child welfare professionals in identifying and responding to child trafficking for the New York Office of Children and Family Services. Jody graduated from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (JKSIS) at the University of Denver with a Master’s degree in International Human Rights with a concentration in Human Trafficking and Public Policy. While attending JKSIS, Jody was a member of the Human Trafficking Center, in which she completed research on human trafficking in Canada, as well as its effects on the security of the U.S. and Canadian border. Jody was also a Fellow at Polaris in Washington D.C., where she worked to support the training and technical assistance department in its human trafficking trainings to community members, law enforcement, and the hotel industry. Jody’s foundation of her passion for social justice and human rights stems from her education in Social Work at Western Michigan University.

Jae Jin Pak Photo

Jae Jin Pak

AATOP Community Advisory Board Chairperson

jpak@iofa.org

Jae Jin Pak is the Community Advisory Board Chair for the Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project at IOFA. He works to liaise with and to educate community leaders regarding issues of child trafficking for sex and labor in the Chicago area. Jae Jin brings to AATOP 20 years of experience working on issues of mental health, ending men’s violence against women, disability, anti-oppression and cultural competency.  He has presented for high school & college students, teachers, law enforcement, medical staff, faith leaders, social service providers & community members.  

Jae Jin has received recognition for his work and leadership by the City of Chicago Commission Human Relations Advisory Council on Asian Affairs, Leadership Center for Asian Pacific Americans and the Jane Adams School of Social Work at University of IL at Chicago.

Jae Jin has served on the Board of Directors of the Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative (AASPI), Asian Giving Circle, the IL Imagines Chicago Team, IL Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), Korean American Community Services (KACS), IL Coalition Against Domestic Violence MEN Committee and IL Coalition Against Sexual Assault Education & Training Committee. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Aleia McKessy Photo

Aleia McKessy

Special Projects Intern

amckessy@iofa.org

Aleia is in her second year at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration where she studies International Social Welfare in the administration concentration.  She obtained her Bachelors of Arts at Alma College where she studied Psychology and Political Science.  Her previous work included working with refugees in case management and job development as well with children abroad in the context of literacy, orphanages, and adoption.  Aleia will be working on program evaluation for past projects as well as research, grant writing, and resource development for IOFA’s various projects. She hopes to work in the field of international social work and to protect the human rights of vulnerable groups like refugees or children. 

Chris Zarek Photo

Chris Zarek

Research/Legal Projects Intern

czarek@iofa.org

Chris is currently in his second year at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law with a focus on international human rights. He started his internship with IOFA in August of 2016. Chris is working on the Human Trafficking and Disabilities project that involves conducting new research on the intersection of people with disabilities and human trafficking within Illinois and throughout the United States. 

Destiny De La Cruz Photo

Destiny De La Cruz

Colin Powell Partners for Change Fellow

ddelacruz@iofa.org

Destiny De La Cruz attends The City College of New York where she is a Partners for Change Human Rights Fellow under the Colin Powell Fellowship program. She is a third year student who is obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Economics. At IOFA, Destiny contributes to the ongoing research on the intersection of human trafficking and individuals with disabilities. In addtion to interning at IOFA, Destiny has a Human Resource internship where she carries out responsibilities in various functional areas of employee relations, benefits, compensation, and organizational development. Destiny strives to promote human rights while aiming to work within the corporate sector of psychology.

Joshua Kemp Photo

Joshua Kemp

Colin Powell Partners for Change Fellow

jkemp@iofa.org

Joshua Kemp is a senior at the Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York.  He is majoring in International Studies, with minors in French and Asian Studies.  Josh came to IOFA through the Colin Powell Partners for Change Fellowship program, and focuses his research on the intersection of human trafficking and disabilities.  He has previously worked to improve U.S.-China medical relations, solve NYC transit inequities, and reform the presidential transition process.  When not in school or working to save for his next trip, Josh navigates sports injuries on the Macaulay Marauders Quidditch team. 

Natalie Wright-Umoh, LMSW Photo

Natalie Wright-Umoh, LMSW

Training Specialist

nwright@iofa.org

Natalie Wright-Umoh, LMSW provides training and technical assistance for ChildRight New York.  Natalie has spent more than a decade working closely with non-profits, government agencies and schools to create innovative and engaging training programs that are responsive to community needs. As a Social Worker in NYC, she has overseen the delivery of direct services and training to children, parents, caregivers, professionals and concerned community members.

Natalie is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work. She has authored a Guide to Social Work Careers, been certified by the NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project and has provided hundreds of hours of training on topics including ethics, diversity and culture, family violence, commercial sexual exploitation, harm reduction, child abuse and neglect and mental health. Natalie welcomes the opportunity to work with organizations to meet their goals, create competent staff members, and serve constituents better.

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