About Us

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Staff, Fellows & Interns

Staff

Ma'ayan Anafi

Policy Counsel

As a policy counsel, Ma’ayan works on defending against anti-transgender state bills, pushing for meaningful health care access for transgender people, and strengthening state and federal nondiscrimination protections.

Jason Arrol

Jason Arrol (He, Him)

Digital Media Manager

As Digital Media Manager, Jason is responsible for NCTE's website, social media, design and campaign creation to support NCTE’s legislative, policy, public education, and fundraising goals.

Arli Christian

Arli Christian

State Policy Counsel

As State Policy Counsel Arli works with state advocates to modernize name change laws, state ID regulations, and birth certificate policies, and is dedicated to improving and expanding access to legal services for trans communities through NCTE’s Trans Legal Services Network.

Lauren M. Dow

Administrative and Development Associate

As Administrative and Development Associate, Lauren coordinates the activities of our busy Executive Director, organizes external events and speaking engagements, and serves as initial point of contact for the organization.

Eric Dyson

Director of Communications

Eric leads the organizational communications team, and is responsible for strategic planning, direction, development and implementation of communications and public relations strategies which promote NCTE’s mission and goals.

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

Director of External Relations

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the Director of External Relations at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), where she oversees public education and field organizing operations.

Debi Jackson

Family Organizer

Debi Jackson lives with her husband and two children in Kansas City, Missouri. She has become an advocate for transgender rights and acceptance because of her daughter.

Sandy James

Research Director

As Research Director, Sandy James works with a research team to lead the development, fielding, analysis, and presentation of the U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), the second iteration of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS).

Mara Keisling

Executive Director

Mara Keisling is the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.

Rebecca Kling (She/Her)

Community Storytelling Advocate

As the Community Storytelling Advocate, Rebecca elevates the stories of transgender people and their allies. By working with a diverse range of spokespeople, she brings the wide range of transgender people’s lives and experiences into the policy advocacy and public education work of the transgender movement.

Lisa Mottet (She, Her)

Deputy Executive Director

As Deputy Executive Director, Lisa is responsible for stewarding the organizations advocacy, fundraising, and communications work and directs our local and state advocacy work. Lisa was the first attorney working full-time on transgender rights at the national level in 2001.

DeShanna Neal

Family Organizer

DeShanna Neal, from Wilmington, Delaware is a mother of four, trans rights advocate, author, and homeschooler. Her oldest child, Trinity is a transgender teen who transitioned a decade ago.

K'ai Sowon Smith (He/Him)

Managing Director

As Managing Director, K’ai coordinates the organization’s operations, administrative, finance, special projects and programs, and communications work.

Harper Jean Tobin (She, Her)

Director of Policy

As Director of Policy, Harper Jean coordinates all aspects of advocacy on federal administrative policies and regulations for NCTE and works to provide information for the public about laws and policies that affect transgender people.

Jami Westerhold (She/Her)

Development Director

As the Director of Development, Jami coordinates all aspects of fundraising, donor relations, and sponsorship development at NCTE. She focuses on building relationships and engaging NCTE’s supporters while working with corporate sponsors to develop partnerships.

Jay Wu (They/Them)

Media Relations Manager

As Media Relations Manager, Jay is responsible for communicating our work to the wider world through handling NCTE's relationships with media outlets.

Meg Yamato

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Meg helps to ensure the operational efficiency and fiscal health of the organization by administering financial and operations-related tasks.

Fellows & Interns

TJ Billard

COMPASS Fellow

TJ works in the communications department on strategic communications development, content creation, and storytelling coordination. He joins NCTE as a Consortium on Media Policy Studies (COMPASS) Fellow.

Teagan Rabuano (they/them, she/her)

Outreach and Education Intern

Teagan is working with the Outreach and Education team at NCTE this summer. They are currently entering their final year of undergrad at New York University, where they study Drama and Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Rony Eduardo Castellanos Raymundo (He/Him/His/El)

General Intern

As an advocate for Social Justice, Rony joins NCTE this summer from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) as a General Intern.  

Kristen Tassone

Legal Policy Fellow

Kristen works in the policy department on federal, state, and local advocacy and policy initiatives.  Prior to joining NCTE, Kristen was a McCleary Law Fellow at the Human Rights Campaign, and Chair of the LGBT Bar Law Student Congress.  Kristen recently earned a J.D.

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