AFSSA

STAFF AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The agency has 20 staff members who provide direct services, community education and administrative support to the agency.




Executive Director



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Linda Phan, Executive Director


Linda Phan is the Executive Director Asian Family Support Services of Austin. A major component of her work is focused on Systems Advocacy and working with institutions to develop best practices around responding to the needs of immigrant survivors of violence. Her professional and volunteer work with gender-based violence spans 15 years. Prior to her position at AFSSA, she was the volunteer and communications manager for the Texas Advocacy Project, a statewide legal agency for survivors of violence.


She has served on the Public Policy Committee for the Texas Council on Family Violence providing guidance on legislative issues affecting survivors, served as an advisor to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, appointed as Chair to the City of Austin Commission on Immigrant affairs, and recently appointed as a White House Commissioner for the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders by President Obama.








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Liane Noble, Board Co-President


Board Co-President Liane Ngin Noble, was born and raised in Austin, Texas, Liane graduated from the University of Texas with bachelor’s degrees in Plan II, Government and Social Work. After attending Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Liane returned to Texas to serve as a judicial law clerk in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. She is now an attorney at Vinson & Elkins LLP, where her practice focuses on commercial litigation in state and federal courts. Liane has a passion for serving survivors of family violence, having worked or volunteered for various non-profit organizations in the Austin area, including SafePlace, the Texas Advocacy Project, and Helping Hand Home for Children.


In addition to her work with AFSSA, Liane is involved with the Cambodian-American community in Austin and is also a member of the Federal Bar Association. She currently lives in North Austin with her husband, son, and their two dogs.







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Dr. Charles Lu, Board Co-President


Board Co-President, Dr. Charles Lu currently serves as Executive Director of the Gateway Scholars and Summer Bridge programs, providing strategic oversight over two of the largest student success programs at The University of Texas at Austin. In his role, he administers the units'' academic support programs and subunits, manages a $1.7 million program budget, coordinates the fall and spring signature courses, and oversees the programs'' strategic plans.


Dr. Lu holds a Clinical Assistant Professor appointment with the College of Education and a courtesy appointment with the Center for Asian American Studies.






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JoEllen Clark


JoEllen Clark has been living in Austin for over 15 years. She arrived in Austin after completing her undergraduate studies at Washington College in Chestertown, MD with a bachelor''s degree in international relations. She attended The University of Texas School of Law and received her J.D. in 2004. During law school, JoEllen developed her lifelong passion for helping others by working with survivors of family violence through internships and law clinics.


After graduating, JoEllen worked with survivors through the Texas Advocacy Project before starting her family. She has two beautiful children and has served two terms as President of the Board of Directors at AFSSA.







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Nahid Khataw


Board Member-at-Large Nahid Khataw has been a resident of Austin for over 25 years. Mrs. Khataw is President of Accurate CAD & Technical Services, Inc., a firm she founded in March 2003. In addition to running a successful business, Mrs. Khataw is engaged with numerous other non-profit organizations in the Greater Austin community. She is the current chairperson for the Asian Community Education Foundation (ACE Foundation). Mrs. Khataw served as the first Muslim Board President of Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT), from 2011-2012.


Previously, she has served on the leadership boards of Forum of Muslims for Unity and Muslim Community Support Services. She also serves on multiple committees, including the Westlake High School’s Baccalaureate Committee and the Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association’s outreach committee. In 2011, she served on the Community Action Network’s Board Membership Committee with Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt. Mrs. Khataw is a graduate of Leadership Austin 2010. She is honored to be married to Ali Khataw, another community leader, and they are the proud parents of two adult children.











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Anita Lakshman


Board Member-at-Large Anita Lakshman moved to Austin in 2010, after working in Philadelphia for more than ten years in program management at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Asian Arts Initiative (a nonprofit organization) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, she facilitated writing workshops for Asian American youth as well as cultural identity programs at the Pan Asian American Community House at the University of Pennsylvania. While living in Philadelphia she volunteered and held board positions with several nonprofits near and dear to her heart, including a sexual violence organization as a crisis hotline counselor and hospital advocate. The experience working closely with survivors was extraordinary impactful, and led her to seek out volunteer opportunities at AFFSA soon after she moved to Austin.


Anita feels grateful to be able to assist AFFSA with helping families find peace from violence. In addition to her volunteer work at AFFSA, she is involved with the local chapter of Dining for Women, the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, and her children’s schools. She is currently a stay at home mom to her beloved three young children (ages 6, 4, and 20 months). In her free time, Anita loves spending time outdoors and exploring this great city (specifically the food) with her family.







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Ryan Barden


Board Member-at-Large Ryan Barden moved to Austin in 1997 to pursue a career in finance. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas, and he is happy to talk Jayhawk basketball with anyone who will listen. In 2006 he and his brother founded Barden Capital Management, which provides wealth management and investment advice for individuals, corporations, and organizations. Ryan became involved with the fight against domestic violence through his wife, Rachael, who is an LCSW who has worked at SafePlace, Texas Child Protective Services and now has her own therapy practice.


Ryan and Barden Capital have been supporters of AFSSA for several years, so he didn’t hesitate when he was invited to share his financial expertise and management skills as a board member. Ryan’s most recent non-profit experience is as a founder of Austin Greyhound Adoption. He and Rachael have a daughter and a son, with whom they share their appreciation of international travel. Ryan loves Austin for its live music, great golf courses, its evolving food scene, and most of all, for its sense of community.









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Lila Brolsma


Board Member-at-large, Lila Brolsma, returned to Austin in 2014 after living in Switzerland for two years. She is a Certified Public Accountant, whose experience includes working for ABB Ltd in Switzerland, Arthur Andersen, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Lila is currently the Accounting Director at Abilitie. She recently joined the AFSSA Board because of its mission to provide culturally relevant support to victims of domestic violence within the Asian community. Lila desires to lend her accounting knowledge to AFSSA, as well as to help promote its mission to the wider Austin community. She has been an active volunteer at her son’s schools and extracurricular activities in the US and Switzerland. In addition, she has volunteered at various organizations within the Texas community, such as the Ronald McDonald House, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet and Special Olympics.


Along with her husband and son (and sometimes their dog), she enjoys traveling, hiking and exploring the outdoors. The entire family is happy to be back in Austin, where the food, music and art options are plentiful!








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Caroline Tang


Board Member-at-Large Caroline Tang is an attorney practicing immigration law in the Austin office of Ogletree Deakins. She has spent a decade helping multinational corporations navigate and apply U.S. immigration policy, helping immigrants secure better lives. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the Austin Asian American Bar Association. She is also actively involved with the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Austin and was a member of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2015. Caroline graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. A native of Katy, Texas, she has lived in Austin since 2007, and she and her husband have two young sons. A native of Katy, Texas, she has lived in Austin since 2008, and she and her husband have two young sons. Caroline is a foodie, who enjoys travel and musical theater in her spare time.








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Dr. Madeline Y. Hsu


Board member-at-large Dr. Madeline Y. Hsu served as Director for UT Austin''s Center for Asian American Studies (CAAS) 2006-2014 and is presently an Associate Professor of History. While director, Madeline represented CAAS in Austin organizations such as the Network of Asian American Organizations, the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, the Austin History Center, and the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce. Before moving to Austin, she served two terms as a board member for the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. She has written two books, Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration Between the United States and South China, 1882-1943 (Stanford University Press, 2000) and The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became a Model Minority (Princeton University Press, 2015).









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Jarren Wenderlein Sternburg


Board member-at-Large Jarren Wenderlein Sternburg has been a resident of Austin for over 15 years. She is a triple Longhorn (receiving here her B.A., J.D., and M.B.A. from the University of Texas), currently working as Corporate Counsel at Gemalto, practicing in the Technology, Sourcing, and Commercial group. Jarren has a passion for community service, specifically those focused on women, children, and education, serving previously at several local philanthropic and service organizations, including Dell Children’s Hospital, Texas School for the Deaf, Jane’s Due Process, GEN Austin, American Civil Liberties Union, and Habitat for Humanity.


In addition to her work with AFSSA, Jarren is currently involved with the Capital Area AIDS Legal Services, Leadership Austin, and Junior League of Austin. She currently lives in Central East Austin with her husband and their dogs, all of which share her passion for exploring all the cuisine Austin’s ever expanding food scene has to offer.






Community members interested in serving on the board should contact Linda Phan at lphan@afssaustin.org