Executive Team

 

BOB GOODFELLOW

Interim Executive Director

Until a new Executive Director of AI USA is in place, the Board has retained Bob Goodfellow, in the role of Executive Consultant, to guide and advise us through this transition period. Goodfellow is working with the Executive Team, Board and Management. His role is to lead through engagement, helping AI leadership manage the opportunities and risks of this exceptional time of change.

Amnesty International USA knows Goodfellow as the Canadian who served as Interim Executive Director in 2013 and as a consultant on a number of projects since then. Goodfellow was the Executive Director of AI Canada for over 20 years, managing all aspects of finance, resource development, policy and organizational change. Amnesty has been his life’s work, initially as a youth member during university, next moving to leadership of the Board of AI Canada, and then to staff as Director of Campaigns in 1988. He has also provided leadership at the international level, including many projects and roles within the international level.

Goodfellow has a Masters Degree of Management in Voluntary Sector Leadership from McGill University in Montreal. He lives with his wife Ellie, a journalist and Minister. He has two adult activist step-children and is the devoted grandfather of two-year-old Onyx. In Goodfellow’s youth, he was the helmsman of a large oceanographic vessel on the often stormy waters of the North Atlantic.

 

Ira Lefton

Chief Legal and Policy Officer

Ira Lefton is the Chief Legal and Policy Officer at Amnesty International USA. He joined the organization in 2019 after having provided legal counsel in a pro bono capacity for Amnesty International USA on an ongoing basis since 2005 while a partner with two AmLaw 200 law firms, Reed Smith LLP and Eckert Seamans LLC.  In addition to his years of assisting Amnesty International USA on a range of governance, contractual, intellectual property and other issues, he provided counseling to numerous other national and regional nonprofits on a wide array of issues.  With more than forty years of experience as an attorney focusing on commercial litigation, Lefton has developed expertise in addressing and resolving challenges facing organizations in all aspects of their operations.  Lefton earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina.  He resides in Philadelphia. PA with his husband, an interior designer.

 

Minjon Tholen

Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation Officer

Minjon Tholen is the Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation Officer at Amnesty International USA. She is responsible for leading holistic culture change efforts across the organization to build a bigger, bolder and more inclusive human rights organization. Tholen is a passionate and seasoned global organizational transformation strategist with a specialization in Diversity & Inclusion and has extensive experience in developing and implementing innovative change initiatives at a wide variety of organizations. Prior to joining Amnesty, Minjon was a Senior Consultant at Cook Ross Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in organizational transformation and diversity & inclusion management, where she partnered with leaders at Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and nonprofits all over the world. Previously, she worked at several nonprofit and educational organizations, and has co-founded a global collaborative for next generation leaders committed to diversity & inclusion. She received her Bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has certificates in Executive Leadership and Strategic HR Leadership from Cornell University. Tholen was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in The Netherlands, and resides in the Washington DC area with her husband and dog.

 

Tamara Draut

Chief Impact Officer

Tamara Draut is the Chief Impact Officer at Amnesty International USA where she leads the organization’s campaigns, public affairs and government affairs teams. Draut has nearly 20 years of experience advancing social change across a wide range of issues, communications, campaigns, policy development and research. Prior to joining AIUSA, Draut worked for 17 years at Demos, a progressive policy and advocacy organization that addresses economic, political and racial inequality. During her time there, she developed winning campaigns and innovative programs to address credit card debt, college affordability and student debt, worker protections and wages, money in politics and the racial wealth gap. She led the organization through a major re-structuring and mission re-alignment process, resulting in greater external impact, internal cohesion, and stronger organizational stability through a significant increase in unrestricted revenue. She is the author of Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead and Sleeping Giant: The Untapped Economic and Political Potential of America’s New Working Class (Doubleday 2006, 2016). Draut received her undergraduate degree in journalism at Ohio University and her master’s degree in public policy from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

 

Roger-Mark De Souza

Chief Movement Building Officer

As the Chief Movement Building Officer, Roger-Mark De Souza oversees research and programs designed to document human rights abuses and directs Amnesty International USA’s work to grow, diversify, train, and deepen the engagement of its membership base in order to leverage the organization’s grassroots activism from the local to the global level. For the last 25 years, De Souza has held leadership positions in the non-profit sector including with Sister Cities International, the Woodrow Wilson Center, PAI (Population Action International), the Sierra Club, Population Reference Bureau, and the World Resources Institute. Over his career, he has built social, economic, health and environmental programs, teams, and movements across the world to encourage local buy-in and empowerment. His commitment to promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through allyship, service, and organizational action stems from his lived experiences, his community engagement, and his deep desire to improve the welfare of diverse populations. De Souza leads with integrity and passion. He brings to bear his contagious laugh, energy, and drive to engage others, lift their aspirations, and deliver on key program objectives. Outside his professional life, he thrives on his Caribbean heritage, loves to cook, is an avid traveler, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, sons, and rescue dogs. His pronouns are he/him/his.

 

Elizabeth Schaffer

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Elizabeth (Liz) Schaffer, MNA is a Senior Advisor at Fiscal Management Associates and currently serving as the interim Chief Financial Officer at Amnesty International USA. Schaffer was most recently the Chief Financial Officer at TNTP, a national non-profit committed to ending educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to students who need them most, and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching happens in every classroom. Before joining TNTP, Schaffer was the Chief Operating Officer at the Global Fund for Women –the largest foundation exclusively funding international women’s human rights organizations. She is also the co-author of Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives: Guiding Your Organization to Long Term Success (Wilder). Schaffer has been a trainer at CompassPoint’s workshops and conferences and lectured in Nonprofit Financial Management at The Haas School of Business and The University of San Francisco. In her consulting work, Schaffer coaches nonprofit leaders and helps organizations enhance their decision-making ability by improving the quality of financial data and sophistication of analysis.