Thank you, Kathy

My name is Alejandra Guillen and I’m the Deputy Director here at Immigrants Rising. On Tuesday, Kathy Gin announced that she will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director later this year.

On behalf of Immigrants Rising’s Leadership Council and our Executive Director Transition Committee, we’d like to take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to Kathy for her instrumental contributions to building and growing Immigrants Rising from the ground up; an investment that spanned the better part of two decades.

Kathy and her co-founder, Carrie Evans started Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) over 15 years ago to support undocumented students who were looking for resources to attend college. Today, thanks in large part to Kathy’s tireless work and enduring relationships, a scholarship program that benefitted just a handful of students has transformed into a highly regarded and thriving organization serving thousands annually through our many programs and services.

Kathy and the Immigrants Rising staff in 2022.
Kathy and the Immigrants Rising staff in 2022.

The target date for Kathy’s departure is July 2023. In the coming months, The Transition Committee, which is made up of staff and members of our Leadership Council, will work closely with Kathy to ensure a seamless transition. We have hired Axis Talent Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in helping mission-driven organizations find the right candidates for their leadership roles, and together we are preparing a job description to be released later this month.

Kathy has been a cherished mentor, ally, and friend to so many of us during her tenure, and though she will be dearly missed, we share the optimism she expressed in her recent announcement, that this transition will not only create space for her to explore other opportunities, but also usher in an exciting new era for Immigrants Rising.

“I met Kathy in 2008 when I applied for an E4FC scholarship. In the years since, Kathy has remained steadfast in her commitment to mentoring immigrant youth leaders and a fierce advocate for immigrant rights. I would not be where I am today without her and the Immigrants Rising community. I know her legacy will live on through the many lives she has touched, and the programs she has built.” — Ju Hong, Leadership Council Member & Director of UCLA Dream Resource Center Photo of Ju Hong.

Photo of Abdi Soltani. “It has been my sincere pleasure to work closely with Kathy over the many years of Immigrants Rising’s evolution. Kathy’s excellent leadership and investment in the leadership of the undocumented community, has made it possible for the entire organization to flourish. I am confident that she has built a strong foundation for the next director to take the helm.” — Abdi Soltani, Leadership Council Member & Executive Director of ACLU Northern California

“From the moment I met Kathy, whether I belonged in the Immigrants Rising community was never a question. The only question was: how? She trusted me to define how I wanted to contribute to the organization and helped me find my voice through storytelling. I’m eternally grateful to Kathy for her years of service, tireless work, and commitment to fighting for justice.” — Julio Navarrete, Leadership Council Member & Spanish Teacher at American High School Photo of Julio Navarrete.

Photo of Elise Haas. “I’m in awe of the way Immigrants Rising has evolved while maintaining its role as a beacon in the face of so much uncertainty. Throughout it all, Kathy’s warmth and gift for connecting people became a feature of the organization as a whole. Even as Kathy moves on, the community will continue to benefit from the qualities she’s imbued into the very essence of Immigrants Rising’s approach.” — Elise Haas, Leadership Council Member & Haas, Jr. Fund Board Director

“When I think of Kathy, I think of all the lives Immigrants Rising has uplifted through her leadership, including my own. Over the past 15 years, Immigrants Rising has helped many undocumented people become leaders in their own communities. Though I am saddened that Kathy is stepping down, I am also full of enthusiasm for Immigrants Rising’s future. I know the organization is in great hands.” — Krsna Avila, Leadership Council Member & Staff Attorney at Immigrant Legal Resource Center Photo of Krsna Avila.

For questions about the role, I encourage you to contact Axis directly at For general questions about Kathy’s transition, you may contact


Alejandra Guillen
Deputy Director
Immigrants Rising