Staff

Divya Chaturvedi

Divya Chaturvedi (she/her)

Executive Director
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Divya brings considerable knowledge and experience working with immigrants and has been a passionate advocate for empowerment of women. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP). Her previous work experience spans across countries in Asia and Africa as well as the United States.. She has worked with diverse groups of people from different cultures and backgrounds. She has worked with various nonprofit and international development organizations such as UNDP, UN Woman, Ford Foundation, and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) managing social impact projects, developing women’s leadership training curriculum, conducting gender research, and managing large-scale global microfinance projects aimed at reducing poverty levels among women.

Prior to joining Found in Translation, Divya served as a Co-Executive Director of Saheli Inc., a nonprofit serving immigrant survivors of domestic violence, a role in which she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and nonprofit management skills. She is a passionate advocate for the inclusion and language access of immigrant women in Massachusetts, particularly for immigrant women survivors of domestic violence. She has been a speaker at conferences and universities, sharing her knowledge and experience on these critical issues. In recognition of her dedication and commitment to empowering immigrant women, Divya was appointed by the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators to serve as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
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Kelly Lynch (she/her)

Deputy Director
[email protected]
Kelly Lynch graduated from UMass Amherst, where she majored in Political Science and French & Francophone Studies, while completing a certificate program in Interpretation Studies. After teaching ESOL through the UMass Labor Management Workplace Education Program and supporting low-income individuals through the LIFT Cambridge-Somerville office, she went on to serve as an AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring at On Common Ground.

Upon completing her year of service, she remained at On Common Ground as the first full-time program coordinator of the Mentor Center, which offers mentoring services to adults experiencing poverty through one-on-one support, guidance and resource referrals. Kelly joined Found in Translation in 2015 as a Career and Supportive Services Coordinator, while serving as the Outreach Coordinator at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. She also holds a certificate from Wheelock College in Nonprofit Organization Leadership.
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Abigail Setterholm (she/her)

Impact Director
[email protected]
Abigail grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she attended a Spanish Elementary school and became bilingual at a young age. Her passion for cultures, empathy, and social justice led her to Boston, where she attended Tufts University, earning a BA in Peace and Justice Studies and a minor in Drama. She also holds a certificate in Social Impact Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. 

Abigail completed two years of national service as a City Year AmeriCorps member at a public elementary school in Boston, serving as a tutor, mentor, and role model in a 5th-grade classroom. In 2016, Abigail joined Found in Translation in a program role and has since designed and implemented advancements in the organization's data, development, and communications operations.
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Karen Walker (she/her)

Program Director
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Karen was born in Massachusetts and is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica.  She studied psychology and Spanish at Oberlin College and later studied school psychology at Tufts University.  Karen has worked as a school psychologist in the public school system working with students from pre-school through high school.

She spent a number of years working with homeless youth providing academic and career development services first as a classroom instructor and later as an administrator.  Karen also spent four years working at a community college in Massachusetts overseeing a dual enrollment program for high school students with disabilities.
Mitchell Tiah

Mitchell Tiah (he/him)

Development Director
[email protected]
Mitchell was born in Liberia on the west coast of Africa, and immigrated to Rhode Island around the age of seven with his five siblings. He has a bachelors in Business Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Mount Union, where he was also a three sport athlete. Mitchell brings a range of experience across the nonprofit and for-profit sector. He worked in banking as a Financial Analyst, and he currently sits on the board of two nonprofits serving underserved youths through education, empowerment, advocacy, and sports.

Before joining Found in Translation, Mitchell served as Development Director for the Immigrant’s Assistance Center; a nonprofit focused on providing basic needs, pathways to citizenship, employment, advocacy, and financial self-sufficiency for all immigrants. His experience as an immigrant, his passion for serving the immigrant and underserved community, and his desire to make meaningful and impactful change serves as an inspiration and motivation in all he does. He has dedicated his life to serving underserved communities by coordinating annual events to provide basic needs assistance to families.
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Juliana Cardona-Berrio, CHI™ (she/her)

Interpreter Training Manager
[email protected]
Juliana was born in Antioquia, Colombia and she immigrated to Boston with her parents as a young child. In her childhood she attended a bilingual program from the age of kindergarten to middle school that enabled her to become fluent in both English and Spanish. She is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of the Found In Translation community with her lived experience as an alumna of the Class of 2019 and her previous experience as part of the Found in Translation faculty in a range of different capacities as a Spanish Language Coach, Co-Lead Instructor, and Lead Instructor.

Juliana is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter through the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and a Licensed Interpreter Trainer through Cross-Cultural Communications, LLC. She works at Boston Children’s Hospital as a Spanish-English Medical Interpreter. Previously, she worked as a Medical Interpreter with Cross Cultural Communication Systems, American Translation Partners, and Boston Linguistics. She’s a compassionate community advocate who has experience as a caregiver in the Massachusetts Adult Foster Care Program and serving the Hispanic community in a volunteer and interpreter leadership role for over ten years.
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Cristina Silva (she/her)

Data Manager
[email protected]
Cristina is originally from Chicago where she was raised by immigrant parents from Mexico and Cuba. Surrounded by diversity and social justice activism from a young age, she developed a lifelong appreciation for multiculturalism and community-focused work. In adulthood, Cristina worked hard to reclaim her first language that was all but lost as a little girl. Today, she speaks solely Spanish at home with her family.

Cristina holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She spent six years working in arts education to provide arts integration resources in public schools. After becoming increasingly concerned with Chicago’s underserved communities’ lack of quality of life amenities, she pursued a Master’s in urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since 2012, she has served as project manager and researcher for various nonprofits and community development financial institutions. Her work has encompassed multi sector research in the areas of affordable housing, K-8 education, food access, sustainability and transit oriented development.
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Supportive Services Manager
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Renée Metelus (she/her)

Operations Manager
[email protected]
Renée was born in Massachusetts to Haitian parents and grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Her Haitian heritage and first generation identity inspired her to pursue mission-based work at the intersection of racial and social justice, educational equity, and human rights advocacy. She began her professional career at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, where she supported international human rights advocacy in strategic communications, operations, and development. She currently serves as a Charities Specialist at the Office of the Attorney General. Previously, she worked extensively to further family and community engagement in education in Atlanta and expand equitable education opportunities for students in early childhood education programs, adult English Language Learners, and hospitality union workers in Roxbury and Chinatown.

Renée received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in 2018, where she studied sociology and international relations. She is working towards proficiency in Portuguese and is fluent in Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Beatriz Moreno

Beatriz Moreno (she/her)

Grants Manager
[email protected]
Beatriz was born in Honduras and grew up in both Southern California and her native country. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at UCLA, with substantial additional coursework in accounting, business, and entrepreneurship. She joined Found in Translation in 2020 and served as a grant writer for two years, before transitioning into the role of Grants Manager. Beatriz brings with her an extensive professional background on both sides of the fundraising equation - setting up grantmaking programs for philanthropies and assisting organizations in securing funds. Her unique experience as a funder, alongside her commitment to seeing immigrant women succeed, makes her an asset to our team.

Outside of her work, Beatriz is passionate about entrepreneurship, travel, equity, and most importantly culture. 
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Denise Muro (she/her)

Interpreting and Translation Manager
[email protected]
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Denise has a background in nonprofit and higher education work in gender and racial justice and equity. She has several years of experience working, advocating, and conducting research with asylum seeker, refugee, and immigrant communities and currently leads a volunteer-based initiative to strengthen and connect services for these communities in the Boston area. Denise has also spent four years working with UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy on women’s leadership programming and bringing attention to social and political issues of importance for women, and especially women of color and low-income women.

Denise earned her master’s in International Studies with a graduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Wyoming and has bachelor's degrees in English and in International Affairs from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a doctoral candidate in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston.
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Makiz Nasirahmad (she/her)

Program Coordinator
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Makiz was born in Afghanistan and lived in Moscow, Russia before moving to Boston in the United States. She speaks Dari, Russian, English and some Urdu/Hindi. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Boston. While at UMass Boston, Makiz travelled to Russia, Ireland and India to volunteer with nonprofit organizations and study. She spent a semester at the Moscow State University in Russia, where she also volunteered with a nonprofit organization that assisted refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Angola etc. She has also travelled to Ireland to participate in a program on human rights, advocacy and cinema.

Throughout her years at UMass Boston she worked as a journalist and editor for the Mass Media, the university newspaper. During her gap year, she worked as a researcher for Samuel Hall company, where she assisted to conduct research for UNICEF on child marriages in Afghanistan. Upon completion of her degree, she traveled back to Afghanistan, where she worked as a Communications and Advocacy Officer with the United Nations Mine Action Service. During her time outside of work, she works on a campaign she founded in 2017, to provide families in need with food, hygiene products and financial assistance.
Lauren Flatley, Career Advancement Coordinator

Lauren Flatley (she/her)

Career Advancement Coordinator
[email protected]
Lauren was born and raised in the Boston area. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Studies and History with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of Richmond (VA). Her passion for learning about other cultures and languages led her to Morocco for a semester abroad and later to Chanthaburi, Thailand, where she spent a year and a half teaching English and Science to 8th graders. She speaks intermediate French and some Thai and she is working on improving her rudimentary Spanish.

Prior to joining Found in Translation in Fall 2022, Lauren began her professional career coordinating staff for a small home health agency, most of whom were women and immigrants. Most recently, she spent three years working with English language learners in the English for Advancement program at JVS Boston to overcome barriers to employment and to identify and improve the skills they need to meet their career goals. She also helped dozens of students with language and technology challenges access unemployment benefits and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Christine La (she/her)

Technology and Outreach Coordinator
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Christine was born in New York to immigrant parents from Hong Kong and Vietnam. As a first generation American in a multicultural household, she grew up with a wide perspective on culture and communication. She graduated from Boston University in 2017 with a degree in Marine Science and East Asian Studies, and began her professional development as an Assistant Language Teacher in Japan under the JET Programme. Placed on a small island in Okinawa, she taught English to grades K-6 for five years at multiple elementary schools. She also participated in language coaching, mentoring, curriculum building, interpretation and translation. Her fluency in Japanese and English allowed her to be the liaison between foreign teachers and Japanese staff.

With the onset of the pandemic in 2019, she assisted her schools with the shift to remote-learning, and designed new classes for online study. She began teaching computer skills and formatted classes to be digitally accessible to even her most rural schools. Her technological achievements helped maintain language courses even with students being fully remote. Her hope is that with digital literacy and information access, more opportunities will open up to all people and foster a society based on cooperation and inclusiveness.
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Julia Hickey (she/her)

Grant Writer
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Julia Peçanha Hickey was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is a dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S. Julia graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a BA in Creative Writing in 2012. She began working in nonprofit development in 2014, and since then has worked with a range of organizations in the arts, education, social justice, and conservation. In her spare time, Julia writes poetry (her work can be found in Issue 38 of New American Writing and in the forthcoming Haunted issue of Hayden's Ferry Review) rides horses, and has adventures with her dog, Milo.
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Bethany Wagner (she/her)

Grant Writer
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Originally from the Boston area, Bethany has spent most of her professional career working in the nonprofit world, after studying English and Communications at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She comes to Found in Translation by way of two national philanthropies: The Pew Charitable Trusts and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where her work in grantmaking focused on health and human services, as well as civic engagement. Having shifted her focus to grant writing for direct-service nonprofits, Bethany is passionate about helping organizations that work to advance structural equity in health, education, and the environment. She is currently working to rebuild and improve her Spanish-speaking skills, and outside of work finds joy and comfort in baking, art, and her family and their small flock of pets.
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Maria Vertkin (any pronouns)

Founder and Former Executive Director
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Maria is a social worker, immigrant, formerly homeless, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. She was born in Nizhniy Novgorod in a multi-ethnic Chăvash and Jewish family. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she immigrated with her family first to Israel and then to the US. In addition to English, Maria speaks Russian, Hebrew, some Spanish and Portuguese, and is relearning and reclaiming her Chăvash mother tongue.

Prior to founding Found in Translation, Maria studied Social Work at Regis College, and worked with adolescents transitioning out of foster care and homeless unaccompanied youth at the nonprofit Rediscovery. She has also volunteered with survivors of domestic violence, as a mentor to pre-teen girls, a parents’ support group facilitator, crisis phone counselor, and translator for a grassroots media project. She is the recipient of the 2009 Veronica Award, 2010 Pearson Prize, 2011 Kip Tiernan Fellowship, 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship, 2015 Richard Cornuelle Award, 2015 Grinnell Prize, 2017 Jaffe Award, 2017 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and 2018 WeWork Creator Award.