VANESSA MARTINEZ joined the IDC as the Americas Regional Coordinator in 2013. Prior to that, she spent years working with migrant communities in the USA, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Vanessa is responsible for strengthening coalition and network management among members and partners in the Americas region. This includes facilitating collaboration and respect among multi-stakeholder groups to develop, coordinate, and implement national strategies which aim to promote alternatives to immigration detention. Vanessa has worked on initiatives to increase civic engagement and development strategies in immigrant communities. She has also conducted research on restrictive immigration laws, and institutionalised cooperation between local police forces and immigration officials.

Vanessa has Master’s degrees in Latin American Studies, and Community and Regional Planning, with a specialisation in international migration and community development, from the University of Texas at Austin.