Michelle is one of the foremost experts on US immigration detention and reform, and serves as a member of the IDC Governance and Finance Board. As the Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, she advocates for the critical protection needs of immigrant women, children and other vulnerable migrant populations in the US. In addition, she authored the 2007 Women’s Refugee Commission landmark report on family detention, Locking Up Family Values and the 2009 report on unaccompanied migrant children, Halfway Home. She is the senior editor of all the Detention and Asylum Program’s reports.
Michelle has more than 25 years of experience working on immigration and human rights issues with organisations such as Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the Detained Torture Survivor Legal Support Network, the Legal Orientation Program and was the Director of the Access to Justice Unit. She has also worked internationally with human rights organisations in India, and as a Human Rights Officer with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Bosnia, where she also served as the Head of the Sarajevo Field Office .
In 2012, she won the eleventh annual Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law, and in 2011, she was named one of Women’s eNews’ “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.” Michelle holds a B.A from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from Georgetown University and is a member of the New York bar.