Our Team

Staff

Staff

Ana Diaz

Director of Operations

Ana Diaz

Ana is passionate about lifelong learning, tackling systemic issues, and serving the community, and loves that she has an opportunity to expand on all of these things at CREEC. Before coming to CREEC, Ana worked and volunteered in a diverse array of fields including teaching students with developmental and intellectual disabilities at The Arc of Loudoun, supporting a nonprofit development office, and managing a small town coffee spot. Most recently, Ana was a consultant to develop content for a sexual assault awareness and prevention education program, and interned for the sexual assault services office at Northern Virginia Community College.

Ana graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution where she served as a Peacebuilding Fellow, presented research on sex education in Indiana and policing in Fairfax County, Virginia and was honored with a Distinguished Scholar Award. In her free time, Ana enjoys reading fiction, playing with her puppy, and trying to find the perfect vanilla cake recipe.

Pilar Gonzalez Morales

Director, Accessibility Project

Pilar Gonzalez Morales

Pilar’s background is in civil rights and disability justice. Previously a Senior Staff Attorney within CREEC’s Immigration Detention Accountability Project, Pilar focuses on decarceration work at all levels, from jails to detention centers to mental health hospitals. She strongly advocates for the use of an intersectional framework within the disability rights movement to ensure that people of color, LGBTQI, immigrants and other often underserved communities benefit from and lead the fight for the civil rights of all people with disabilities.

Prior to joining CREEC, Pilar worked at Disability Rights California where she represented children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as people with disabilities held in immigration detention. Pilar also worked for four years at Arias and Munoz (currently Dentons Munoz) in Costa Rica as part of the Litigation and Mediation team. Pilar received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from Duke University. She is admitted to practice in California.

When not at work Pilar spends a great deal of time hanging out with her three nephews, watching futbol, and reading.

Read full bio.

Golnaz Fakhimi

Senior Staff Attorney, Immigration Detention Accountability Project

Golnaz Fakhimi

Golnaz has worked with and for structurally marginalized immigrant clients and communities across a wide spectrum of contexts and strategies. Her experience and expertise encompass deportation defense, habeas corpus actions, civil rights actions, and technical assistance to movement leaders and partners.

From 2019 to 2021, Golnaz co-taught the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights clinic at the CUNY School of Law. Previously, she held positions as an Immigrants’ Rights Attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, a Staff Attorney at Appellate Advocates, an Immigration Staff Attorney with The Bronx Defenders, and a Staff Attorney with the International Justice Network.

Representing clients at the trial and appellate levels across a variety of administrative and judicial fora, training the next generation of advocates, and educating the public through trainings and media advocacy, Golnaz roots her practice in immigrant- and community-led movements for change.

Outside of work, Golnaz draws comfort and inspiration from nature, the ocean, especially.  These days she’s particularly into whales (and elephants)!

Elizabeth Ballart

Senior Staff Attorney, Accessibility Project

Elizabeth Ballart

Elizabeth is experienced in civil rights impact litigation, negotiation and mediations, and individual representation of children and adults with disabilities.

Elizabeth previously worked in private practice as a special education attorney and has held Staff Attorney positions at Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) and Disability Rights California (DRC). She earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law. She is admitted to practice in California.

Throughout her career, Elizabeth has been dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities. She enjoys working with all clients but has particular expertise working with clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to law school, she worked in behavioral therapy and early intervention with youth with autism and their families. She embraces disability advocacy that centers on empathy and clients as whole people.

Elizabeth shares her home with two free-roam rabbits and volunteers with the House Rabbit Society in Richmond, CA.