Lisha Shrestha- Executive Director
She joined DMA as an Interim Executive Director on Jan 2018 and took a permanent role from July 2018. She brings her 13 years of local and international experience to the work. She has previously worked at IRCO, the City of Portland New Portlander Program, and Elders in Action. At present, she is also pursuing her doctoral degree at Portland State University. Her involvement with the diverse community in Portland brought her recognition in the form of the PSU President’s Diversity Award in 2015 and Community Leader of the Year Spirit of Portland Award in 2017. She is passionate about transforming needs of individuals and communities into opportunities for economic prosperity. In her free time, she enjoys hiking or simply trying new foods from different cultures.
Elizabeth Lopez-Hernandez - Program Coordinator
Elizabeth Lopez graduated from Portland State University with a double major in International Studies and Political Science with a French Minor. During her time at PSU, she was able to study abroad in Southern France, where she developed a passion for travelling, trying new foods, and strengthen her interest to learn about different cultures, people and languages. At PSU, she worked as Resident Academic Mentor, where she worked closely with her residential community and Campus resources to better served her community. She has worked as a facilitator for various nonprofits in the Portland area focusing on youth empowerment and leadership such as Girls Inc. of Pacific NorthWest. She is passionate about women empowerment and making sure that the immigrant and refugee communities have the necessary resources to succeed. In her free time she enjoys hiking with her cousins and her dog and photographing. She’s fluent in Spanish and French.
Austin Delos Santos-Operations & Communications Coordinator
Austin is a Portland State University graduate with a major in Community Development. After transferring from a local community college from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 2018, he joined the BUILD EXITO scholar program. During his time as a scholar, Austin worked on numerous research labs that focused on Autism. At PSU, he was a part of the Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE) where he analyzed employment and burnout data to develop a burnout measurement tool. His experiences working with analyzing data, using statistical tools, and writing research reports encouraged him to pursue a career in a non-profit organization. He was an intern at the Multnomah County Health Department-Pacific Islander Coalition and helped to develop data analyzing on 1). Sexual Health; 2). Child, Youth, and Family; 3). Nutrition and Diet; 4). Chronic Disease; and 5). Substance Abuse. As a Chamorro, he understands the need to deescalate situations through gentle personalism and acknowledging the hidden issues so we can heal from oppression. In his free time, Austin enjoys volunteering at food pantries to give back to the Portland community.
Community/Business Outreach Liaisons
Lwe Wah Shee is a community/business outreach liaison at DMA. She speaks Karen and some Burmese. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Education Studies, minor in linguistics, and concentrating in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Western Oregon University. In the past, she has worked for Portland Parks and Recreation as a Creative Youth Soccer Leader, Portland Metro as a regional park caretaker, and at a public school as a teacher assistance. Her experiences working with diverse cultures and different organizations educated her and opened her mind to see how people view the world differently. As a refugee, who came to America to seek for new opportunities, she understands how it feels like to live in a different world. When she has free time, she enjoys helping her Karen community with translation and interpretation in Karen and English.
Lute is currently the Business/Community Outreach Liaison for Asian Pacific Islanders. Lute enjoys volunteering at her children’s school. In her spare time Lute volunteers at an elderly care home as a companion by reading to them or going for a walk with them. Lute has volunteered in various programs including: at elderly care homes, nursery school, Tongan Committee, and Tongan sewing class. Lute enjoys working and helping the Tongan community and other Pacific Islander communities. Lute helps with translation and interpretation in the Tongan and Samoan languages. During Lute’s Free time she loves to bake and sharing her baking with community, friends, and family.
Board Of Directors
Anne Downing - Board President
2018 - Present
Leslie Hickox - Treasurer
Leslie has been a college educator for 36 years in the fields of Health Education and Education. She has semi-retired post-2012 and began a practice in health insurance. With the beginning of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, Leslie focused on serving people with the Federal Market Place and the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). In 2017 to 2019, she began working again in public education with the YMCA before and after school programs for children. She’s currently a Para Educator with Portland Public Schools and continuing to work with special education elementary students. She continues to work part-time with health insurance clients. She has been assisting Division Midway Alliance for two years as a board member. She’s excited about how DMA is expanding outreach to the SE Portland immigrant and refugee business communities.
Layla Assam - Board Secretary
2017 - Present
Joe Enlet - Board Member
Joe Enlet is an island boy. He was born and raised in Chuuk, Micronesia and has lived in Portland and Vancouver for the past 12 years. In 2017, Joe was appointed and confirmed by the President of Micronesia to serve as Consul General for the Federated States of Micronesia at the Consulate General office in Portland. He is accredited by the United States as the resident diplomat for Micronesia to the Western United States. Prior to that he was Senior Policy Analyst at Multnomah County Public Health for their Health Equity program. Joe has worked in public health and has been a community organizer and advocate for many years within the Pacific Islander community both locally and nationally. He is President of COFA Alliance National Network (CANN) which is an organization that advocates for citizens of the FSM, Palau, and the Marshall Islands and works on policy at the State and Federal level. He was also appointed by the President and the Speaker of the Oregon Legislature to serve on the Oregon State Taskforce for addressing racial disparities in homeownership. Joe is a Policy Commissioner for the New Portlander Policy Commission at the City of Portland and was appointed by Oregon Governor to serve as a member of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace Advisory Committee. Last year, he was appointed a member of the Washington State Advisory to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In 2018 the City of Portland awarded Joe the Emily Gottfried Human Rights Award as an Emerging Leader. Joe pastors at his church Chuuk Logos Community Church in Vancouver Washington and enjoys playing his guitar and playing basketball with his daughters.