Our Team

Saket Soni

Executive Director
After Hurricane Katrina, in 2006, Saket co-founded the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Under his leadership, the organization won organizing and policy victories for both U.S.-born and immigrant workers engaged in the reconstruction of New Orleans. Saket led the organization to win precedent-setting National Labor Relations Board decisions protecting migrant whistleblowers on the front lines of the hospitality and seafood industries from retaliatory firings and blacklisting. In New Orleans, he also crafted campaigns to win pathways into the publicly funded construction industry for African American workers. Saket led a combined organizing and legal strategy to combat human trafficking, which resulted in a federal court awarding over $14 million in damages to migrant resilience workers rebuilding the Gulf Coast. In 2011, Saket founded the National Guestworker Alliance, an organization focused on defending the human rights and dignity of guestworkers in America.
Saket is recognized as a national expert on post-disaster economies, immigrant rights and the future of work. He was profiled as an “architect of the next labor movement” in USA Today, and he has testified before Congress and at the United Nations. Saket’s advocacy efforts have been featured on NPR, in Time, and on the front page of The New York Times. His writings have appeared in the L.A. TimesThe Hill, The NationLatino JournalTalking Points Memo and on CNN.com.
Saket co-authored And Injustice For All: Workers’ Lives In the Reconstruction, the most comprehensive report on race in the reconstruction of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, as well as Never Again: Lessons of the Gustav Evacuation, an account of the inequities in the response to Hurricane Gustav in 2009, which led to new state policies and new norms for evacuating the most vulnerable residents in preparation for disaster.
Saket began his career as a community organizer in Chicago at the Coalition of African, Asian, European, and Latino Immigrants of Illinois. He is originally from New Delhi, India.

Jeff Pinzino

Chief Operating Officer

Cynthia S Hernandez

Senior Manager – Florida Strategy

Daniel Castellanos

Advisor, Worker Engagement
Daniel arrived in the U.S. under exploitative conditions as an H-2B guestworker after Hurricane Katrina. He began organizing with other guestworkers in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and helped found the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), a national membership organization that fights for dignified work and just migration. As a Research Associate at NGA, he works to improve workplace conditions for migrant workers by investigating questions of workplace standards enforcement. Daniel is a recognized expert on U.S. guestworker programs, consults regularly with U.S. policymakers and has testified before Congress on effective enforcement models within the U.S. Department of Labor. He also advises Resilience Force on worker engagement. Daniel is from Peru and is the proud father of two teenagers.

Javiera (Javi) Alarcon

Program Officer
Javiera (Javi) joined the National Guestworker Alliance in September 2016 and she is currently a Program Office at Resilience Force. She is a believer in participatory democracy and has developed a deep understanding of social justice through previous work at the Stewart R. Mott Foundation, MoveOn.org and the Institute for Policy Studies. She is passionate about empowering marginalized people, ensuring equal opportunities and maintaining a strong commitment to the opposition of oppression. At Resilience Force, Javi supports collaborations with workers, including in-person trainings and deeper engagement with Resilience Workers.. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

LaTanja Silvester

Louisiana Director
With significant experience in political campaigns and government relations, LaTanja Silvester is a veteran activist who has dedicated her career to defending the rights and improving the lives of working people. Ms. Silvester spent the last 10 years leading the efforts for organized workers at the Louisiana affiliate of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 21 LA, serving as President from 2013-2019. In the role as President, Silvester has been a constant voice and force for the needs of Louisiana’s working families everywhere from City Halls to the U.S. Congress. In addition to her work in the labor movement, Ms. Silvester is President of Urban Campaign Strategies, LLC, a boutique consulting company founded in 2017, LaTanja has led campaigns for voting rights, equal pay for women, equitable education, and fair wages. Ms. Silvester has advanced legislation supporting access to healthcare, living wages and economic empowerment, and has worked to broaden and deepen opportunities for local and minority owned business across Louisiana.

Vanessa Fernandez

Program Officer
Vanessa is the Sr. Manager of Development at Resilience Force, the national voice of the millions of people whose work, heart and expertise make sustainable recovery from disasters possible. For nearly a decade, Vanessa has been fighting for a more equitable and just economy for poor communities and communities of color. As a fundraiser and project manager, she supports organizations that build power for working people by developing and expanding institutional and individual giving programs. Vanessa lives in Chicago with her partner and two cats, CJ and Lane. Previously, she has worked at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, United for Respect, and UltraViolet, among others.

Stephanie Teatro

Director of Immigrant Rights Campaigns

Looking for National Guestworker Alliance? Most of NGA’s work is now part of Resilience Force.

If you have a specific question about guestworkers,
email Daniel Castellanos, dcastellanos@guestworkeralliance.org