Missing Migrant Project and DNA Program Manager
Mirza Monterroso, originally from Guatemala, is a licenciada in Archeology and is currently finishing her M.A. in Forensic Sciences. She worked for several years in Mayan archaeology sites and caves in Guatemala, Belize, and México. In 2006, she began working as a forensic archeologist, digging clandestine graves created during the Guatemalan genocide. She has been an expert witness in cases of violations of human rights and crimes committed against the civil population. Mirza also taught several courses in forensic anthropology at the Universidad de Rafael Landívar and the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala. In 2016, she joined the Colibrí Center as the DNA Program Manager.
Family Network Director
Ben Clark was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Middlebury College, where he received his B.A. in History with minors in Sociology and Spanish. Growing up in the southeastern United States, Ben wrestled with questions of social (in)justice from a young age. His work, influenced by his upbringing, has focused on reckoning with divisive pasts to create more inclusive futures. He brings several years of experience in immigrant justice advocacy in the United States as well as in Argentina. In 2016, Ben received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, enabling him to spend a year living with and learning from communities around the world healing from periods of political violence and trauma. In late 2017, Ben joined the Colibrí team as Family Network Coordinator, working with families to develop programs that build community and support amongst those who have suffered a loss on the border.
Stephanie Zamora was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. She migrated to the U.S. with her mother in 1998 and was raised in Phoenix, AZ. Stephanie is a first-generation college graduate, earning her Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology and Linguistics from the University of Arizona where she was a UA Hispanic Alumni Association scholarship recipient. As a student organizer, Stephanie engaged in leadership to ensure students of color had the necessary resources and environment to succeed in higher education, specifically advocating for Latinx/Chicanx students and for Hispanic Serving Institution status for the UA while researching and teaching themes on Critical Race Theory. In 2018, Stephanie became a certified Spanish interpreter and translator. As a new American, Stephanie is committed to fighting for equity and justice for all (im)migrants. She brings a personal experience and commitment in advocating for migrant and human rights having grown up undocumented in Arizona. Stephanie became Colibrí’s Advocacy Director in February 2019.
Interim Executive Director
The Colibrí Center has arranged for Raise the Bar Consulting Services to provide leadership while Colibrí prepares to hire a new permanent executive director. Raise the Bar’s Brian Best is serving as Interim Executive Director of the Colibrí Center. Brian calls on four decades of non-profit experience in New York, Washington DC, and Tucson to guide his work. He has extensive experience in administration and management, executive leadership, and fundraising.
Brian’s work history on the east coast includes organizing work with Bread For the World, management work with Amnesty International USA, and being the administrator of a progressive Episcopal church in Washington DC. In Tucson he served as Executive Director of BorderLinks, which provides education about migration justice issues to groups from around the country. Brian was the recipient of the Washington Peace Center’s Port in the Storm award. He is a member of the Tucson Samaritans, providing humanitarian assistance to migrants as they pass through the Arizona desert, and a novice salsa dancer.
The Colibrí Center’s founding executive director is Dr. Robin Reineke. In 2006, then a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Arizona, Dr. Reineke began interning at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner and began to develop innovative programs to help identify the remains of migrants found in the Arizona desert. Through her dedication over these years, Robin developed these programs into what is today the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, an internationally-recognized innovator and leader in efforts to end disappearances and uphold human dignity along the southern border of the United States. In July 2019, Robin changed course from her role as executive director and began to pursue migration justice in new and different ways at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona. Robin will be part of the Colibrí transition team through the end of 2019. Robin’s new work at the Southwest Center will keep her connected with Colibrí, and we are excited about the ways her work will become even more important in the years ahead.
In 2013, the Colibrí Center for Human Rights was co-founded by (left to right) Dr. Robin Reineke, Chelsea Halstead, Reyna Araibi, and William Masson. We are grateful to our incredible co-founders for the immense amount of hard work, passion, and commitment that went into building this organization. Thank you!