2012 NLC Fellows: Orange County


Annan Aboul-Nasr, Executive Assistant, Islamic Institute of Orange County

Annan Aboul-Nasr was raised in Southern CA and graduated from the University of California Irvine with an Economics and International Studies degree with an emphasis in Middle East Affairs. She studied abroad at the American University of Cairo and was a delegate at the Cairo International Model United Nations Council on Human Rights Conference. She currently works at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC) and focuses on community programs and outreach. IIOC provides the community with an array of educational and social services. She volunteers with the Orange County Community Congregation Organization as a Board Member representing the Anaheim Poverty Task Force. The Anaheim Poverty Task Force is a faith-based response to address homelessness and poverty.

Marisa Commerford, Attorney at Law

Marisa Commerford is a California Bay Area native and practicing attorney. Marisa worked for a commercial litigation and corporate bankruptcy firm, and has plans to start up her own law practice. She has also worked for the Santa Barbara County Public Defenders' Office, the Orange County District Attorneys' Office, and clerked for the Honorable John L. Flynn, III at the Orange County Superior Court. She moved to Southern California for her undergraduate studies at University of California at Santa Barbara, where she developed her interest in the practice of law. She received her J.D. from Whittier Law School with honors, and was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Board. Marisa is interested in sustainability, environmental policy, and loves camping, hiking, and anything involving the great outdoors.

Fatima Dadabhoy, Civil Rights Attorney, Council on American-Islamic Relations - Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter

Fatima Dadabhoy is the Civil Rights Attorney at Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter where she handles cases of discrimination related to employment, schools, and mosque construction. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil rights and advocacy group. She also currently serves on the board of directors for Niswa, a Muslim family services organization. Prior to joining CAIR, Fatima founded Dadabhoy Law Office where her practice areas included Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Bankruptcy. Fatima earned her B.A. in History with emphases in Modern European and Middle Eastern History from California State University, Long Beach. She completed her J.D. at Santa Clara University School of Law. During law school, Fatima worked as a student counselor at the Katherine & George Alexander Community Law Center in San Jose where she advised indigent clients, specifically victims of trauma and domestic violence, on immigration issues. She has also interned at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco as an investigative assistant. Also an owner of several small online businesses, Fatima enjoys assisting others in establishing and marketing similar businesses where they can showcase their creative talents and generate an income for themselves by doing what they love.

Eric Dominguez, Attorney, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association

Eric Dominguez is an attorney practicing immigration law in Aliso Viejo. Eric graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and received his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. While in law school, Eric clerked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLA), and the Orange County office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He also served as a faculty research assistant for an article published in the University of San Francisco Law Review examining the legal and policy justifications for the continued detention of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and Bagram Air Base. During the 2008 Presidential Election, Eric was a Spanish-language volunteer for the nonpartisan, Election Protection voter rights hotline, established to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. In addition to practicing law, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association and is a member of the Orange County chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Nadia Hassan, Entrepreneur and Multi-Disciplinary Consultant, Proof Me DOC

Nadia Hassan grew up in Villa Park, California, where she finished high school and her undergraduate university studies. She received a Bachelor’s of Art degree from California State University Fullerton. Nadia later received an MBA from Bentley University. She married her husband Jamal in August 2001 and together they have a daughter named Rayanah. Currently, Nadia operates as an entrepreneur and multi-disciplinary consultant, with expertise in Business, Finance, Accounting, Real Estate, and Manuscript Editorial Services. In her private life, Nadia never loses sight of her first priority, her family. She supports her husband in his entrepreneurial ventures and always puts motherhood above all else. In her public life, Nadia mentors Muslim youth, she advocates for under-served women and victims of domestic violence, and, as an activist, she firmly speaks out against bigotry, injustice, and religious intolerance. Nadia is a very active member within the Muslim community, the interfaith community, and the health and wellness community. In her spare time, Nadia likes to write in order to raise awareness and offer new perspectives to social issues and current events. Nadia’s personal experience with Islamophobia has allowed her to redirect her talents toward writing, education, public speaking, and raising public awareness.

Ryan McInerney,Judicial Administration Fellow, Orange County Superior Court

Ryan is currently the Judicial Administration Fellow for the Orange County Superior Court. The fellowship is part of the Capital Fellows Program, which is administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. The Capital Fellows Program provides opportunities for young professionals to gain public sector experience under seasoned mentors. Ryan grew up in the San Fernando Valley, attended UC Irvine for his Political Science undergraduate studies, and recently graduated from law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In college, Ryan developed a strong interest in politics, government, and policy, which encouraged him to seek out political campaign and legislative work on the state and federal levels. After college, he worked for an opposition research firm, which allowed him to explore a number of U.S. cities. In law school, Ryan primarily focused on criminal justice issues, working in both juvenile defense and adult prosecution roles. He also co-founded and was later elected President of his school’s chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. Ultimately, he hopes to utilize the experience and knowledge he obtains during the New Leaders fellowship to improve the quality of justice in his community.

Brian Moore, Student, Concordia University-Irvine

Brian currently a MBA student at Concordia University-Irvine, with a concentration in Marketing. While completing his MBA, Brian has had the opportunity to intern with a telemedicine company. Where he has been helping with a re-brand of the company, creating presentation material and supervising the social media channels. Brian has always worked in the marketing field in various industries, including banking. He had the opportunity to coordinate the marketing for a start-up back in Orange County. Which raised over our $20 million goal in a little less than four months. The bank is still in business banking and specializes in small to medium size businesses. Brian graduated from Dominican University of California in 2007 with a BA in Communications and a concentration in Marketing and Advertising. Brian created the advertising arm to the student newspaper, which he continues to provide guidance. Brian is also a member of the alumni board of directors for Dominican. While pursuing his MBA from Concordia University-Irvine. Though he was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Moore grew up in Orange County.

Joaquin Nava,Deputy Public Defender, Orange County Public Defender

Joaquin Nava is an attorney for the Orange County Public Defender. When he was approximately 13-15 years old he was an entrepreneur, selling soft drinks and chips to migrant workers in the fields of Ventura County. At 16 he began working at McDonalds and by 17, he became a salaried assistant store manager. During community college, he continued working as a retail manager and a teller. During lawschool, he worked fulltime as an office manager and Spanish language interpreter. After passing the bar he worked for an immigration law office, the Mexican consulate, a public service immigration law radio show, and free legal clinics. Joaquin graduated from community college with an Associates Degree and a certification from the reserve sheriff's academy in 2003. He skipped his Bachelor's degree, and at age 24 went on to obtain a Juris Doctorate and pass the bar exam. Joaquin's parents came to Santa Paula, California from Colima, Mexico in 1983, seeking to give him a better life. He was born and raised in Santa Paula.

Kimberly Olson, Attorney / Principal, KO Legal

Kimberly Olson was born in Long Beach, California, May 22, 1980, and grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Ms. Olson attended high school at Palos Verdes Peninsula, where she played soccer for the Panthers high school team and her club team, the Palos Verdes Breakers and subsequently the Torrance United Lightening, allowing her to travel extensively playing in tournaments throughout the United States and around the world. After graduating from high school in 1998, Ms. Olson enrolled at El Camino College for the fall semester to continue playing soccer with her former club teammates for the El Camino Warriors, a team that went to the California State Championships. Ms. Olson then decided to study abroad in Spain, where she lived with a Spanish family and worked on her Spanish language skills. Subsequently, she enrolled at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, CA, and transferred within one year to Chapman University in Orange, CA. Ms. Olson was extremely active participating in extracurricular activities during her tenure at Chapman University. She joined the Delta Gamma sorority her first year and held leadership positions within the sorority thereafter, including Student Body Representative, Director of Activities, Rho Chi, and ultimately, Social Chair. Ms. Olson helped organize and execute fundraisers for the sorority’s philanthropy, Aid to the Blind, and volunteered at the local Blind Children’s Center. Ms. Olson also played soccer for the Chapman University Panthers. After a stint as a prosecutor on Chapman’s Mock Trial Team, Ms. Olson decided to pursue a legal career and obtained an internship at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. Ms. Olson graduated from Chapman University in 2004 with a B.A. in Political Science – Emphasis in American Politics, and a Minor in Comparative Literature. In 2005, Miss Olson enrolled at Whittier Law School where she attended the part-time evening program, electing to work in various law firms during school which concentrated on different aspects of civil litigation including employment law, real estate law, and business law. She also embarked on two summer study abroad trips to South Africa and China focusing on topics in international law. Her 3rd year in law school, Ms. Olson was selected to be a Research Assistant to Professor Martin Pritikin, working on his Law Review article entitled, “Is Prison Increasing Crime?” published in the Wisconsin Law Review in 2008. During her final year at Whittier Law, Ms. Olson became a member of the Law Journal of Child and Family Advocacy and was elected as the 4L Representative for the Student Bar Association. Ms. Olson graduated from Whittier Law School in 2009 with a Juris Doctorate and certificates in both International Law and Business Law.

Craig Preston, Field Organizer, California Clean Money Campaign

Craig Preston currently works as a field organizer for the California Clean Money Campaign, a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose vision is to achieve an open and accountable government that is responsive to the needs of all Californians by building statewide support for full disclosure and public funding of election campaigns. Craig has held positions of Council Coordinator for MoveOn.org and been an organizer, speaker, trainer, activist and delegate for multiple campaigns. He has worked as a Vice President Controller for a printing company in Orange County, has an MBA from Cal State Fullerton and a Bachelors’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Craig’s home town is Watsonville CA, however, part of Craig’s career was working as a missionary to college students in Hawaii, New Zealand and China.

Joseph Williams,CEO, Youth Action Project

He currently serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Youth Action Project where he oversees the day to day business operations. YAP a community-based venture that seeks to empower youth in developing skills and habits needed for economic and social success. Working in the employment and training field for over 10 years he has developed a variety of networks, skills, resources and experiences through working as Job Coach/Job Developer for individuals with disabilities; serving as a Offender Re-entry Coordinator working in the county jail and community reporting center. He has also coached dislocated workers and youth through accessing labor market information. At risk of failing out of high school he attended summer school all four years to complete his high school education. Attending community college part-time during which time he made the deans list and served as the Student Trustee for the Community College District where his role was to represent the voice of all students enrolled in San Bernardino Valley College. Recently graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Redlands School of Business, obtained a certificate in Nono Technology and is trained as a CERT member (Community Emergency Response Team) A resident of San Bernardino County by way of Camden, New Jersey; father of two teenagers. His goal is to involved in creating a U.S. Department of Youth Services and a Secretary of Youth Services.