As the Executive Director of HILSC, Zenobia leads the strategic vision of the Collaborative through facilitating meaningful collaboration among members, amplifying funding available to member organizations and leading grant-making processes, implementing creative solutions to issues affecting Houston’s immigration legal services providers, and building strategic partnerships.
Zenobia is a seasoned civil legal services lawyer who has worked with low-income immigrant communities throughout the country. She has centered her career on making legal services available to those who lack financial resources, political power, English proficiency, or knowledge of the American legal system. Zenobia helped coin the term “community lawyering,” leveraging resources from private law firms and other professionals to help low-income communities make systemic changes. She is both a practitioner and an educator, helping design training curricula, train trainers, conduct numerous lawyering skill trainings to the legal services community, as well as preparing aspiring law students and human services professionals for career growth. Prior to her legal career, Zenobia was a broadcast journalist in Hong Kong. She also helped run a Cantonese cable television show for more than two decades in Malden, Massachusetts.
Juris Doctor, University of Minnesota Law School; Bachelor of Science, Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Thalia Flores Werner
Director of Strategic Learning
Thalia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of experience working with the immigrant community in the Houston area. Her clinical experience includes psychotherapy, assessment, treatment planning, and forensic evaluations. Programmatic experience includes designing and executing systems for evaluating program effectiveness, developing feedback methods, and creating plans to increase programming quality.
As the Director of Strategic Learning, Thalia plays a key role in designing, developing, and applying tools to collect, analyze, and communicate evidence of the impact of mission delivery for systems change within HILSC. Thalia’s work aims to utilize strategic learning as an integral method for adapting and improving our strategies, so that we may strengthen our collective efforts to advance equity and improve the well-being of the people we serve.
Thalia previously served as a Mental Health Consultant for HILSC. Her work consisted of developing and managing a system for connecting mental health providers to attorneys requesting forensic evaluations. Prior to that, Thalia worked at Tahirih Justice Center where she oversaw the Social Services Program aimed at supporting clients impacted by gender-based violence. Before that, she worked as a medical social worker at Texas Children’s Hospital providing crisis intervention and responding to the unique needs of each family. Thalia also has experience working as a mental health provider; she worked at DePelchin Children’s Center where she provided trauma-based therapy to children and adolescents. Thalia also has experience in providing counseling to unaccompanied immigrant minors at Catholic Charities as she pursued her Master of Social Work degree. In addition to her MSW, Thalia also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Houston.
As an immigrant herself, Thalia is proud to work with an organization that supports a coordinated network of services whose purpose is to assist immigrants access information and legal representation in their fight for safety and basic human rights.
As HILSC’s Director of Strategic Learning, Thalia is committed to understanding our effects, influences, impact, learning from our partners’ successes and challenges, and sharing insights to promote dialogue and inform action, both internally and externally.
Victoria (Vickie) Giambra
Legal & Advocacy Director
Vickie Giambra is Legal & Advocacy Director for the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative and has over 12 years of experience in immigration law. Prior to joining HILSC, she was the Managing Attorney overseeing the Technical Assistance & Training Programs at the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA). At CILA, Vickie led a team that provided rapid response and legal analysis for other lawyers in the field working with immigrant children and produced trainings informed by changes in immigration law and policy, as well as the needs of legal service providers.
Previously in private practice working on a variety of immigration related matters, Vickie began her nonprofit law career when she joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in January 2017. As a Managing Attorney, she led the General Immigration Program at Catholic Charities, which encompassed family immigration matters and provided a full range of immigration services for refugees and asylees. With a B.A., cum laude, in Latin American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, Vickie began her career working in HR and recruitment for a large international law firm in New York and London. This sparked an interest in employment and immigration law, which led Vickie to enroll in the University of Houston Law Center, graduating in May 2009. She is a member of the Texas Bar and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.
R. Parker Sheffy
Legal & Advocacy Director
Parker Sheffy is Legal and Advocacy Director whose life experiences caused his personal and professional interests to center around economic mobility and social equity. Specifically, he is interested in how the legal system creates and defines individual’s identities as members of a group and how the law can be used to empower, rather than hinder, individuals with agency over their lives, to be able to have a meaningful opportunity at securing their definition of the “American Dream.” As a Native Houstonian, he is passionate about this City—believing creating a more equitable Houston will have an outsized positive impact upon the State’s, and therefore the Nation’s, trajectory. The combination of these passions and beliefs bring him to HILSC, where he hopes and plans on contributing towards creating that more equitable, empowering Houston.
Prior to joining HILSC, Parker worked in positions with the common theme of learning about and empowering marginalized communities, while simultaneously engaging with the legal and political systems whose decisions disproportionately and most immediately impact individuals living on the margins. He was a Community Organizer with the 2012 Obama campaign, focusing on Southeast Houston and Pasadena, taught Algebra at a public high school in the South Bronx, clerked in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, as well as for the ACLU of Alaska. Upon becoming a licensed attorney in 2017, he began his career at Houston’s Catholic Charities St. Francis Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance, providing direct representation to thousands of individuals in a high volume, economically resourced non-profit during a period of rapid changes to federal immigration policy and enforcement and heightened political rhetoric and disinformation directed at certain immigrant communities. Parker comes to HILSC from the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC), where he continues to work part-time, as a Clinical Supervising Attorney in the Immigration Clinic. At the Clinic, he represents indigent immigrants with wide ranging immigration-based legal problems, focusing upon complex federal litigation, while supervising and teaching Houston’s future immigrant advocates, UHLC law students.
He is a graduate of Georgetown Law, where he earned a J.D., St. John’s University in New York City, where he earned a Master of Science in Education, and The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a B.A. with a dual major in Economics and History. If not at the office, you can likely find him walking Buffalo Bayou listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
Manager of Grants and Operations
As HILSC’s Manager of Grants and Operations, Chris coordinates the administrative procedures throughout the organization alongside resource development, grant and financial management.
Prior to joining HILSC, Chris worked at the City of Houston. At the City, Chris built out processes to effectively manage utility commitments throughout the greater metropolitan area while bolstering data analytics with modern tools. The systems put in place in the department greatly increased accuracy in long term planning and reporting to state agencies while reducing the time required to prepare the data.
Aside for working with the municipality, Chris has worked in the non-profit and private sectors focused on process improvement and data analytics.
Master of Business Administration, University of Houston (2016)
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of St. Thomas (2012)
Agustin del Campo
Agustin has completed media projects for various HILSC programs including Connect for Healthcare, our storytelling workshop, and the Immigration Legal Services Fund. He began working at HILSC this past summer and continues to work on these projects as an intern.
Agustin is a junior at Rice University studying Political Science and Social Policy Analysis. At Rice, he is an organizer for Rice Mutual Aid and a committee head for Civic Duty Rice, an organization aimed at increasing civic engagement on campus. Ahead of his career at Rice, he plans to attend law school with a focus on immigration. He is greatly interested in community organizing and local advocacy around issues like immigration, voting rights, housing, and education.