Based in Louisiana, Vanessa builds the work of the inaugural US Center for Climate Law & Policy to implement US and international climate policy recommendations connected to advancing the racial, economic, gender, environmental, cultural, and voting rights required to plan for, endure, and recover from climate-based disasters. After earning her BA in Anthropology from Whitman College, she co-founded an organization facilitating community education and action with immigrant survivors of intimate partner abuse. She received her Juris Doctor and Certificate in International Law from Loyola University New Orleans. After engaging thousands of students from around the country in the Gulf Coast post-Katrina recovery, Vanessa represented low-wage and immigrant workers in employment and construction law claims, and litigated cases in support of worker organizing. As the Legislative & Advocacy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, she connected people to policy at state and local levels, protecting and achieving gains in criminal, reproductive, immigrant, and voting justice. Her movement inspiration comes from the everyday people who sacrifice their time, money, and energy in order to bring balance and equity to our world. She represents USHRN in labor/employment, energy, climate, immigrant, and legal networks and spaces.