Board of Directors

Officers of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators

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Nattalia Paterson
Chicago, IL
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Term: June 2023 – June 2025

Nattalia brings over twenty years of experience as a freelance Portuguese conference interpreter and translator, catering to a diverse range of corporate, academic, medical, governmental, and diplomatic clients. In 2018, Nattalia joined NAJIT, shifting her focus to judiciary interpretation. She holds court certifications in twenty states and is qualified to interpret for U.S. federal courts, courtesy of her affiliations with the U.S. Department of State and TAALS.

Since stepping into her role as a director on the NAJIT Board in 2023, Nattalia has spearheaded initiatives to enhance the organization’s efficiency, streamline processes, foster volunteer engagement, and forge stronger connections with translation and interpretation associations and other stakeholders nationwide. She is actively involved in devising a sustainable growth strategy for NAJIT, while nurturing emerging leaders within the association to ensure project continuity. Nattalia’s overarching goal is to position NAJIT as the foremost advocate for continuing excellence and professional recognition. She also wants the association to be more active in setting standards and best practices for court interpretation.

Beyond NAJIT, Nattalia is also a member of several other professional associations in the United States and Brazil. These include TAALS, ATA, AAPTI, MATI, DVTA, NOTIS, CHICATA, CCHI, and ABRATES. Academically, she holds a doctoral degree in Linguistics from Northwestern University, where her research centered on Bilingual Speech Processing, and a bachelor’s degree in Language and Linguistics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she specialized in Conference Interpretation and Translation.

Nattalia resides in the Chicago area with her husband, Mark, and their black cat, Jake.

Vice-Chair & Treasurer

Francesca Samuel
Tucson, AZ
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Term: June 2022 – June 2024

Francesca Samuel is a freelance interpreter/translator and founder and president of A la Carte Translations, a web-based translation business. She has been a member of NAJIT since 1999.

A graduate of the Pima College Translation and Interpreting Program, Ms. Samuel has 20+ yrs. experience as an EOIR contract interpreter and approximately 30 years of experience as a translator.

Francesca is an avid volunteer and passionate about the profession. She has presented on immigration, business management and social media at several annual conferences, including FIT, NAJIT, CFI, ATA and ATI and continues to spread awareness about the working conditions of immigration court interpreters.

She served as administrator of the American Translators Assoc. Spanish Language Division from 2012-2016 as well as president of Arizona Translators and Interpreters (ATI) during the same period.

Currently, Francesca serves on several committees and boards which include Arizona Translators and Interpreters, the ATA Spanish Language Division Professional Development and Hospitality/Public Relations committees, and NAJIT’s Training and Education and Social Media committees.

A proud native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Francesca lived in New York City before moving out West to Los Angeles and eventually settling down in Tucson, AZ with her husband and children.


Andreea Boscor
San Diego, CA
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Term: June 2023 – June 2025

Andreea Boscor is a Federally Certified Interpreter for Spanish, approved interpreter at the Master level by the New Jersey Judiciary for Romanian and Spanish, and ATA-certified for Spanish into English.

Andreea has experience in legal, medical, and conference interpreting, and prior to language work, approximately seven years of experience as a paralegal in insurance defense, commercial litigation, and securities law settings, both in the private sector and government.  She is an active and voting member of NAJIT and ATA and has formerly served as Assistant Administrator and then newsletter editor for the ATA’s Medical Division.

Andreea resided in New Jersey since moving from Romania during her teenage years, then a new opportunity recently brought her to Southern California, where she currently resides. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with concentration in translation and minors in Linguistics and Paralegal Studies from Montclair State University, Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University. Andreea is passionate about lifelong education and advocacy for the interpreting and translation professions.



Term: May 2024 – June 2025



Term: May 2024 – June 2025

Past Board Members

Director & Vice-Chair

Anahit Flanagan, PhD
Waltham, MA

Term: June 2022 – March 2024 (Director June 2022 – June 2023, Vice-Chair June 2023 – March 2024)

Secretary & Chair

Laura McGilvra
Seattle, WA

Term: June 2022 – March 2024 (Secretary June 2022 – June 2023, Chair June 2023 – March 2024)

Director and Chair

Javier Castillo
Greenville, NC

Term: May 2021 – June 2023 (Director, May 2021 –  2022 and Chair June 2022 – 2023)

Treasurer and Vice-Chair

Hilda Zavala-Shymanik
Lake in the Hills, IL

Term: June 2020 – May 2023  (Treasurer June 2020 – 2022, Vice-Chair June 2022-2023)

Director & Chair

Janis Palma
San Antonio, Tx

Term: June 2020 – June 2022
(Director: June 2020 – May 2021, Chair May 2021 – June 2022)

Aimee Benavidea

Director, Chair, &  Secretary

Aimee Benavides
Fresno, CA

Term: September 2017 – June 2022
(Chair: May 2018 – October 2019, Director: October 2019 – May 2019, Chair: May 2019 – June 2020, Secretary May 2021 – June 2022) 

Teresa Salazar

Secretary & Director

Teresa Salazar
Falls Church, VA

Term: June 2018 – June 2022
(Secretary: June 2018 – May 2021, Director: May 2021 – June 2022)

Hebba Abulsaad


Hebba Abulsaad
Nashville, TN

Term: May 2019 – May 2021

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun

Director & Chair

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Term: June 2018 – June 2020
(Director: June 2018 – October 2019, Chair: October 2019 – June 2020)

Claudia Rubio Samulowitz

Secretary & Treasurer

Claudia Rubio Samulowitz
Lafayette, Indiana

Term: June 2018 – June 2020
(Secretary: June 2018 – May 2019, Treasurer: May 2019 – June 2020)

portrait of Hilda Shymanik


Hilda Zavala
New York, New York

Term: July 2016 – May 2019
(Treasurer: May 2017 – May 2019)

Director, Treasurer, & Chair

Gladys Matthews, PhD
Quebec, Canada

Term: March 2016 – June 2018
(Treasurer: March 2016 – May 2017, Chair: September 2017 – June 2018)


Ernest Niño-Murcia
Des Moines, Iowa

Term: May 2016 – June 2018

Interim Director

Julie Sellers, PhD
Atchison, KS

Term: September 2017 – June 2018