Board of Directors

Officers of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators

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Laura McGilvra
Seattle, WA
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Term: June 2022 – June 2024

I am a Washington State Court certified Mandarin Chinese interpreter. I have a Master’s degree in Conference Interpretation and have taught interpretation at Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Most of the work I do involves conference interpretation, business meetings and negotiations. In the past couple of years, I have done more judiciary interpretation than before. I studied Journalism in college and earned a degree for it. I also have a nursing degree and was a registered nurse.

I am from Taiwan originally. I worked on small farms growing up, and in factories during summer vacations, earning my own tuition when I was going to school there. I think my working while growing up helped build a character of hard work and perseverance, besides I loved being able to work to contribute to my very humble family.

I am an active person, so other than continuing to improve my knowledge and skills related to my professional work, I also enjoy hiking, traveling, gardening, playing the piano, baking, and fencing. I also love to sit down and listen to good podcasts and read a book, especially books with good stories and good endings. I love animals, especially dogs!


Anahit Flanagan, PhD
Waltham, MA
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Term: June 2022 – June 2024

Anahit Flanagan is a professional interpreter and educator with more than four decades of experience. She specializes in judiciary and medical interpreter services.

Anahit has worked extensively in state and federal court settings across a number of jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, New York, Arizona and Washington State. She has worked on high profile and sensitive court cases and is highly specialised in the areas of medical and legal interpretation. Anahit is actively developing two comprehensive trilingual medical and legal glossaries for interpreters. As an educator and coach, Anahit has taught students and professionals of all ages and experience levels in the Armenian and Russian languages. She has extensive experience preparing interpreters to work in immigration and naturalization services. She has developed and implemented Russian language curricula and assessments for students of all ages. Anahit has also provided oral and written translation services and has edited books, workbooks, audio and video material.

Anahit holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics from Moscow State University of Linguistics, a Master of Arts in Russian from Boston College, and a Bachelor of Education in English as well as a Bachelor of Education in Russian from Brusov Yerevan State University of Languages and Social Sciences in Armenia.


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.


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.


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

Nattalia has over twenty years of experience as a freelance Portuguese translator and conference interpreter. She has had the opportunity to work extensively in multiple settings, such as corporate and academic conferences and meetings, clinical trials, and government and diplomacy events, the latter through her appointment as a U.S. Department of State interpreter.

Nattalia became a member of NAJIT in 2018 and, since then, she has been strongly focused on judiciary interpretation. She is certified in over 10 states and is professionally qualified to interpret for the U.S. federal courts.

Nattalia is also a member of several other professional associations in the Unites States and Brazil, including the American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS), the American Translators Association (ATA), the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (MATI), the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA), the Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association (CHICATA), the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), and the Brazilian Association of Translators and Interpreters (ABRATES). She holds a doctoral degree in Linguistics from Northwestern University, where she conducted research 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 lives in the Chicago area with her husband Mark and her black cat Jake.

Past Board Members

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