Welcome to Our Association

About Us

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators promotes the highest professional standards in legal interpreting. Professional legal interpreting is required to ensure due process, equal protection and equal access to the administration of justice for non-English or limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Judiciary interpreters work in court settings, but also out of court, when the proceedings may have legal consequences. For example, professional legal interpreters are required for accurate interpretation during depositions, administrative hearings or attorney-client interviews. Professional legal interpreters are also used in law enforcement investigations, or in the review, transcription and translation of recorded evidence

NAJIT members include judiciary interpreters and translators, as well as conference, community and medical interpreters. NAJIT boasts a growing number of interpreters who work between English and American Sign Language (ASL), and counts among its members judicial officers and administrators, language service providers, academics and interpreting and translation students. While most of our membership resides in the U.S, some members live and work in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Anyone with an interest in the field of legal interpreting and translating or who shares NAJIT’s interests and objectives is welcome to join.

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NAJIT Board of Directors

Click on any photo or Board member name for Bio and contact information

Hilda Shymanik


Aimee Benavides


Management Company

Rob Cruz

Executive Director

Susan Cruz, CFP®



Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, Inc.

SSTI is a 501(c)(3) educational organization of NAJIT founded and incorporated in the state of New York in 1997.


The Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI) seeks to promote authoritative research in translation and interpretation that will contribute to the knowledge base of the field and will advance best practices in the profession. Given its affiliation with the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), this research focuses mainly on legal and judiciary interpreting and translation.

Our mission is to contribute to the body of knowledge on judiciary interpreting and translating by supporting scholarly research that will in turn serve to enhance the training, education, and performance of judiciary interpreters and translators.

Our vision is that of a corps of professional judiciary interpreters and translators possessing strong skills and knowledge acquired in solid, research-based academic programs.


NAJIT was created in 1979 to promote the highest ethical and performance standards in the profession, including the development of educational activities to further these standards among judiciary interpreters and translators whose field experience ranged from completely inexperienced novices to fully-vetted professionals. Also part of the mission was creating an instrument designed by active members of the profession and validated by competency assessment experts to measure and certify the performance of judiciary interpreters and translators.

SSTI, created in 1997, was already conducting educational activities for NAJIT when the association’s certification exam development process began in 1999. Keeping these two activities separate—educating and testing—was one of the requirements to maintain the validity of NAJIT’s credentialing process, pursuant to the Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), now the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). And so while SSTI focused on this credential, NAJIT took over the educational program. Since then, and throughout the years, both of these programs have undergone many transformations in response to shifting priorities for both NAJIT and SSTI Board members.


SSTI is embarking on new projects intended to benefit NAJIT’s members and make contributions to the professions of judiciary interpreting and legal translation.

We are currently working with researchers at Heriot-Watt University (Scotland) to produce a comprehensive review of the current scholarly literature on legal and judiciary interpreting. Following our call for proposals, SSTI entrusted this project to Eloísa Monteoliva, a 3rd-year PhD student working on police interpreting, and her supervisors, Prof. Ursula Böser and Prof. Jemina Napier. We are confident that their work will be of great value to the NAJIT community. Please check our website again in July to read the annotated bibliography that they are preparing!

In the near future we expect to have more calls for proposals for new projects. Stay tuned!


The Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation is a 501(c)3 foundation created to address concerns about the quality of translation and interpretation services provided to LEPs in judiciary, quasi-judiciary and law enforcement settings.  SSTI sponsors scholarly research and publications intended to advance best practices in translation and interpretation, supports the development of scientific knowledge on oral and written language mediation, collaborates in the development of research-based training programs for courts, law-enforcement, administrative bodies, and related entities to ensure the best use of translator and interpreter services, and is a clearinghouse for research on translation and interpretation issues.

SSTI Has Four Goals:

1 To be a source of research funding to support best practices in legal translation and interpretation.

2 To promote authoritative research on legal translation and interpretation.

3 To collaborate in the development of research-based training guidelines for English-speaking end-users of interpreter services that will ensures the highest efficiency and effectiveness.

4 To be a nationally recognized source of information, statistics, and data-based research on legal translation and interpreting issues.


SSTI’s work to advance scholarly research in the field of judiciary translation and interpretation would not be possible without your support. Please consider donating to SSTI to help us continue to achieve our goals!

SSTI Board of Directors

Janis Palma


Aída Martínez-Gómez, PhD

Vice President

Susan Berk-Seligson, PhD


Melissa Wallace, PhD


NAJIT 2017 Elections: Call for Nominations

NAJIT’s Nomination Committee is pleased to announce the call for nominations for our annual elections. The terms of current Chair of the board Esther Navarro-Hall and Interim Director Hilda Shymanik expire on May 20, 2017.  Both members will seek reelection to the board. No board members will be leaving due to term limits. However, Mrs. Navarro-Hall has reached term limits as Chair. Elections will take place during our Annual Meeting on May 20th, 2017 at the Hilton McLean Tyson’s Corner in the greater DC area during the annual conference.

Who is Eligible?

Under NAJIT’s Bylaws, any Active member who attains two years of continuous membership as an Active Member in good standing as of February 20th, 2017, shall be eligible for nomination to the Board of Directors.

All NAJIT officers and directors serve on a volunteer basis.

Nomination Deadline

Members are invited to submit nominations to the Nominations Committee comprised of Heidi Cazes-Sevilla and Carmen Febres-Cordero. Nominations must be received before close of business on February 20, 2017.

How does the Nomination Process Work?

Members may nominate themselves or may be nominated by fellow members. Please note, however, that the Nominations Committee has the responsibility of proposing the names of candidates for the election to the members, taking into account the need to ensure, to the extent possible, a balanced slate as far as language, geographical location and professional activities are concerned. Only members who meet the criteria above – who have been active members continuously and in good standing since December 2015- may be nominated to the Board of Directors. Members uncertain of their status may verify with headquarters.

All nominations must include a short biography. The nominations committee will contact the nominee and provide a short questionnaire to be completed and returned to the committee prior to the deadline.  Please e-mail all nominations to the Nominations Committee at: nominations2017@najit.org

If you plan to put names forward for nomination, please contact the potential nominees first, explaining your intention and the fact that a nomination does not guarantee a formal invitation to run for office. Please do not nominate colleagues who express serious concerns about service or who have conflicting priorities.

NAJIT Governance

Elections are an excellent opportunity to help shape the future of NAJIT. Membership and member involvement are vital to furthering NAJIT’s mission.