Board of Directors

Officers of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators

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Aimee Benavidea

Chair

Aimee Benavides
Fresno, California
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Term: September 2017 – June 2020

Aimee Benavides is a Federally Certified and California Court Certified Spanish Interpreter. She has over 16 years of experience as an interpreter having been a full-time staff interpreter and currently as a freelance interpreter. She lives in Central California with her husband and 2 children. She is passionate about the profession and enjoys seeing all that can be accomplished when we work together. She states that the keys to success both for individual interpreters as well as the association include education, specialization, diversification, marketing, appropriate use of technology and outreach to clients including Bench and Bar. As a NAJIT member she looks forward to helping the Association move forward to improve transparency and member participation and confidence.

Teresa Salazar

Secretary

Teresa Salazar
Falls Church, Virginia
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Term: June 2018 – June 2020

Teresa Salazar has been a practicing professional interpreter and translator for over 30 years, with a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. For 11 years, she was a free-lance interpreter working with the U.S. Department of State and other international organizations, as well as working with law enforcement on Title IIIs involving on-site interpretation and transcription and translation. Ms. Salazar has also worked with the National Center for State Courts’ State Court Interpreter Certification, as well as being actively involved with the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination since the mid-90s. Currently, she is the Director of Interpreting Services at the US District Court for the District of Columbia where she recruits, contracts, and provides orientations as needed for interpreters, and also supervises her court’s participation in the federal Telephone Interpreting Program (TIP) which assists federal courts around the country which have limited access to qualified interpreters. From 2013 to 2017, she was an instructor in interpreting and translation at the University of Maryland’s Program in Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation. Teresa has been an active member of the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) chairing the Subcommittee on Skill Level Descriptions for Interpretation Performance, and worked on the ILR Skill Level Descriptions for Audio Translation Performance among other activities. Additionally, she participated on behalf of NAJIT on the original American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) drafting committee of the Standard Guide for Language Interpretation, and then participated independently on the drafting committee of the recently passed Standard Practice for Language Interpretation. Currently she is working on the drafting of a standard for interpreter testing, also under the auspices of ASTM.

Claudia Rubio Samulowitz

Treasurer

Claudia Rubio Samulowitz
Lafayette, Indiana
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Term: June 2018 – June 2020

Claudia was born and raised in Mexico and has lived in the United States for over thirty years. She believes Continuing Education is key to achieving a high level of professional expertise and encourages her colleagues to share their knowledge with other members of our profession. By practicing what she preaches, she earned her Federal Court Certification in 2005, passing both exams on her first try. She is also certified in the states of California, Indiana and Ohio and a Certified Trainer by SSTI/NAJIT, and CCC’s The Language of Justice, as well as one of the firsts Instructors for the Indiana Court Certification Program. Her interpreting career has allowed her to work all over the United States, in Mexico and Nicaragua. She has done extensive Forensic Transcription Translation work and is a very active member of various Social Media professional groups, where she enjoys participating, learning from her colleagues and sharing her points of view.

Hebba Abulsaad

Director

Hebba Abulsaad
Nashville, TN
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Term: May 2019 – May 2021

Born and raised in Egypt, Hebba Abulsaad (aka Heba Abouelsaad) has been a freelance interpreter, translator, lecturer, and program manager for more than 25 years. She received a primary and secondary bilingual education in a British school in Egypt, and holds a Bachelor of Science in History, Archeology, and Egyptology from Alexandria University. In a society whose customs and traditions have not been supportive of professional women, Hebba had to work diligently to advance her career in her native country. This adversity empowered Hebba to develop a combination of firmness, perseverance and sensibility that have proven an asset to building solid relationships, both in her personal life and in business. Hebba’s interpretation and translation experience began overseas, and she spent two decades serving as a client liaison for businesses, both independent and corporate. This experience granted Hebba the platform to work for organizations such as the National Geographic and Rotary International. Hebba is a people-person and is able to interact and achieve transparency in communication by bridging cultural gaps. She takes great pride in her work and her commitment to leaving a positive lasting impression in everyone that crosses her path. In the USA, Hebba has been practicing Arabic >< English legal, medical, and community interpreting in all modalities (in person, over-the-phone, and video remote interpreting) as well as performing Arabic >< English translations for more than 10 years. She is an Arabic Certified Court Interpreter in Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, as well as a national Arabic Certified Healthcare InterpreterTM. As a Board Member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators (TAPIT) since 2017, Hebba has served as an at-large member and as the organization’s Election Chair. Currently she serves as the secretary of the organization. She is also a Certified Credentialed Interpreter by the American Translators’ Association (ATA), and an Associate Member of ATA and its divisions since 2015.  When not working or volunteering, Hebba enjoys decorating her home, watching movies, being outdoors and visiting with her close friends.

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun

Director

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Term: June 2018 – June 2020

Armando has degrees in Spanish Language and Literature, Psychology, and International Studies. He has been interpreting professionally since 1999 and became state certified as a court interpreter in 2000 and federally certified in 2002. In 2012 he became certified by NAJIT as a Judiciary interpreter and Translator. He is also an ATA-certified translator who served as Administrator of ATA’s Interpreters’ Division. He is a Licensed Health Care Interpreting Trainer and has contributed to the creation of the CCHI national certification exam. He has worked in the industry side of the profession, first as a Director of Quality Assurance and then as a Director of Programs for a major LSP. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he is a Professor of Interpretation and Translation Studies at La Salle University. He regularly speaks and has published on topics of interest to the profession. He is interested in hearing your ideas as to how to help strengthen, by promoting and defending the profession while representing it with the input and support of fellow NAJIT members.

Past Board Members

portrait of Hilda Shymanik

Treasurer

Hilda Shymanik
New York, New York

Term: July 2016 – May 2019

Chair

Gladys Matthews, PhD
Quebec, Canada

Term: March 2016 – June 2018

Secretary

Ernest Niño-Murcia
Des Moines, Iowa

Term: May 2016 – June 2018

Interim Director

Julie Sellers, PhD
Atchison, KS

Term: September 2017 – June 2018