Center for the Integration & Advancement of New Americans

Board of Directors

Honorary Directors

Emira Habiby Browne, M.A. - Founder and CEO
 
Emira has over 25 years of experience in social services, with expertise in family and children services, immigrant integration, and cultural competency. In 1993, Emira founded the first Arabic-speaking social services organization in New York City to address the needs of the Arabic-speaking immigrant community. Building on her extensive experience serving a highly traditional immigrant community, Emira founded the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans, CIANA, in 2006. A wider and more inclusive organization, CIANA serves new immigrants from the highly traditional societies of the greater Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. 

Emira has served on several advisory boards and task forces on immigrant issues, including Mayor Guiliani’s Task Force on NYC Police/Community Relations, the Mayor’s Immigration Coalition, NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s Immigration Advisory Council, Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden’s Ethnic Affairs Council, and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Immigrant Advisory Committee. Emira was also a former Board Member of the New York Immigration Coalition, and the Greater Southern Brooklyn Health Coalition.

In recognition of her contributions to the immigrant community and her commitment to the service of others, Emira has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards.  In 1997, she received the Women’s History Month Award by the Brooklyn District Attorney, and the Woman of Achievement Pacesetter Award by the NYC Council. In 1998, Emira received the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Brooklyn Borough President.  In 2000, and again in 2004, Emira received the Outstanding Citizen Award by the NYC Council.  In 2001, she received the prestigious Union Square Award by the Fund for the City of New York, and in 2002, she was the recipient of the Vision in America Award by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Dedication to the Empowerment of Families Award by the Riverside Church, and the Distinguished Service Award from the International Channel Networks.  In 2003, Emira received a Lifetime Achievement Award by her alma mater, Emma Willard School.

In 2007, and again in 2009, Emira was chosen as a Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures for founding two successful immigrant organizations late in her professional career.

In 2004, 2006, and 2011, Emira was selected by the USDOS Bureau of International Information Programs to present her immigrant integration model, and her work with very traditional immigrant communities, to government interlocutors and community leaders in several cities in Spain, Italy, Poland, and Germany. In September and October 2011, Emira was invited to travel to 8 German cities to speak about immigrant integration post 9/11, and how to manage ethnic diversity and multiculturalism ten years after.

Emira holds a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She has pursued Doctoral studies at the London School of Economics/University of London, and at the Hunter College School of Social Work/CUNY.  Emira is a Palestinian-American who was born and raised in the Middle East, speaks Arabic fluently, has traveled extensively, and lived in several countries in Europe and the Middle East.


Madhuri Kumar, Esq. Immigration Attorney
Madhuri is  CUNY School of Law alumni. There, as a member of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic, she worked on a range of immigration issues. Currently, Madhuri assists employers and foreign nationals in obtaining business immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas and family-based immigration matters.  Prior to starting her practice, she worked at a law practice in New York specializing in immigration law. Madhuri is licensed to practice in the State of New York. She is a member of the South Asian Bar Association. Being a member of Indian origin and born and raised in India, Madhuri is fluent in Hindi.

In addition to her practice, she is the Director of the Juvenile docket at the partner non-profit organization, UnLocal, Inc. and represents undocumented youth in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.


Anjali Mangalgiri, LEED AP, Real Estate Developer & City Planner
 
Anjali Mangalgiri is a real estate professional with a background in architecture and urban planning. She serves as a Director at VAM Equity and is presently focusing her energy on a sustainable real estate development business in India.  

She immigrated to the US to attend graduate school at MIT in 2003, where she received her Master in City Planning. She later attended Columbia University for her second masters in Real Estate Development. She has since worked as an urban planner and real estate strategy consultant at HOK in New York, an international architecture practice and a development analyst at Forest City Enterprises, a national real estate developer.

She co-founded Smart Cities Advisors in 2009 to promote sustainable development in developing countries and remains a founding advisory circle member at the social enterprise. She was a TEDx speaker in 2013 where she spoke about the need for sustainable development in India.  Her past projects have been published in the Wall Street Journal online, The Real Deal and World Architecture. 


Honorary Directors

Bryan R. Pu-Folkes, Esq. -Honorary Director
 
Bryan Pu-Folkes is an attorney specializing in immigration law. Mr. Pu-Folkes serves as a member of the Immigration Committee of the New York City Bar Association and serves on the board of the Queens Legal Services Corporation. Mr. Pu-Folkes is the recipient of many awards including the Best Lawyer Under 40 Award by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

In 1999, Mr. Pu-Folkes founded the not-for-profit organization New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Inc. (NICE), a New York City based cross-cultural, not-for-profit immigrant service and advocacy organization. Through community organizing, advocacy and public education, NICE works to ensure that new immigrants are informed, active and influential in civic, governmental and public affairs. Mr. Pu-Folkes also served as a New York City Human Rights Commissioner for three years under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In June 2004 Mr. Pu-Folkes was one of a few New Yorkers who had the honor to carry the Olympic torch through the streets of New York City. Mr. Pu-Folkes graduated with a B.A. in political science from CUNY Queens College and received his J.D. from NYU School of Law.


Harvey S. Mars, Esq. - Honorary Director
 
Harvey S. Mars was born on May 6, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Oberlin College where he majored in political science and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelors of Arts. He also studied trombone at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music for four years as a secondary student. He then attended Albany Law School of Union University and earned a Juris Doctorate in 1985.

Immediately following graduation from law school, Harvey commenced working for several New York City law firms that represented labor unions and employee benefit funds. In 1990, in order to obtain a greater level of understanding and practical experience in labor relations, he enrolled in a Masters program offered jointly by Cornell University’s Industrial Labor Relations School and Baruch College’s School of Business. In 1995, Harvey earned a Masters of Science in Industrial Labor Relations and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, an Honorary Society for business school students who have achieved high academic achievement. His Master’s Thesis, “An Overview of Title I of The Americans With Disabilities Act and its Impact on Federal Labor Law,” was published in the 1995 Volume of the Hofstra Labor Law Journal.

In 1996, Harvey commenced working with the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802, as one of its counsel. He had in fact been a member of this Union since 1994. He also writes a regular column, The Legal Corner, for Allegro, Local 802’s official newspaper. He prides himself on providing quality low cost legal representation to professional musicians and recording artists.

In 2003, Harvey formed the Law Office of Harvey Mars, LLC and commenced practicing law as a sole practitioner.

Harvey has written extensively and serves as an Editor for BNA’s Treatise, “Employee and Union member Guide to Labor Law,” and is also a per diem lecturer at Baruch College and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. He is active in the New York State Bar Association, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and the National Employment Lawyer’s Association.


Hon. Una S.T. Clarke, C.D., DLitt - Honorary Director
 
The Hon. Una S.T. Clarke, the first Caribbean-born woman elected to the city’s legislature, is a proven and dedicated leader whose hard work and tireless advocacy have brought remarkable changes to her community.

She was elected in 1991 and during her 10 years tenure she sponsored more than 300 pieces of legislation on a wide range of issues including child welfare, education, health/mental health, economic development, public safety and transportation.

Her portfolio in the Council included committees on Aging, Youth Services and Economic Development, Health, General Welfare and she also chaired the Council’s committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. She was an active member of the Council’s Black and Hispanic Caucus.

Dr. Clarke directed millions of dollars for education, health/mental health, and economic development to her district, and pursued the implementation of critical projects and programs through her ability to win help and support from labor, government, community and business leaders. An educator by profession, she has leveraged millions of dollars to upgrade schools in her district, and has made them technologically ready for the 21st century with computer labs in every school and a model program for multi-media instruction. Dr. Clarke also fought to expand services for the elderly, rebuild parks and playgrounds and increase quality childcare programs.

Sensitive to the needs of immigrants, Dr. Clarke has led campaigns for citizenship and voter registration to enable her constituents to receive greater rights and benefits. In response to flaws in the new immigration law, Dr. Clarke led a delegation to Washington, D.C., to educate Congress for changes that would make the law more just for all immigrants. In addition, Dr. Clarke is a tireless advocate and supporter of U.S. foreign policy towards the Caribbean, especially on issues of trade.

In 1992, Dr. Clarke served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was later appointed as a delegate to the Electoral College, where she cast her vote to elect President Clinton. In 1996, she was one of six New Yorkers appointed to the National Platform Committee of the Democratic Party. She received high accolades from the Democratic Party for her savvy and commitment to issues that are important to her Brooklyn constituents.

Dr. Clarke holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University and a Masters of Education degree from New York University, with additional post-graduate studies at Teachers College and the School of Business at Columbia University. In 1984, she was the first foreign-born recipient of Columbia’s prestigious Revson Fellowship. She has been honored with numerous awards from both community and professional organizations. In 1999 she received the second highest honor that a civilian can receive from the Government of Jamaica. She was awarded the Commander of the Order of Distinction (C.D.), for distinguished service for Jamaicans and Caribbeans nationals in North America. Dr. Clarke is the first Caribbean-born woman to receive the prestigious 2001 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In November 2005, she received the honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology in Jamaica.

Most recently, Dr. Clarke served as the Empire State Development Corporation Director of Economic Development for the borough of Brooklyn.

Dr. Clarke was born in the parish of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Clarke migrated to the United States as a foreign student in 1958. She is married to Leslie Clarke Sr. They have two children, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and television producer Leslie Clarke Jr., and three grandchildren.