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Tahirih is proud to welcome three distinguished members to its Board of Directors. Marjorie De La Cruz, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel at PepsiCo Inc., Matthew Dowell, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, and Michelle Montes, an Audit Partner at Ernst & Young, will begin their service on Feb. 24.

“Tahirih’s holistic approach to ending gender-based violence not only protects immigrant women and girls, but helps transform society as a whole. I’m honored to join this amazing organization, and I look forward to working with everyone at Tahirih to help empower survivors to reach their fullest potential,” shared Marjorie De La Cruz, a new board member and the Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel at PepsiCo.

With offices in Baltimore, Greater DC, and Houston, Tahirih stands alone as the only national, multi-city organization providing a broad range of direct legal services, public policy advocacy, and community education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence.

“Our newest board members will play an invaluable role as we look to increase the number of women and girls Tahirih serves. Their passion for ending violence against women combined with their skills and expertise will be a tremendous asset to the organization as we think thoughtfully about Tahirih’s national expansion,” said Tahirih Founder and Executive Director Layli Miller-Muro.

The Tahirih Board of Directors plays a crucial role in supporting and guiding the organization. Its members provide issue-area expertise surrounding the legal challenges faced by Tahirih’s clients and contribute significant management, consulting, policy, and fundraising experience.

Members include an array of professionals working in law, corporate, and nonprofit sectors from around the country. All have chosen to dedicate their time and knowledge to helping Tahirih protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence.

“The demand for Tahirih’s services is greater than ever,” said Paul Glist, Tahirih Board Chair and Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. “Vulnerable immigrant women and girls across the country are in dire need of Tahirih’s transformative services. We are proud today to welcome our three newest members to help us think strategically about Tahirih’s necessary expansion and to continue this lifesaving work.”


Marjorie De La CruzMarjorie De La Cruz
De La Cruz is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, Global Groups and Functions at PepsiCo Inc. Among her current responsibilities, De La Cruz serves as the General Counsel’s lead lawyer on critical projects. De La Cruz is admitted to practice in the State of New York and is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the National Hispanic Bar Association. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and currently resides in New Rochelle, NY with her husband and twin boys.

Mathew DowellMatthew Dowell
Dowell is a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young. He has more than 16 years of experience serving a variety of governmental and commercial clients around the world with a focus on strategic risk, risk management, and business optimization. Specifically, he focuses on media, broadcast, and telecommunications clients. Prior to Ernst & Young, he was a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche where he worked with some of Deloitte’s largest clients, providing regulatory analysis and compliance services, strategic risk management, and financial reporting services.

Michelle MontesMichelle Montes
Montes is an Ernst & Young audit partner with over 20 years of experience in public accounting serving a variety of industries focusing primarily in real estate and private equity. Montes has extensive experience serving both public and private REITS and real estate funds investing in various asset types, including multifamily, office, industrial, retail, data center, healthcare, and hotel properties. She serves on the Executive Committee of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Ball, as the partner sponsor of the annual United Way Campaign, and on the Accounting Advisory Council of the School of Business at George Mason University.