Executive Officers

Anne (Анна) Smith

Executive Director and Regulatory Counsel

Anne is a Ukrainian-born attorney focused on immigration law and policy. She publishes guidance for legal practitioners and the general public on various immigration topics. In her immigration practice, she advises individuals, families, and organizations on immigration pathways, humanitarian protections, and access to benefits. As a stakeholder in the Ukrainian-American community, Anne interacts regularly with federal agencies, nonprofits, and key leaders to share input and legal updates affecting Ukrainian immigration and resettlement.

With experience in government, business, and private practice, she understands the interplay between private sector goals and public sector directives. This helps her shape more effective advocacy solutions to address immigration inefficiencies and dysfunctions that harm displaced Ukrainians. She also manages strategic partnerships and projects that provide outreach and educational resources to Ukrainians and their support networks.

Anne’s expertise includes immigration, administrative law, financial and securities regulation, contracts and commercial transactions, organizational compliance, and corporate governance. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Anne is based in Washington, D.C. and volunteers as a pro bono attorney with Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Alek Beynenson

Director of Online Communications

Alek is a regulatory compliance and litigation attorney based in New York and Florida. His practice focuses on representing healthcare professionals in regulatory matters, insurance disputes, and civil racketeering.

As a founding member of the Ukraine Immigration Task Force, Alek champions numerous immigration causes and opportunities for those who come to the United States to rebuild their lives. He has worked tirelessly to improve access to humanitarian protections and benefits for individuals and families seeking refuge. He also collaborates with volunteer organizations that assist immigrants and helps new arrivals from Ukraine establish a solid foothold in the United States. His efforts have helped streamline the application process for employment authorizations, Temporary Protected Status, and various other benefits.

Alek oversees the Task Force’s web presence and technical communications, ensuring that vital information is available to Ukrainians, their families, their legal representatives, and organizations that assist them. He also manages the web design, development, and interactive elements while optimizing to improve accessibility.

Governing Board

Olha Khomyak

Immigration Attorney, Khomyak Law
Chairwoman of the Board and Community Education Advisor

Olha Khomyak (Olga) is an experienced immigration attorney based in New York City and serving clients in all U.S. states. As a Ukrainian-American herself who emigrated from Lviv, she understands the legal, logistical, and personal challenges facing new arrivals — particularly those in vulnerable situations. She is highly knowledgeable in humanitarian and family-based immigration, representing clients with difficult circumstances get favorable results.

When she’s not advocating tirelessly for her clients’ cases, Olga is an activist for Ukrainian and immigrant-rights causes, including Razom for Ukraine, where she volunteers with legal and humanitarian efforts. As Community Education Advisor to the Ukraine Immigration Task Force, she produces and shares educational guidance in legal clinics, webinars, and on social media forums.

Anne (Анна) Smith

Executive Board Member

Alek Beynenson

Executive Board Member

Iryna Mazur

Immigration Attorney, Mazur Law Firm
Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Iryna is a partner at the Mazur Law Firm, PC, which has represented clients in family immigration, foreign investment-based immigration, and removal proceedings for two decades. She serves clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and other areas. Prior to emigrating from her native Lviv, Iryna practiced law in Ukraine where she held various positions, including working at the Antimonopoly Committee of the Lviv Region.

She was appointed to the post of Honorary Consul of Ukraine to Philadelphia in July 2019. Her services include facilitating economic, educational, and cultural exchanges between Ukraine and Pennsylvania and the greater Philadelphia area; protecting the interests of Ukrainian citizens while in Pennsylvania and/or the greater Philadelphia area; supporting the Ukrainian diaspora community and organizations at large; and acting as liaison for official government and business delegations from Ukraine.

Iryna has been very active in the Ukrainian community in the United States and volunteers for various humanitarian causes. She is Vice president and Director of the Advocacy and Information program for the Ukrainian Federation of America. In addition, she has been a longtime volunteer for Razom for Ukraine. She was also appointed and previously served as an advisor to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations and the Foreign Relations Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Evgenia Sorokina

Immigration Attorney, Law Offices of Evgenia Sorokina
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Evgenia has been practicing law for over 20 years and has over 10 years of experience in immigration law, where she focuses on employment and investment-based immigration. She also serves clients with family-based adjustment of status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), U Visas, and asylum. In addition to her immigration practice, her expertise includes commercial transactions, corporate law, and business regulatory matters, which she practiced in the United States and Russia. She has represented domestic and international clients across such industries as real estate, financial services, oil and gas, construction, telecommunications, and cryptocurrencies.

While representing Ukrainians in obtaining legal statuses and documentation, Evgenia saw firsthand the malfunctions and inefficiencies of the current U.S. immigration system that prevented Ukrainians from quickly seeking safety and security in the United States. This prompted her to take a lead role in the Ukraine Immigration Task Force’s congressional advocacy efforts to bring about immediate and long-term reforms to the U.S. immigration framework.

In addition to her work with Ukrainians, Evgenia has been a longtime pro bono attorney for Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Washington, where she assists indigent clients with humanitarian cases. She is fluent in Russian, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Oksana Bandrivska

Immigration Attorney, Bandrivska P.C.
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Oksana Bandrivska is a seasoned immigration attorney with over a decade of experience advising individual and corporate clients. Originally from Drohobych (Lviv Oblast), she started her legal career in Kyiv, where she clerked in the Kyiv court system, interned for the prosecutor’s office, and served as in-house counsel at a leading Ukrainian bank. Her broad range of expertise includes family reunification, employment-based immigration, student programs, adjustment of status, and naturalization. She often assists traders, investors, business creators, advanced degree holders, and persons with extraordinary ability to pursue different types of work visas and green cards.

As a Practice Advisor for the Ukraine Immigration Task Force, Oksana provides expert legal analysis on complex immigration topics, as well as practical guidance on handling unique situations encountered by Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States.

Oksana believes that every person should have an equal chance to pursue a family, business, and personal realization in the United States. She is active in the Ukrainian community of greater New York City, where she helps conduct immigration clinics and webinars. She is also an active volunteer with Razom for Ukraine and advocates for Ukrainian causes. She is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, with additional proficiency in Polish.

Evan Taras Bokshan

Immigration Attorney, Bokshan Law Firm
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Evan Taras is a Ukrainian-American attorney at the Bokshan Law Firm and has almost two decades of experience representing clients in a variety of immigration matters. His Connecticut-based practice covers all aspects of employment and family-based immigration, as well as naturalization and citizenship. His clients include private individuals and global manufacturing companies, information technology corporations, start-ups, universities, investors, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs.

Since the Ukraine Immigration Task Force was formed, Evan Taras has taken a key role in advising legal practitioners on nuanced immigration law issues and helping find solutions to difficult cases. A native of Lviv, he is fluent in Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian. He has represented numerous Ukrainian families arriving to Connecticut since the beginning of the war.

He is also committed to Ukrainian causes and actively fundraises to benefit various Ukrainian efforts. To contact him, email [email protected].

Ellen Freeman

Immigration Attorney, Ellen Freeman Immigration Law Group
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Ellen is the founding partner of Ellen Freeman Immigration Law Group, a Pittsburgh-based immigration firm focused on the needs of the business, manufacturing, academia, robotics, emerging technology, pharma, healthcare, and arts sectors. A native of Odesa, Ellen came to the United States as a refugee 30 years ago — a journey that took over 15 years to complete. As a single mom with a young daughter, she worked multiple jobs in whatever role she could find to make ends meet, eventually putting herself through law school before working at international law firms and starting her own boutique practice.

With fluency in multiple languages and over 20 years of experience in all facets of employment-based immigration, Ellen has been recognized for her expertise as the Lawyer of the Year for 2022 by Best Lawyers in America and Thought Leader by Who’s Who in Corporate Immigration. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

Freeman served on the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) between 2018 and 2021 and was Chair of AILA’s Global Migration Section. She currently serves on AILA’s Business Immigration Taskforce and Law 360’s Editorial Board for Immigration Law. Ellen has continuously given back to the Pittsburgh community that took her in by assisting pro bono clients, leading educational initiatives, and volunteering with local civic associations.

Christina Tershakovec

Civil Litigation Attorney, Burns White
Board Member and Advocacy Advisor

Christina is a civil litigation attorney with Burns White LLC in Philadelphia, where she practices in the areas of healthcare, long-term care, and products liability. She has extensive experience representing a variety of healthcare providers in significant medical malpractice matters. She has also represented defendants in mass tort litigation and has worked with national counsel to manage and coordinate nationwide litigation, and to maintain consistency across varied jurisdictions.

Christina is an active member of the Philadelphia area Ukrainian community and is fluent in Ukrainian. She is on the Board of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA), where she helps organize educational events and advocates for the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States. As an Advocacy Advisor, she helps shape the Task Force’s policy initiatives and strategies to raise awareness of issues facing the Ukrainian community.

Anna Putintseva

Business and Immigration Attorney, Bousquet Holstein
Board Member and Practice Advisor

Anna is a Ukrainian-born corporate and immigration attorney for Bousquet Holstein PLLC, where she represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, commercial transactions, and business immigration. Her immigration expertise includes representing businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, startups, and employees; assisting academic researchers, professors, international medical graduates, physicians, and individuals of extraordinary ability in obtaining immigration benefits; advising on I-9 employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement issues; PERM Labor Certification; temporary work visas; transitioning from from a student to professional visa; adjustment of status; and naturalization.

Prior to joining Bousquet Holstein, Anna acquired significant international experience while practicing law for over a decade at the Kyiv office of an international law firm. She advised multinational and Ukrainian companies on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and various business transactions, enabling her to assist clients with their cross-border matters. She is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian.

Anna’s interest in immigration law stems from her belief in the positive impact immigrants make to American society and her desire to help people achieve their goals in the new country. To help new generations of immigrants, she holds clinics and information sessions for the Ukrainian-American community in Syracuse. She is also a pro bono attorney with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, an immigration clinic serving Central New York.

Support Team

Julia Honchar

Marketing and Outreach Specialist

Julia (Yuliia) is a native of Kharkiv, where she worked as a digital marketing specialist after graduating with distinction from the Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics with a degree in Computer Science. Having worked for multiple companies based in the U.S. and U.K., she is fluent in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

With extensive experience in customer relations, digital communications, and marketing strategy, Julia helps the Ukraine Immigration engage with the Ukrainian and American communities by sharing news, events, and other relevant information on social media. She also drafts translations of important legal developments and educational articles on immigration and related topics.

A recent arrival to the United States herself, Julia helps support other Ukrainians resettling in the greater New York and New Jersey areas by providing practical advice and valuable resources to become self-sufficient.

Carl Trebbe-Haas

Legal Intern

Carl is a rising second-year law student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies, from Kent State University in 2023. As the descendant of European immigrants who prospered in America after fleeing the devastation of the Napoleonic Wars, he is passionate about ensuring similar opportunities remain open to those who seek to build a life in this country.

Residing in Parma, Ohio, Carl is active in the state’s largest Ukrainian-American community and has participated in numerous advocacy efforts in support of increasing United States aid to Ukraine. While working in the restaurant industry prior to law school, he developed an intense appreciation for culinary traditions worldwide and a firm belief in food and drink as a powerful tool to bridge cultural divides.

As the Task Force’s Legal Intern, Carl helps provide technical support on U.S. immigration laws and procedures to Ukrainians fleeing the war and those who assist them. In addition to researching immigration regulations for the Task Force’s educational materials, he also works on advocacy projects aimed at expanding avenues for displaced Ukrainians to pursue permanent residence in the United States.

Volunteer Liaisons

Joy Ziegeweid

Senior Advisor and Liaison

Joy is an immigration attorney based in New York City and one of the founders of the Ukraine Immigration Task Force. In addition to her position as supervising immigration attorney at the Urban Justice Center Domestic Violence Project, she is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative and serves as I-ARC’s liaison to the Ukraine Immigration Task Force.

Joy is also a co-founder of Legal Information Network for Ukraine, a nonprofit organization that provides free immigration legal information, consultations, and webinars to people displaced by the war in Ukraine. She is active in local and national immigration advocacy and frequently trains and presents on topics relating to humanitarian immigration remedies.

Julia Bikbova

Advocacy and Policy Liaison

Julia is a Chicago-based attorney with over 17 years of practice experience in immigration, civil litigation, employment, white collar criminal defense, and international law. An accomplished figure skater in her native Ukraine, she continued to compete professionally after immigrating to the United States, earning a spot on the U.S. National Figure Skating Team.

A relentless advocate for human rights, Julia has represented internationally renowned athletes fleeing persecution, entrepreneurs jailed for opposing the government, and Holocaust survivors, among others. She brings her zeal for advocacy to her many Ukrainian clients by helping them with asylum cases, short-term humanitarian protection, and long-term pathways to permanent residence. She is active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Co-Chair of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association’s Section on Immigration Law.

Svitlana Iva-Ugryn

Advocacy and Media Liaison

Svitlana is a Chicago-based attorney serving individuals and businesses with immigration needs. A native of Ivano-Frankivsk, she has helped re-settle hundreds of Ukrainians in the greater Chicago area and is a vocal activist for Ukrainian causes. When she’s not zealously advocating for clients, she uses her extensive experience as a journalist to write letters to editors and elected officials about challenges faced by displaced Ukrainians. A member of numerous social and professional organizations, she engages in educational efforts to raise awareness about pressing issues and pursue humanitarian protections for those seeking refuge. An avid cultural ambassador, she can frequently be found promoting Ukrainian art, literature, and fashion with her family.

Vera Serova

Regulatory Liaison

Vera is a Los Angeles-based attorney focused on corporate, entertainment, and intellectual property law. As a skilled litigator, she has asserted the rights of consumers in the music industry while defending artistic freedom in television and motion picture production. Outside of the courtroom, she uses her passion for the law to fight for social justice and immigrants’ rights.

Recognizing the need to help displaced Ukrainians find safety and trusted information immediately following the Russian invasion, she assisted tens of thousands of vulnerable individuals at the U.S.-Mexico border with guidance and critical resources. A dedicated volunteer for Nova Ukraine — one of the leading organizations providing disaster and humanitarian relief to Ukrainians inside and outside of Ukraine — Vera helped create a comprehensive refugee resettlement portal on Nova Ukraine’s website. In addition to managing content and up-to-date legal developments for the portal, she spearheads initiatives in the Ukrainian community to help educate and serve new arrivals with legal assistance.

Vera actively communicates with regulatory agencies to resolve challenging cases and address systemic issues in immigration processes. She also proactively conducts outreach to Ukrainians through various social media channels to provide accurate information and combat immigration fraud.

Liza Gutina

Resettlement Liaison

Liza is the co-founder of Svitlo, an information and resource hub for Ukrainian newcomers and their sponsors in the United States. A refugee herself, she has dedicated her business, technology, and management training to helping other refugees find meaningful support and accurate information on their journey to stability.

While assisting almost 20,000 Ukrainians at the U.S. border between March and April 2022, she became frustrated at the lack of coordinated information presented to Ukrainian newcomers, their U.S. supporters, and even the government agencies and nonprofits that assist them. To address this fragmentation and lack of consistency about immigration and public benefits, she helped found Svitlo with the goal of bringing information transparency and resource coordination to the Ukrainian refugee resettlement effort. Svitlo scrutinizes the complex landscape of government and nonprofit resources to collect relevant information and present it simply and intuitively in multiple languages.

She engages regularly with regulatory agencies, policymakers, community leaders, and refugee assistance groups to learn critical updates and obtain valuable perspectives from various stakeholders. She helps inform the Ukraine Immigration Task Force of issues facing new arrivals while sharing successful initiatives from her vast network of resettlement partners.

Peter Gorvitz

Social Services Liaison

Peter is a co-founder of the Jersey City Vigil for Refugees (JCVR), a volunteer grassroots organization providing assistance for refugees in one of the busiest resettlement destinations of the greater New York City area. JCVR was founded in 2016 to provide a friendly presence, act as a cultural liaison, and make a difference for human rights by aiding families that have survived the worst forms of inhumanity. Peter became active in immigration initiatives when millions of refugees fleeing Syria faced obstacles finding support and resources in the United States.

As a refugee case worker for Church World Service, one of the nation’s largest resettlement agencies, he has firsthand knowledge of the health and welfare issues facing immigrant communities, as well as procedural challenges to obtaining benefits. Since the early days of the war in Ukraine, Peter has assisted Ukrainian refugees and advocated for improved access to services. Through his interaction with local governments, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations, Peter helps the Ukraine Immigration Task Force develop ties to the refugee, resettlement, and support communities in New York and New Jersey. When he’s not organizing fundraisers, tutoring families in English, or promoting solidarity efforts, he volunteers at his synagogue and helps local newcomers using his French and Russian skills.