Washington, DC – Today, Amara Legal Center’s Board of Director announced the appointment of Carole Bernard to the role of Executive Director. Carole brings deep expertise in strategic communications, fundraising, advocacy, and board development, honed over 18 years in non-profit executive leadership roles. At this pivotal time in the organization’s growth, Carole will focus on continuing to expand Amara’s capacity to address the legal needs of sex trafficking survivors and individuals impacted by the commercial sex industry.

“During my first meeting with Carole, I was impressed by her grit, ability to think on her feet and her sense of humor,” said Sakala Rutherford, Amara’s Board Chairman.  She continued, “Carole brings a wealth of management experience, a can-do personality and a passion for Amara’s mission, and I’m confident she will expand Amara’s ability to make a positive impact on its clients lives.”     

For her part, Carole Bernard enthusiastically embraces this new challenge.  “I am very excited to hit the ground running with this amazing organization that has done so much to help survivors of sex trafficking and others harmed by the commercial sex industry,” said Carole. “The work that Amara does is so important, and I am committed to ensuring that Amara’s clients receive comprehensive services, and to amplifying survivors’ voices to help affect change at the local, state and federal levels of government.”

Over the next two weeks, Carole will be working closely with outgoing Executive Director Llamilet Gutierrez to ensure a seamless transition.  Under Llamilet’s nearly three years of leadership, Amara expanded its catalogue of client services; successfully advocated for the passage of vacatur legislation for survivors in the District of Columbia; and secured new funding to hire the organization’s first full time intake coordinator.  

Sakala reflected on this time of staff transition, “Amara has come a long way since its founding in 2015, growing and maturing under Llamilet’s tenure.”  She continued, “I’m tremendously excited by the prospect for Amara’s continued growth with Carole’s vision and leadership, and the entire Board looks forward to working with her.”