The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition proudly announces the promotion of Kathryn Doan to Chief Executive Officer and Michael Lukens to Executive Director.

Doan has been CAIR Coalition’s Executive Director since 2008, and Lukens has been at CAIR Coalition since 2014 and Associate Director since 2019. Through their leadership, CAIR Coalition has become known for its unwavering legal defense and strategic litigation for immigrants facing detention and deportation.

Doan and Lukens will continue to work together to grow CAIR Coalition’s impact and reach. Their new roles will allow Doan to focus on advocacy and strengthening the national reach of the organization, while Lukens will focus on ensuring the excellence of CAIR Coalition’s legal services with our incredible staff. Together, they will also continue to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and provides a warm and welcoming environment for staff, clients, and the community.

“Kathy and Michael are passionate and committed leaders with a wealth of experience,” said Andrew Genz, Esq., President and Chair of CAIR Coalition’s Board of Directors. “Elevating them to new positions recognizes their contributions over the years. Through their partnership, CAIR Coalition can continue to fulfill its critical mission to confront the impact that the unjust immigration system has on our immigrant clients and communities.”

Under their guidance, CAIR Coalition has grown from a staff of nine to a staff of over 100 who, each year, work with around 5,000 immigrants. CAIR Coalition has experienced significant growth, with its annual budget increasing from $1 million in 2014 to more than $12 million in 2024.

In addition to serving adult immigrants, CAIR Coalition created two new programs under Doan and Lukens’ leadership. The Detained Children’s Program started in 2010 to work with unaccompanied minors, and the Immigration Impact Lab (the Lab) launched in 2017 to strengthen CAIR Coalition’s work with adults and children through impact litigation. Recently, the Lab expanded its efforts nationwide to build legal precedents that will benefit broader groups of immigrants.

Under Doan and Lukens’ tenure, the organization has also created social services and expanded administrative teams to allow staff to focus on their areas of expertise, which is crucial in the rapidly shifting immigration landscape. Additionally, the leadership structure was reimagined two years ago as a flattened governance model to spread decision-making roles to more staff members, increase seniority levels, and amplify internal voices.

Before joining CAIR Coalition, Doan was the Deputy Director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), managing the agency’s immigration Legal Services and Community Support Services programs. Between 2014 and 2016, she received various awards from DC Courts, the DC Bar Foundation, and the Washington Council of Lawyers. A native of New York, Doan graduated from Cornell University and Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.

Lukens joined CAIR Coalition as a pro bono attorney and was promoted to Associate Director in 2019. Before joining CAIR Coalition, he was a senior associate at Paul Hastings, where he focused on environmental matters and served as the Pro Bono Coordinator for the firm’s DC Office. Lukens received his J.D. from Hofstra School of Law and his Master’s in Public Management from the University of Maryland. He serves on the Washington Council of Lawyers board as its Treasurer.

We are thrilled for Doan and Lukens to lead the charge as CAIR Coalition enters its 25th year and continues fighting each day to realize a humane and just immigration system that provides legal representation for all, protects people seeking safety, and keeps communities together.

About Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition

CAIR Coalition works alongside immigrant children and adults at risk of detention and deportation in the Capital region and beyond. We provide free direct legal representation, know-your-rights presentations, impact litigation, advocacy, and training to attorneys to defend immigrants. Our clients include arriving asylum seekers from around the world and long-term U.S. residents with strong family and community ties.