Claire Harwell, J.D.

Community Justice Project Director

Claire Harwell joined the staff of the Coalition in 2010 to manage the Coalition’s Community Justice Project, a statewide, specialized non-profit, civil legal practice located at eight sites, exclusively serving sexual assault survivors and rape crisis centers. Claire has worked in the field of sexual assault prevention and intervention for over three decades, serving as a victim advocate, trainer, police officer, prosecutor, and currently as a civil attorney. In addition to New Mexico, she has been a victim advocate and prevention expert with rape crisis centers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. As a consultant, she has advised universities, the U.S. military, prosecutors’ offices and the U.S. Department of Justice on matters relating to effective response to crimes of sexual violence and frequently serves as a local and national trainer on these topics. Claire received her BA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Currently, Claire provides multi-disciplinary professional training, technical assistance, legal guidance documents, internal legal counsel, and legal education for anti-violence programs and survivors.  

Kim Alaburda, BA

Executive Director

Kim Alaburda has provided leadership to the Coalition for 26 years. Her accomplishments include advocating for the policies, services and medical needs of victims of sexual violence in rural, Native, border and urban areas of New Mexico. She has increased the Coalition’s staff from 1 in 1985 to 13 in 2014, and the budget from $67,000 in 1985 to $3.2 million in 2014. Kim was able to use these increases to guide the Coalition’s substantial research efforts, create programming specific to people with disabilities and Native American communities, and more than double the state’s rape crisis centers, SANE units and prevention projects. Kim effectively collaborates with statewide agencies and non-profit organizations to ensure that there is ongoing policy enhancement and funding for sexual violence intervention and prevention efforts.

Betty Caponera, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Betty Caponera joined the Coalition in 1996 and established the Interpersonal Violence Data Central Repository in 1999. As Director, Betty oversees statewide domestic violence and sexual assault data collection from law enforcement and service provider agencies and magistrate and district courts. She then distributes the findings in the annual Incidence and Nature of Domestic Violence in New Mexico report and the Sex Crimes in New Mexico report to inform prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment initiatives regarding domestic and sexual violence.

As a researcher on interpersonal violence issues, Betty conducted the Statewide Violence Victimization survey that produced baseline rates of domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking in New Mexico. She also conducted a study of lifetime victimization experiences of women inmates in New Mexico to inform Corrections policies and rehabilitation programming. 

Marcie Davis, MS

Project Director, Underserved Populations

Marcie Davis joined the Coalition staff in 2002 and serves as the Director of the Underserved Populations project. For over 20 years, Marcie has focused her work on local, state, and federal program design and grant management, specializing in underserved populations. She has been recognized by numerous entities for her achievements and contributions and has been the recipient of many awards. Ms. Davis speaks nationally on a variety of victim service and disability related issues. She earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Marcie is accompanied by her service dog, Whistle.

Ellen Gatewood

Contract Manager, Medical Billing Coordinator

Ellen Gatewood began working with the Coalition in 1988. She is the program coordinator for the sexual assault medical bill program that provides payment for the medical exams for all sexual assault victims following an assault or the discovery of abuse. She has managed VAWA grants to provide trainings to rural law enforcement officers and prosecutors on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking crimes. Currently, Ellen manages subcontracts with sexual assault nurse examiners programs, sexual violence prevention programs, and rape crisis centers. Ellen also coordinates the Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment training project, which provides training for therapists and other professionals who work with adolescent sex offenders.

Stella Gallegos, MSW, LISW

Director of Training

Stella Gallegos has been working in the field of Sexual Assault for the past thirty five years and has been with the Coalition since 1993. She travels extensively throughout New Mexico providing training, technical assistance and support to professionals who work with victims and offenders of sexual abuse.

Carla Gallegos Ortega, BBA

Resource/Project Coordinator, Contract Manager

Carla Gallegos-Ortega joined the Coalition in 2006. She has managed VAWA grants to send law enforcement officers and prosecutors to national trainings on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and teen dating violence cases as well as provided equipment to law enforcement agencies to aid in the investigations of these crimes. She is responsible for updating Responding to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Stalking: A Guide for Criminal Justice Professionals in New Mexico.

Karen Herman, PhD

Director of Sexual Assault Services

Dr. Karen Herman joined the staff of the Coalition in 2009 and serves as the director of sexual assault services. She is a clinician and researcher with over 15 years of experience working with individuals and organizations to address domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, and to create progressive social change. Karen is the author of Art, Violence, & Social Change: Challenging Violence Against Women and Girls Through Entertainment Education. Karen holds a doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, with concentrations in social work, psychology and women’s and gender studies.

Lisa Meyer

Project Coordinator, Research Assistant, Contract Manager

Lisa Meyer joined the Coalition contractually in 2004 and has been a staff member since 2009. Through the years, Lisa’s position has evolved to include many facets of support, from data and reports to administrative, technical, and subcontract management. Several challenging and enjoyable projects accomplished include 1) Creating online training modules replete with previously unknown PHP programming and 2) Working as part of a team to guide a competitive grant process through the creation of innovations such as an electronic application, Mini-Grant options, and a Pre-Proposal Webinar and then providing technical assistance to successful applicants. Lisa looks forward to ongoing professional development and to being a part of the Coalition’s important work.

Connie Monahan, MPH

State SANE Coordinator

Connie Monahan is the Statewide SANE Coordinator with the Coalition. In this position, Connie coordinates training, protocols, funding, and program development for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs throughout New Mexico. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2004, Connie served four years as the Executive Director for the Albuquerque SANE Collaborative – a program that serves over 450 sexual assault patients per year. With over 15 years’ experience in injury prevention, Connie has been instrumental in creating and implementing policy, curricula, research, and program development in domestic and sexual violence. She received her Masters in Public Health from the University of New Mexico.

Christy Waskow, CPA


Christy Waskow began with the Coalition in 2010 and became the full-time Accountant in 2012. In this capacity, Christy oversees all aspects of the Coalition’s finances. As a native New Mexican, Christy graduated from the Anderson School of Management with an accounting degree. She has over twenty years of accounting and auditing experience specializing in non-profit organizations and business set-up.