Pronouns: She / Her
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Karen Ferguson is passionate about using her expertise and background to contribute to humanitarian, social justice and DEI initiatives.
Prior to her work with CORA, Dr. Ferguson was Executive Director of the Northern California offices of IRC–the International Rescue Committee. She led the regional offices serving Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Modesto and Turlock, providing comprehensive services for newly arriving refugee. She managed programs ranging from securing housing and providing financial assistance to employment and career development, with the goal of helping refugees achieve self-sufficiency and thrive in their new American communities
She also spent 10 years as the Alaska State Refugee Coordinator and Resettlement Director, directing assistance and resettlement services for refugees, immigrants and victims of trafficking, and establishing a resettlement program with a diverse portfolio of nationally recognized refugee services.
Karen is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist and possess a PhD within the field. She previously served as the Clinical and Department Manager for Outpatient Mental Health Services at Southcentral Foundation Primary Care Center and as a Psychology Consultant for American Samoa Government. She has been a frequent invited speaker, including most recently presenting with the cast of Hamilton on issues of immigration.
Manager of Legal Services
Pronouns: She / Her
Melissa received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from San Diego State University. Melissa is passionate about helping survivors navigate the complexities of the civil and criminal legal systems and empowering them to make informed decisions for themselves. In her free time Melissa enjoys rooting for the San Jose Sharks, spending quality time with family, and dancing.
Manager of Crisis Support Services
Pronouns: She / Her / Ella
Celeste is from a small town in San Diego County named Fallbrook, also known as the avocado capital of the world and the friendly village. She relocated to the Bay Area in 2003 to attend college at San Francisco State University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and La Raza Studies. In 2008, Celeste joined the CORA team as a Crisis Counselor and in 2015 was promoted to the position of Crisis Support Services Coordinator.
Assistant Director of Programs
Pronouns: She / Her, They / Them
Lynn has worked in the non-profit field since 1991, focusing on financial and program development. She has raised millions of dollars for services benefitting children, youth and families in the Bay Area. Her financial and program development efforts have included work with the YMCA of San Francisco, Samaritan House and StarVista as well as CORA. Highlights of her efforts include: helping to fund and develop several of the YMCA’s beacon centers and technology centers; developing a plan for and securing an infusion of emergency funds for a cohort of San Mateo County’s safety net organizations during the 2008 financial crisis; securing funding for CORA’s second safe house and StarVista’s Pride Center. A San Mateo County native, Lynn has volunteered for her son’s schools from preschool to high school; her community volunteer work includes her appointment to San Mateo County’s LGBTQ Commission in September 2014. When Lynn isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family and taking vacations to locations of historical significance.
Director of Clinical Services
Pronouns: She / Her
Dr. Munisha Vohra is CORA’s new Director of Clinical Services, overseeing the continuum of behavioral healthcare that CORA provides to survivors of violence and their families.
Munisha brings nearly 25 years of experience in providing services and support for vulnerable populations. She has extensive experience in social work, program management, staff development and supervision, interagency collaboration, child welfare, and the juvenile court system. Her clinical expertise also includes domestic violence, homelessness, dual diagnosis, elder dementia, and psychosocial care for families facing cancer.
Prior to joining CORA, Munisha served as Director of Behavioral Health Services for Episcopal Community Services, Supervisor for Contra Costa County Child & Family Services, and as a Therapist for Cancer Support Community. She holds a Doctor of Psychology degree from JFK University, with her dissertation titled “The Decision-Making Process Involved in Ending Intimate Partner Violence Among Indian Female Immigrants.” Munisha is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and she holds a Master of Social Work from CSU East Bay, and an MA from Sikh National College in India. In addition to English, Munisha is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.
“I have been blessed to have a career focused on serving and empowering people who have experienced profound trauma,” said Munisha. “I am honored to be a part of CORA’s mission to provide safety, support, and healing for individuals who experience abuse in intimate relationships – and to nurture the strong human spirit that lives in all of us.”