State Senator Melisa Franzen
Senator Melisa Franzen earned her Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Economic and Community Development at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and her J.D at Hamline University School of Law.
She was an attorney at Target Corporation and has been a lifelong volunteer in her community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys and she is the former President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.
Melisa grew up in Puerto Rico where she was an active Girl Scouts member for 12 years and was a member of 4H. Melisa and her husband, Nathan, live in Edina with their two sons Philip and Arthur, and enjoy visiting their cabin in Finland, Minnesota.
Michele Garnett McKenzie
Michele Garnett McKenzie serves on the senior leadership team at The Advocates for Human Rights. She also continues to lead the organization's research, education, and advocacy team and is responsible for advocacy on The Advocates' domestic priority issues, including migration and human trafficking. She joined the staff of The Advocates in 1999 as an attorney representing asylum seekers and detained immigrants. She later managed the asylum, detention, and walk-in clinic projects in addition to policy advocacy relating to immigration.
Michele serves on the national leadership team of the Immigration Advocates Network and on the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault public policy committee. A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, she is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota. She has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches the Immigration Education and Outreach Externship for the U of M Law School’s Center for New Americans.
Prior to joining The Advocates, Michele was in private immigration practice, and served as a judicial law clerk for the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Arizona and Nevada. She received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and her B.A. from Macalester College.