Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

Entrepreneurs in Residence Tactical Team

EIR Banner

Luis Arbulu, Founder and Managing Partner, Hattery

Luis is a founder and one of the managing partners at Hattery, a product development and investment group based in San Francisco. Hattery has invested in, incubated and launched companies and non-profits such as EngineAdvocacy, Copper, Cloudware, WellDone, etc. Prior to Hattery, Luis worked at Google as a principal and manager working on strategic analysis and deals for new initiatives and products in US and Latin America. He was heavily involved in products such as Google.org, vertical search, public data, billing and payments, and mobile. He was also the head of finance and analytics for AdSense, Google's multi-billion-dollar online ad syndication business. Luis has also held positions as an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, an engineer at Black & Veatch, and as a product manager with a cleantech startup. Luis holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and also studied engineering at the Universidad Catolica in Peru and at the University of Kansas where he was a Fulbright scholar. Luis emigrated from Peru as student and has lived in the US for almost 20 years.

John Bosman, Instructional Systems Specialist, USCIS Academy Training Center

John joined the USCIS Academy Training Center (ATC) in Dallas, TX, as its first Instructional Systems Specialist. He brings to the table more than 20 years of broad education, training, and leadership-development experience; and is a post-secondary level certified occupational instructor. Following nearly 10 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, he invested more than a decade in the nonprofit and corporate space in leadership and training roles. John holds a master’s degree with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Global University, Springfield, MO; and a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Corporate Training & Development from Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX.

Sunny Choi, Associate Counsel, Adjudications Law Division, Office of Chief Counsel

Sunny Choi is an Associate Counsel with the Adjudications Law Division for the USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining USCIS in November 2007, Sunny worked as an in-house immigration attorney for Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA from 2000-2006.  From 1996-2000, she worked as an associate for two Washington, D.C. based law firms specializing in employment based immigration law.  Sunny obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University Of Maryland School Of Law.

Robert H. Cox, Associate Counsel, Adjudications Law Division, Office of Chief Counsel

Robert H. Cox is an Associate Counsel in the Adjudications Law Division for the USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel in Washington, DC.  Prior to joining USCIS in August 2010, Robert worked in private practice specializing in employment based immigration law.  Robert received his Juris Doctorate Cum Laude from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan and his Bachelor’s degree with Honors from Michigan State University.

Paul Ford, Vice President, Community Development, SoftLayer

Paul Ford is a serial entrepreneur, global technology evangelist, innovator, strategist and visionary currently serving as the Vice President of Strategic and Community Development and Chief Ecosystem Builder at SoftLayer Technologies in Dallas TX. SoftLayer is the world’s largest and most advanced independent Infrastructure as a Service Company. Paul is responsible for SoftLayer’s Startup Incubator program, as well as other strategic development and partner initiatives. In this role, Paul works with hundreds of startups, investors and technology incubators worldwide, and is very much in-tune with the needs and issues of startups everywhere.  He is also a Lead Mentor at the TechStars Cloud and Tech WildCatters Incubators.  Prior to joining SoftLayer, Paul raised millions of dollars from angel, seed, venture capital and private equity companies as the President and Co-Founder of two software technology companies. Paul has almost 20 years’ experience in the technology space and has a passion for seeing young companies succeed by helping them position their products and services for world domination.

Ted Gonder, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Moneythink

Ted Gonder is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Moneythink, a social movement and national non-profit focused on delivering financial life-skills and entrepreneurship education to urban teens through peer-mentoring and pop-culture curricula. He is currently a Geography student at the University of Chicago conducting research on Start-Up Chile, a program of the Chilean government that is set to attract 1000 foreign entrepreneurs to start companies in Chile by 2014. In college, Ted founded the UChicago Entrepreneurship Society, organized the largest entrepreneurship event in the College's history, and initiated a series of talks among university administrators about entrepreneurship and innovation on campus. For his work with campus entrepreneurship, he was appointed as Director of Strategy for the Kairos Society, a global student entrepreneurship network. He has worked with the Kauffman Foundation, the Chilean government, and start-up companies on four continents. In high school, he founded and led a student movement around climate change awareness, launching advocacy groups on over 30 high schools in California. In 2007, Ted was appointed Student Advisor to The Climate Project, an organization founded by Al Gore.

Mark E. Harvey, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, California Service Center

Mark E. Harvey is a Supervisory Immigration Services Officer at the California Service Center.  He is currently working the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker for the H-1B classification of Specialty Occupation.  He graduated from the California State University, Sacramento in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.  He started working for USCIS in 2003.  He initially started working in the family-based unit until the end of 2009 when he was promoted to Supervisor and was then placed in the employment-based unit.

Tanya Howrigan, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, Vermont Service Center

Tanya Howrigan has 21 years of experience with USCIS.  She began as a stay-in-school at the Vermont Service Center (VSC) while attending high school.  During her two-year college program she worked in the northeast regional counsel’s office in Burlington, VT.  After graduation, she returned to VSC and was hired permanently as a status verifier.  From there she was hired as an immigration officer.  In 2007 she was hired as a Senior Immigration Officer or ISO3.  Tanya has held a Supervisory Immigration Services Officer position since June of 2011.  She has been involved with the employment-based form types for over 10 years.

Julia C. Kennedy, Adjudicators Officer, Service Center Operations

Julia C. Kennedy is an Adjudications Officer at USCIS Service Center Operations (SCOPS) in Washington, DC.  Julia began her career with legacy INS in September 2001 at the Nebraska Service Center as a Center Adjudications Officer where she primarily worked Employment-based Adjustment of Status applications.  She began working at SCOPS in August 2009 and has been the portfolio manager for the I-129 O, P, and Q petitions since that time.  Julia received her Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1992.

Blake Patton, Entrepreneur in Residence, Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)

Blake Patton has over 15 years of leadership experience in startup, venture backed, and publicly traded Internet, software, payments, and financial services technology companies.  He is currently an EIR at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Tech’s startup accelerator that helps technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies.  Most recently, Blake was the President of Interactive Advisory Software, a provider of SaaS wealth management solutions for financial advisors.  He was previously CEO of a venture backed prepaid card company; EVP of a publicly traded e-business consulting firm where he oversaw European operations; co-founder of two startups; and an Associate at SEI Corporation.  He has been an active member of corporate and non-profit boards including the Alzheimer’s Association of Georgia Regional Board of Directors.  He earned a bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, where he was Captain of the Swim Team, was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering’s Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni in 2000, and previously served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

Karen Reilly, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, Vermont Service Center

Karen began her career with legacy INS in 1990, while she was still in college. Since then, Karen has held a variety of operational positions within the agency, including at the Eastern Regional Office and the Boston District Office.  In 2001, she accepted an Adjudications Officer position at the Vermont Service Center and primarily adjudicated the business form type classifications.  Karen then transferred in 2006 to the Center Fraud Detection Operations Unit at the Vermont Service Center where she was responsible for initiating administrative investigations on fraudulent companies, preparers and/or beneficiaries.  In March 2012, Karen accepted a Supervisory Immigration Services Officer position within the Business Division of the Vermont Service Center.  

Michael E. Santiago, Associate Center Director, Texas Service Center

Michael E. Santiago worked in private industry for 10 years before joining legacy INS in August 1996.  He began his government career as a Center Adjudications Officer at the Texas Service Center (TSC) in Dallas where he adjudicated primarily employment-based applications and petitions.  In April 2002 he joined the TSC Quality Assurance (QA) unit and, in July 2004, he became the supervisor of the QA unit.  He held that position until December 2008 when he became an Assistant Center Director (ACD) over one of TSC’s employment-based adjustment teams.  In February 2010 he was detailed to the USCIS Office of Transformation Coordination in Washington, DC.  Upon completion of his detail in February 2011 he returned to the TSC as ACD for the Business Premium Team where he is responsible for petitions for immigrant workers and the premium processing service.  He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington.           

Paul Singh, Partner, 500 Startups

Paul Singh is a venture capital professional with more than 10 years of experience across a range of mature, turnaround, high-growth, and startup corporate environments.  At 500 Startups, Paul has directly invested in more than 250 early stage companies, with a focus on typically “undervalued” startups, including women founders and international startups. Paul has the extraordinary ability to extract a business model from a rock. Also from startups. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Paul founded several of his own startups and spent time working at PBworks, AOL and Symantec.

Kevin T. Smith, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, Nebraska Service Center

Kevin Smith is a Supervisory Immigration Services Officer at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC). He started working at the NSC in 2008 as an adjudicator for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. He subsequently adjudicated employment-based adjustment applications and petitions for alien relatives and worked in the NSC's background check unit. He returned to I-140 adjudications in 2010 and became a supervisor of officers adjudicating I-140s in February 2012. He has a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law.

Catherina Sun, Assistant Center Director, California Service Center

Catherina Sun joined the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Services in 1996.  She has served in various positions throughout her career.  In 2008, she became an Assistant Center Director at the California Service Center. Catherina has a Bachelor of Arts degree in women studies/psychology and a Juris Doctorate degree.

Steven Viger, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy & Strategy

Steven Viger is an Adjudications Officer (Policy) at the USCIS Office of Policy & Strategy in Washington, DC.  He is currently a member of the Business and Foreign Workers Division and has been at USCIS Headquarters since 2007. Steven began his career with USCIS in October 2003 at the California Service Center as a Center Adjudications Officer.  Steven received his Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California and his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duke University.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/27/2012