Director, New Jersey Human Services Office of New Americans
Johanna Calle is the Director at the Office of New Americans (ONA) at the New Jersey Department of Human Services. In this role, Ms. Calle works on identifying, developing, and executing policies and strategies to advance efforts to welcome and empower immigrant communities in the state.
Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Calle served as the Director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ), a coalition of over 40 organizations that work on advocacy campaigns at all levels of government to promote pro-immigrant policies. She played a key role in the passing of the legislation to expand access to Driver’s Licenses to all and in the implementation of Attorney General Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive. Johanna’s professional experience also includes working the National American Civil Liberties Union and participating in the ACLU of Northern California’s MiACLU campaign, visiting various affiliates fighting for immigrants’ rights.
Ms. Calle is a longtime New Jersey resident, born in Ecuador and raised in Hackensack, NJ. She has lived experience as a formerly undocumented student with undocumented family members. She started her advocacy as a high school student urging congress to pass the Dream Act and has made several visits to Washington D.C. in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In her off time, she mentors and advises youth and adults organizing for racial and social justice and civic engagement. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.