HYATTSVILE, MD – The CASA family of organizations announces that Elizabeth (Liz) Alex, Chief of Organizing and Leadership, will depart CASA on September 17, after 17 years of sharing her heart and passion with CASA. After starting in the organizing department in 2005 and serving the Montgomery County area, she shifted to grow CASA’s work in Baltimore. Liz launched CASA’s expansion into Pennsylvania and led our transformation into a member-based organization with deeply democratic decision making structures placing the power of the organization in the hands of our members. As CASA’s Chief of Organizing and Leadership, Liz oversaw grassroots organizing and base building across the organization’s national footprint. She has a keen eye for talent, creating and growing our organizing team and infrastructure to what it is today, an unmatched powerhouse of amazing organizers and leaders ready to build power and fight for our community!

“There is no doubt that Liz put everything she has into her work at CASA. She has left an incredible mark on CASA. Her departure leaves a significant void and she will truly be missed,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “Thank you Liz for the drive, passion, and leadership you have shared with us at CASA these last 17 years!”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have organized, learned, and built power alongside CASA’s incredible membership during this period of organizational growth,” said Elizabeth Alex. “As I transition out of CASA, I’m proud to have had the privilege to support a powerful team of organizers and members. I can’t wait to see what comes next for this incredible team.”

Upon news of Liz’s departure, an immediate search to fill this role began. “Luckily, we did not have to search far or long for a talented organizing leader to take on this significant responsibility,” added Torres.

It is with great pleasure that we celebrate Lydia Walther-Rodriguez on her promotion as CASA’s new Chief of Organizing and Leadership. Lydia immigrated to the United States from Panama and has been residing in Baltimore City for over 14 years. She began advocating for immigrant rights with CASA as a student activist at Morgan State University, fighting for the Maryland Dream Act in 2010. She later joined CASA as an AmeriCorps volunteer to promote and facilitate citizenship services. With over 10 years of organizing experience at CASA, serving alongside Elizabeth Alex’s leadership, Lydia has built the people power together with CASA members and staff that has produced concrete victories impacting members’ lives. Lydia has developed and overseen CASA’s muliracial organizing work, advanced CASA’s police accountability coalitions, expanded its youth organizing and college access programs, and led the Central Maryland region’s community organizing team. Most recently, Lydia served as the Central Maryland Regional Director.

“If you have been lucky enough to work with Lydia, you’ve seen the passion she has for the work, day in and day out,” added Melissa Guzman, CASA’s Chief Operating Officer. “Without a doubt leaving her own mark on Central Maryland. Please join me in congratulating Lydia on a well-deserved, and fitting, promotion as the Chief of Organizing and Leadership!”

“My dedication to racial justice and immigrant rights was sparked by my family’s personal struggles. It is fueled by the resilience of our members’ daily commitment to build collective power until we can shatter that glass ceiling – dismantle the systems of oppression, and build a new pathway towards our own liberation,” said Lydia Walther-Rodriguez. “I am honored to be presented the opportunity to continue serving alongside such a dynamic and passionate team, in the organization I have called CASA for over a decade.”

Lydia joins a powerful team of organizing leadership, including Mirna Gonzalez, Pennsylvania Organizing Director; Trent Leon-Lierman, Maryland Organizing Director; Eduardo Zelaya, Virginia Organizing Director; and Maria del Carmen Gutierrez, Sr. Director of Membership.


With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.