Led by Executive Director, Jill Zellmer, the Office of Equal Opportunity works with students, faculty and staff across all Tufts' campuses to support and maintain an environment free of discrimination and harassment while promoting equal opportunity for staff, students, faculty, patients, community members and visitors.
Executive Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity
Title IX Coordinator and 504 Officer
Since 2011, Jill Zellmer has been charged with directing and conducting investigations of discrimination and harassment allegations from staff, faculty, students, patients, community members and visitors and also coordinates and manages the compliance of all university Title VII, Title IX and reasonable accommodation (Americans with Disabilities Act, religious and other requests) processes and protocols.
Previously, Jill was an Investigation Manager for Boston Scientific in the Office of Global Compliance, conducting domestic and international investigations of discrimination, harassment and fraud. Formerly she was an instructional designer and trainer with the Commonwealth of MA Human Resources Division, specializing in employment law, discrimination prevention, corrective action in a unionized environment and diversity trainings. She served as Acting Director of Training at the MA Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).
Jill has also served as an EEO and LGBTQI consultant, mediator and trainer to private employers and nonprofit agencies, and acted as a liaison to local, state and federal regulatory, community and civil rights organizations. Jill first began conducting employee-related discrimination claims and internal investigations as the EEO Officer for the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) after they were sued for race- and gender-based discrimination in housing practices in the late 1990s. She also facilitated the BHA’s Mediation and Diversity Program, monitored their ADA/Disability Compliance and Reasonable Accommodation implementations and protocols and conducted workplace trainings on mediation, diversity, reasonable accommodations and discrimination/harassment prevention in the workplace. Prior to 2000 she was a clinical social worker for underserved populations in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and MA. Jill is a 1993 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. and holds her master's and license in social work. She hails from Oshkosh, WI.
Associate Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity
As a Title VII Investigator, Jennifer Magrone is responsible for the prompt, effective and fair review of allegations and complaints in OEO, typically for employee-related matters. In formal matters, this means conducting the intake, notice, fact-finding and report writing of a formal complaint through to resolution. Investigators also work with parties in an informal matter to support an informal resolution, if possible.
Jennifer is a graduate of Smith College, and holds a master's degree in social work from Boston University. Before joining Tufts in 2013, she served as Assistant Director of Human Resources at the Information Technology Division for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her non-Tufts community civic engagements include volunteer work with Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and practicing meditation at the Cambridge Zen Center.
Investigator in the Office of Equal Opportunity
Alida Bográn-Acosta typically handles matters relating to student and employee. Investigators are responsible for the prompt, effective and fair review of allegations and complaints in OEO. In formal matters, this means conducting the intake, notice, fact-finding and report writing of a formal complaint through to resolution. Investigators also work with parties in an informal matter to support an informal resolution, if possible.
Alida is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to practice in 1994. Before joining OEO, Alida was engaged in private practice, concentrating on employment law. She also served as commission counsel at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. From 2013 to 2015, Alida co-chaired the Boston Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Steering Committee. Her volunteer work includes participating in the BBA’s Marathon Assistance and Diversity/Inclusion Mentoring projects, the Boston Lawyers Group, the Women’s Bar Foundation and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project.
Born in Honduras, Alida is fluent in Spanish; she is certified as a court interpreter by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
ADA and Accommodations Specialist
Johny Lainé ensures that reasonable accommodation and services are in place relative to the Americans with Disabilities Act and employment laws surrounding employees and some students with disabilities. He coordinates and manages the process for providing accommodations and support services for employees and some students with disabilities across all Tufts campuses. His role also encompasses interacting with various stakeholders, assessing immunization exemption requests for religious and medical reasons, assessing and responding to religious accommodation requests and occasionally conducting trainings.
Johny Lainé has served as the ADA Specialist with Tufts University’s Office of Equal Opportunity since June 2013. Prior to arriving at Tufts, Johny was a trainer and mediator with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) for more than six years. Johny was trained in the following areas through the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s curriculum: Preventing and Addressing Workplace Discrimination; Preventing and Addressing Harassment in the Workplace; Preventing and Addressing Public Accommodation Discrimination; and Conducting Internal Discrimination Complaint Investigations. He has delivered hundreds of workplace discrimination prevention training sessions to a wide variety of Massachusetts employers, and mediated workplace conflicts that have resulted from the filing of discrimination complaints. He also previously coordinated Massachusetts’ Office of the Attorney General’s Conflict Intervention Team (CIT), an emergency response team that intervenes in large-scale, volatile conflicts at schools in crisis; managed the Youth Mediating Solutions project; and supervised the Student Conflict Resolution Experts (SCORE) peer mediation program located in twenty-four schools throughout the Commonwealth. Johny was trained in Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts Boston, while matriculating in the master’s in Dispute Resolution Program. His experience includes mediating small claims court disputes, facilitating group discussions, and training adult and youth mediators.
He holds a B.A. in English from Brandeis University and a paralegal certificate from Bentley College. Johny was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and is also fluent in French and Haitian Kreyol.
Investigator in the Office of Equal Opportunity
As an investigator, Ryan Milligan typically handles Title IX matters and other non-discrimination matters. Investigators are responsible for the prompt, effective and fair review of allegations and complaints in OEO. In formal matters, this means conducting the intake, notice, fact-finding and report writing of a formal complaint through to resolution. Investigators also work with parties in an informal matter to support an informal resolution, if possible.
Originally from Detroit, MI, Ryan studied or worked in Northern Ireland, England, the Netherlands and New York City before settling in Boston. He completed his undergraduate studies at Colgate University, where he double-majored in international relations and peace studies, and he received his law degree from Wayne State University’s School of Law (admitted to practice in 2002) in Detroit, where he also received a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution from Wayne State University’s College of Urban, Labor & Metropolitan Affairs.
Before joining OEO, Ryan served as an attorney and supervisory team leader from 2007-2016 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the New York City and Boston regional offices. While at OCR, Ryan conducted and oversaw complex investigations and negotiated resolution agreements for complaints alleging discrimination/harassment and retaliation on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age filed against educational institutions and other public entities. Ryan designed and implemented mediation programs in the Boston and New York City regional offices of OCR and facilitated resolutions as a mediator in both regions. Ryan routinely provided technical assistance through training and outreach presentations. Prior to joining OCR, Ryan was in private practice in the Detroit area, representing employees alleging workplace discrimination and harassment.
Nadra Sultan coordinates the preparation of annual Affirmative Action Plans and ensures the compliance with federal regulations on Affirmative Action. She is also responsible for quality control of cases through the office case management system (EthicsPoint), supports the accommodation process and administers compliance training for staff and faculty.
Nadra is originally from Zanzibar, a small Island in the East Coast of Africa and speaks Swahili fluently. Nadra was one of the founding member of the Sustainable Advancement of Zanzibar (SAZ), non-profit youth organization that encourages education and innovation to youth, especially recent graduates, to establish self and independent income generating projects. Nadra also gained extensive experience working with the non-for-profit organizations through the Non-Government Resource Center (NGORC) of Zanzibar where she worked as Program Officer supporting local groups and young entrepreneurs.
Nadra Sultan received her B.S. in Business Management from Montana State University and her M.S. in Accounting from Worcester State University. Before joining Tufts University, Nadra worked for International Honors Program (IHP), a study abroad program under Boston University which involved a year of study travel to all seven continents. Since Zanzibar is one of the participating countries of the program, Nadra acted as liaison and resource person between USA personnel and country coordinator in Zanzibar. Nadra also administered the program’s logistics from visa applications, to tour schedules, flight plans and homestays.
Late 2005 to 2008 Nadra was employed by KNF&T- John Hancock Financials as Alpha Case Manager handling new insurance applications in Sybil Software and on-boarding and training incoming Alpha Managers.
Nadra has been with Tufts since 2011 when she joined OEO as the Office Coordinator. Since then, Nadra has been a founding member, instrumental employee and strategic partner to the Executive Director in building and growing OEO within the University and on-boarding the OEO office staff, protocols, processes and reputation. Under Nadra’s tutelage, OEO went from 1.5 employees to 7 and the awareness and understanding of what OEO does has grown exponentially on all four Tufts campuses and abroad. Nadra's outgoing nature, keen sense and interest in human behavior combined with her compassionate style have made countless students, faculty, staff and visitors to the office feel comfortable and safe in OEO over the years. Nadra works closely and has built strong relationships with external vendors, internal colleagues, the Legal Department and Human Resources and is well-known and respected for her attention to detail, professionalism and humor. Nadra was promoted to OEO Compliance Specialist in September 2017.
April Robbins supports day to day office operations, coordinates university-wide trainings for students, faculty and staff, and supports the case management system for the office.
Prior to Tufts, April worked for 21 years at Span, Inc., a non-profit whose mission was to assist people who were or had been incarcerated to achieve healthy, productive and meaningful lives (growing from Office Coordinator to Director of Administrative Operations to Director of Reintegration Services). She is dedicated to work that provides opportunity for all people to achieve their potential. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the George Washington University and is conversant in Spanish.