Julie Watt Faqir, J.D., Executive Director


Julie leads the policy and legislative agenda for the organization and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Council. She has a wealth of public policy and legislative experience in both Massachusetts and California. Most recently, Julie served as the Senior Legislative Aide to Representative Chris Walsh from Framingham. In this position, she was integral inplanning and executing legislative, budgetary and policy positions for the representative. She also worked extensively on development of coalitions and partnerships with various stakeholder communities. 

Julie received her Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her law degree from the University of La Verne. 

Julie can be reached by email at [email protected]


Sydney Axelrod, Foundation Manager

Sydney oversees the organization and facilitation of all grant-funded training activities conducted through the foundation. She is responsible for the marketing, scheduling, and instruction of training programming and is also involved in training curriculum management and development.

Prior to joining the Council, Sydney received an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from The University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her work in the Greensboro community focused on developing curriculum and expanding access for conflict resolution education training across private, public, and academic sectors. Sydney received her Bachelor's degree from SUNY Geneseo in Sociology and Conflict Studies. 

Sydney can be reached by email at [email protected].        


Lesley Ayala, Administrative Assistant     

Lesley handles all administrative work and provides support to Council staff in training and events. Through her role, she ensures all members and public concerns are addressed, updates and maintains Council databases, and handles bookkeeping.

Prior to this position, she coordinated marketing events as a head teller for Century Bank and was a copy consultant for Staples, Copy & Print. Lesley earned her Bachelor's Degree at Boston College with a major in Social Science in May 2018. 

Lesley can be reached by email at [email protected].