Since being founded in December 2013,

we've gathered the world's experts in extraction operations and in anti-child trafficking efforts to bring an end to child slavery. O.U.R.'s Ops Team consists of former CIA, past and current law enforcement, and highly skilled operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts. These operations are always in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the world.

Once victims are rescued, a comprehensive process involving justice for the perpetrators and recovery and rehabilitation for the survivors begins.

It is time for private citizens and organizations to rise up and help. It is our duty as a free and blessed people.

Domestic Services
O.U.R. salutes our nation's law enforcement officers and prosecutors at the federal, state and local levels who protect our country's children. Law enforcement professionals skillfully investigate, arrest and prosecute those who violate children. Our nation's police efforts to protect children in the U.S. are light years ahead of many, if not all other countries. O.U.R. acknowledges the expertise and extraordinary work done by these dedicated men and women who bravely battle the scourge of child sexual exploitation. O.U.R. shares the mission to save children and seek justice for those who victimize them, therefore O.U.R. is committed to enhancing law enforcement efforts by providing resources where budget shortfalls prohibit a CSAM (child sexual abuse material), child exploitation or human trafficking operation from going forward. O.U.R. will also provide or facilitate child exploitation investigative training in U.S. jurisdictions where a need exists. Collaborating with law enforcement will reduce duplication, promote best practices and avoid other potential issues which might arise without close coordination. O.U.R. is privileged and honored to support our nation's heroes in this important cause to deter, disrupt and dismantle child exploitation and the trafficking of children in our nation's communities.


Click a section below to learn more about O.U.R.

To the children

who we pray for daily, we say:
Your long night is coming to an end.

Hold on. We are on our way.

And to those captors and perpetrators,
even you monsters who dare offend God's
precious children, we declare to you:
Be afraid. We are coming for you.

To those who have read this far,
we plead with you: Donate to our cause
Donate. We can't do this without you.

Why the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid 19th century. They were used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The original Underground Railroad was a group that acted and infiltrated.


Watch Tim Ballard’s inspiration behind why he chose “Operation Underground Railroad”





The Underground Railroad created a path to freedom and we are inspired to do the same.






We Need to Fight Modern Day Slavery
Parallels between historic and modern day slavery


Harriet Tubman & The Underground Railroad


The Secret History of The Underground Railroad


HistoryNet: The Underground Railroad


PBS- The Abolitionists


Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery to Freedom Museum
 

The Process

  1. Assess the feasibility of rescue. This must take into account the willingness of local authorities to work with us since we not only want to save the children but arrest the perpetrators as well. We also want everything to be done legally and above board.

  2. Research the location, the children and the background of those who are running the sex ring. We also search for vetted care facilities that will take the children once they are rescued and not only give them food and shelter but rehabilitate them as well. In some instances the children are able to return to their families.

  3. Design a strategy for rescuing the children. This is the logistical part of the process. As former CIA, Navy Seals, Special Agents, etc., we have a very unique skill set to make this happen safely, efficiently and legally. We provide local law enforcement training to support and sustain anti-trafficking operations.

  4. Take action. Obviously this is the most dangerous part of the operation but one well worth taking. In some instances we go undercover and arrange to "buy" a child as if we were a customer. After the purchase, we move in with the police, arrest those responsible and rescue the children. In other cases, we may act as a "client" looking for favors, etc. Again, we work with local authorities to make sure everything is done to protect the children and that the perpetrators are arrested.

  5. Recover the children. These children's lives will never be the same. Their innocence has been stolen and they need help to readjust to a better world. Therapy can be provided as well as food and shelter at a pre-screened facility.

  6. Arrest, try, and convict the perpetrators. We follow this process every step of the way to make sure they don't traffic children again. In many cases the perpetrators were sex slaves and victims of trafficking themselves and know no better way to survive. We hope to break this cycle.

We are not a government agency.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
that relies one hundred percent on
donations to save children.

And, we do it because
no child should be a sex slave.

The Team

Click a picture to learn more about each team member.

Ambassadors

Click a picture to learn more about each ambassador.

Board of Directors

Board Of Governors - Coming soon!

Timothy Ballard is the Founder and President of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). Ballard spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. Ballard has worked undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. In this effort, he has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued countless children from sex slavery. He is an expert at managing Internet investigations, particularly those dealing with file-share networks where pedophiles and traffickers go to trade in child pornography. He has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers and has testified before the United States Congress on best practices to liberate children from sex slavery. 

Ballard has been featured on many national news outlets to discuss his efforts to combat child trafficking. He has appeared on Fox & Friends, Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, The Meredith Vieira Show, CBS Nightly News, ABC Nightline, and CNN Headline News, MSNBC, The Glenn Beck Program, as well as many local news shows.

Ballard is the best-selling author of "The Covenant: One Nation Under God," and is the author of the sequel to that work, "The Covenant, Lincoln, and The War." He has taught American and International Politics courses at Imperial Valley College, San Diego State University, and American Heritage School. He has been featured regularly on both local and national TV and radio programs to discuss American history and politics and the role America has played in defending liberty at home and abroad. He has often commented on how his academic work in American history has provided him the inspiration and motivation to rescue children--to carry on the American tradition of liberating the captive. He recently received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

After serving a church mission to Chile, Ballard graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Brigham Young University. He went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with an MA in International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He resides in California with his wife and children.

Brad Damon is the Chief Executive Officer at Operation Underground Railroad.

He formerly performed the duties of Chief Operating Officer in 2020. Prior to joining Operation Underground Railroad, Damon was the Chief Executive Officer for a 501c(3) organization.  He has accumulated over 25 years of collective business acumen and tenure in both the private and non-profit sector with significant experience in the investment and insurance industry representing a fortune 50 company both as an agency owner and senior management position.  He began his career with Richards, Merrill & Peterson, Inc., the oldest wealth management firm in Spokane, Wa., as a stockbroker and Registered Investment Advisor.  In addition, Damon has been a serial entrepreneur and over the course of his business career has been the owner and active president of 4 other successful companies in unrelated industries.  He has a passion for business and a heart for helping people. 

Damon attended the University of Washington in 1986 on a baseball scholarship and later received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.   He is an avid outdoorsman, loves riding his Harley Davidson and is active in his church. 

Born and raised in the Midwest Jessica found her calling in life when she was 13 years old on a church mission trip in the inner-city of Brooklyn, New York. For the past two decades she has worked domestically and internationally in nonprofit empowering youth in foster care, areas of mental health and human trafficking. She has first-hand experience being a therapeutic foster parent for children that experienced severe neglect, abuse or human trafficking. Jessica has been a guest speaker in regards to aftercare on the Glenn Beck show, the United Nations held in Salt Lake City, the Huntsman School of Business Leadership Series, the North Carolina Human Trafficking Education Seminar, interviewed on the It’s a Penalty Campaign, as well as several news outlets and podcasts.

Jessica has a strong belief that there is always hope for everyone and sometimes it just takes one person pouring into another that will be forever life-changing. She works with many survivors every week and they constantly inspire her to live with strength, passion and love.

Jessica double-majored in college in Biblical Studies and Education at Multnomah University. She also completed the Arts Bridge Scholar program at the University of Utah, has been trained in NLP, lived in Africa, and was certified in the Teaching Family Model. In 2020 she completed a Masters degree in Global Development and Justice from Multnomah University. When she’s not working she loves being outdoors hiking, rock-climbing and of course eating frozen yogurt along the way.

J.C. joined O.U.R. in March 2021 as the Director of Domestic Operations. Prior to working with O.U.R., he served as a law enforcement officer in the state of Utah for 20 years. He served in a variety of capacities throughout his career and retired at the rank of Sergeant. He has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and specialized in establishing relationships with several NGO’s in the state of Utah during his law enforcement career.
 
J.C. has been married for nearly 20 years and has 4 children. He loves to spend time with his family and especially in the outdoors. J.C. earned a Bachelors degree in Business Management from Western Governors University and an Associates degree in Criminal Justice from Salt Lake Community College. 

Matt Osborne has held a variety of positions within Operation Underground Railroad since he joined the organization in 2014, focused on undercover rescue operations, aftercare, education and outreach. Before that he served a 12-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and US Department of State, where he worked issues related to terrorism against the homeland, illegal narcotics, organized crime, and human trafficking. He regularly provided secrets and analysis to US Presidents, senior cabinet officials, and the National Security Council.

In his role as a Foreign Service Officer and diplomat, Matt served overseas tours in Madrid, Spain, Caracas, Venezuela, and Mexico City, Mexico, and organized official visits for former President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Matt holds a B.A. in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. He has been married for almost 25 years and has two teenage daughters who give him the drive to fight child exploitation and human trafficking around the world.

Tyler has spent the last 9 years working anti-human trafficking all over the world in over 20 countries in the areas of Central/South America, the Carribean, South Africa, and parts of Europe. He coordinates the aftercare services for survivors, including returning them back to their family or coordinating safe housing and educational resources for them. 

He is an expert in quality aftercare services and has testified in the highest offices in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. Schwab has been featured on numerous media outlets such as ABC4 News Good for Utah, Wyoming Signatures, Star Valley Independent, Wyo4News, Casper Star Tribune, Huntsmen Business from Utah State University, The Utah Special Victims Unit Conference, The Utah Survivors Podcast, Our Deepest Fear Podcast, and El Tribuno Salta Argentina. In 2013, Tyler founded Libertas International, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and restoration of survivors of human trafficking in Latin America. Tyler is fluent in Spanish. Tyler graduated from Utah State University, University of Wyoming, and BYU-Idaho with degrees Spanish and Healthcare Administration. He was voted student entrepreneur of the year in 2016 at BYU-Idaho for his work in the For Purpose Field. He also earned the Anti Human Trafficking Certificate from Vanguard University's School for Woman and Justice in late 2020. 

He has worked with NGOs such as the Make A Wish Foundation, The Tim Tebow Foundation, and the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. He enjoys fitness, hiking, photography, bingeing, and writing in his free time.

Jacob first began working with survivors of sexual violence in 2016 and began volunteering with
the O.U.R. Aftercare Team in 2017. He received a bachelor’s degree in
Psychology in 2019 and a master’s degree in social work in 2021. Jacob spent a year providing
therapy services for survivors of torture who reside in Utah. He has also provided therapy
services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Jacob has worked with survivors of
human trafficking, child marriage, and sexual abuse in Utah as well as in multiple countries
including Ghana, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, and Malaysia. He has also provided aftercare
trainings with NGO’s and law enforcement in Utah, Nepal, and Malaysia.
When Jacob is not working he enjoys spending time with his amazing wife, hiking, camping,
playing with his dog, and anything animal related.

Jib knew she wanted to work in social services when she was is collage getting her BA in Humanities Faculty. She did several student’s activates to gain experience for herself and lead other younger students at her university including making the outreach at risk youth and people in rural areas. She gain the majority of her experience working in youth development in different jobs in the past including being a teacher. This is what led to her finding out about children who were sexually abused. After this discovery she knew she needed more specialized training in trauma healing and child protection.Jib is trained as a NLP practitioner and is certified in psycho therapeutics coaching. She loves to support survivors to build a new foundation, strengthen families and be an active member in the child protection network. Jib has worked in aftercare for 7 years. During her free time she likes to spend time on listening music, singing, and practicing meditation.

Ruth Appiah Dankyira is an accomplished professional who specializes in social work, gender rights protection, and aftercare. She has a passion for defending abused children and women, and ensuring that their rights are fully exercised. She has served in the the Abuse Relief Corps for six years, and has played a massive role in bringing many predators to justice. 

One of her biggest aspirations in life is to be an advocate for women and children and to help them stand up to injustice. She is passionate about empowering women and children to achieve their goals and defend themselves against attackers. 

When she is not working, Ruth loves to cook and read about law and gender, and business.

Attorney at Law

Ibero-American and UNESCO "Honoris Causa" Doctoral, for outstanding work in the Combat of Human Trafficking for more than 10 years.

- Currently Managing Director of the Mexico City Tourism Board.

- Federal Deputy for District 17 Cuajimalpa-Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City.

Ordinary Commissions

National Defense (Secretary)

Public Safety (Member)

Attention to Vulnerable Groups (Member)

Special Commissions

Against Human Trafficking (Secretary). In the legislative field has promoted various proposals to update and improve the legal framework regarding Trafficking in Persons, Vulnerable Groups, Public Security and National Defense.

- Representative to the United Nations in various forums and meetings (New York, Vienna, Brussels and Washington) for Operation Blessing Mexico.

- Positioned the issue of Human Trafficking within the European Parliament.

- President of "Uno a Uno" UNAM, Movement Against Slavery.

- President of the National Anti-Slavery Committee.

- Collaborator in SDP-Noticias, news protocol.

- Columnist in: El Universal daily newspaper, Ruiz-Healy Times and

Signum magazines.

- Co-host in the Ruiz Healy news program.

- President of the Casa Refugio, a safe house which reintegrates girls, victims of trafficking.

- Promoter of the National Campaign “Por Un Mexico Libre de Trata”, (Mexico Free of Trafficking Campaign).

- Member and activist of Tim Ballard's “Operation Underground Railroad” Foundation.

- Member of the “Foundation to Revert Global Warming A.C.”, an associate of the

"Operation Blessing Mexico" foundation and activist in the "Food For Children" foundation.

- Creator of the program "Moviendo Tu Vida" (Moving Your Life) delivering 3,368 wheelchairs since 2016.

- Promoted the creation of the National Emergency Telephone Number for Human Trafficking complaint assistance, * 5533.

- The first student who published in the Iuris Tantum, a publication of historical and legal research on the Anahuac University.

- Author of the Independence Bicentennial commemoration poem “Mexico Guerras Floridas, Génesis sobre la Revolución” and collaborator in the investigation of "Guillen de Lampart Precursor de la Independencia de México".

- Author of "La Cosification de Los Seres Humanos", (The Objectification of Human Beings) a book on the objectification of human trafficking victims.

Constance is from the United States, and has been living in Southeast Asia since 2013 reaching the locals in various capacities, leading worship, and fighting human-trafficking. She speaks the language and loves immersing herself in the culture.
Over the course of her time in Southeast Asia, she has been a case manger of victims of human trafficking, conducted repatriations, assisted at a shelter for women who have been trafficked, collaborated with various investigative and aftercare NGO’s and law enforcement, specialized in conducting victim intakes and assessments, and directed outreaches in the redlight areas that are geared towards internationally trafficked victims and locals. 

In 2018, Constance joined O.U.R and began developing, coordinating, and leading
investigative outreaches in the redlight areas with the Ops Team and Aftercare
Team. Through the outreaches, she’s been able to offer hope and a safe space to
victims, and tackle root issues in trafficking from intel collected through outreaches. She
has also received trainings on the various essentials of safety, surveillance, and
investigations, and assists the Ops Team on needed cases. 
Constance has a bachelors degree in music and speech communication, tech diploma
in audio engineering, and a masters degree in counseling psychology. Previously as a
therapist, she utilized cognitive methods, yet since living in Southeast Asia has attended
seminars, workshops, and trainings for developing art therapy methods for trauma
cases. She also specializes in suicidal ideation assessments and de-escalation. 

Constance has traveled to 14 different countries and looks forwarded to traveling to
many more.

Jerry Gowen was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) in November 2014. In this role, he is responsible for development, IT, marketing, communications, donor relations, partnerships and contributing to the organization’s strategy.

Prior to joining O.U.R., Gowen managed communications for Symantec Corp., a Fortune 500 publicly-traded software company with 21,000 employees and $7 billion in annual revenue. During his 10 year career at Symantec, Gowen was responsible for creation and execution of the public relations and social media strategies for 2 of the company's largest business units. He is recognized as one of the top trade media relations experts in the U.S. and was named Top Tech Communicator of the Year.

Prior to Symantec, Gowen served as Senior Public Relations Manager for PowerQuest Corp. and Global Communications Manager at Legato Systems, Inc. Gowen has also served as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Washington State University, teaching courses in communications, public relations, marketing, information technology and statistics.

Gowen earned his BA in Public Relations with a Minor in Business Management at Brigham Young University in 1998 and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Communications. He earned his MBA at Washington State University in 2010 and was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement.

Gowen is fluent in Spanish and resides in Utah with his wife and 6 children. He is active in the community supporting the Boy Scouts of America and local youth soccer programs.

Emily was born and raised in Southern California works out of the Orange County O.U.R. office. 

After receiving her Bachelors degree in Media & Communications, Emily was asked to start a marketing department at Champion Safe. It was there where she grew a team that implemented new marketing and strategic strategies to help relaunch a new series of safes in 2012 which quickly became some of the top selling safes in the world. Emily then spent several years as a Recruiter for Red Bull North America out of their headquarters in Santa Monica.

Emily became passionate about nonprofits when she had the opportunity to work with Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) on their yearly event, StandUp2Cancer. She also spent time volunteering for Project PLAY!, a non-profit that provides funding for sports, music and art youth programs in Los Angeles.

She started at O.U.R. in 2014 as a volunteer and has been with the company ever since. As the current Chief Communications Officer for Operation Underground Railroad, Emily has found her true passion in ending child sex slavery around the world. When she is not working she enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga and spending time with her husband, children and King Charles Cavaliers.

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know. -William Wilberforce

Simon Brewer joined Operation Underground Railroad as Chief Financial Officer in February of 2021.  In this capacity, he is responsible for O.U.R.’s finance and accounting functions. Prior to O.U.R., Simon served as Chief Financial Officer of Predictive Technology Group, Inc., a publicly-traded life science company he joined in 2018. He was responsible for Predictive’s finance, accounting, HR, and IT functions. Simon served as Chief Financial Officer of Norbest, joined in 2016. He was responsible for Norbest’s finance, accounting, HR, and IT functions. Norbest employs just over 500 people. Annual revenue for Norbest was around $150 million with products being sold in the United States and numerous foreign countries through international distribution. Prior to joining Norbest, he was Vice President, Finance and IT for Wilson Electronics, LLC, in St. George, UT, where he was responsible for their finance, IT, and HR functions. Reporting directly to the CEO, Simon oversaw significant growth for the electronics company operating in all 50 states, and internationally in several countries.  Simon assisted heavily in building scalable processes, modernizing the business, international growth in Asia, and acquisition of a main competitor.  Earlier in his career, he held the position of Senior Director/Corporate Controller for Backcountry.com, Inc., where his initiatives were responsible for over 10% of the bottom line EBITDA in 2012 and 2013.  Simon was key in 2 significant acquisitions that added about $100 million annually to the top-line, growing from $150M to $500M during his tenure. Simon started his accounting career and business education as a Certified Public Accountant, an auditor for KPMG LLP. Simon began his professional career as a programmer-turned-operations manager in a Dotcom for 5 years, working full-time while attending school full-time. Simon received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a minor in Russian from the University of Utah in 2004. He completed his Master of Accounting at the same school in 2005.

Before having lived all over the world in Korea, Italy, and Taiwan, Morgan was born in Georgia and raised in Utah. She has acquainted herself with many cultures, learned conversational Italian and Mandarin, and has come to love the beauty of humanity.

Morgan has served in many capacities for O.U.R. First, as a volunteer and then as Volunteer Team Leader for her local chapter which eventually led to the invitation to join the ranks as an official employee as Community Relations Manager, now she feels she has found her true calling as Director of Outreach.

Morgan graduated with high honors from Utah Valley University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and a concentration in Psychology. She has been serving as a volunteer consistently for many organizations since 2000, from an elementary reading tutor to courtroom mediator. She was first introduced to human trafficking during college and ending human trafficking has been her passion ever since. She is a mother of 4 and wants to make the world a safer place for them and for everyone!

If she has free time, she enjoys cooking, shooting, hiking, martial arts, Latin and Country Swing dancing, learning, and her favorite of all--making memories and sharing laughter with loved ones. 

Garry joined Operation Underground Railroad in March 2020. He is responsible for increasing awareness about the OUR mission and donor development. Prior to joining OUR, Garry served as Chief Operating Officer for Intiva Health where he was charged with financial planning, investor relations, healthcare administration, strategic partnerships, sales and marketing, and general operations. Garry has over 8.5 years managing healthcare and software teams and holds a high importance on cultivating integrity and positivity into the workplace. 
 
Garry and his family enjoy volunteering and have worked with a number of youth organizations over the years, including founding Sports in the Park, which offers a safe and consistent space for underserved youth to play and grow. Garry has a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s in Business Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. In his free time, Garry enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, hiking, playing hockey, and fishing.
Nicki is a Community Relations Manager for Operation Underground Railroad in the Outreach Department. Prior to joining O.U.R. as an official staff member, Nicki served as a volunteer team leader and started the Yuma, Arizona team in 2016 and Phoenix, Arizona team in 2017 alongside her husband.
 
Nicki has been a Certified Pediatric Nurse for 11 years working in Pediatrics, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Labor and Delivery. She is currently working on her Master's in Nursing Education. Because of her love of teaching, she looks for every opportunity to educate her community and new volunteers about human trafficking and online safety. She enjoys getting to know new volunteers and helping them learn how to get involved with O.U.R. and helping them with their fundraisers and events.
 
She resides in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and 3 children. They enjoy being outdoors, traveling, and serving in their community as a family.

Hayden Paul grew up in Sandy, Utah. After high school, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Budapest, Hungary. Following his mission, Hayden started a video production company and spent a year and a half traveling the world visiting all but 2 continents. He became aware of the prevalent issue of human trafficking during his travels and decided to get involved with Operation Underground Railroad in early 2019. Feeling the weight of responsibility to protect his own country’s freedoms, Hayden enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September of 2019. In January of 2020, Hayden married the love of his life Savannah. Later he attended USMC recruit training and the School of Infantry for six months in California. Upon his return from training, Hayden resumed his service as an Infantry reservist at 4th LAR Charlie Company and resumed his full-time role at Operation Underground Railroad. He and his wife now live in Sandy. 

Chrissy grew up in Kearns, Utah. After high school, she served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ft Lauderdale, FL. She worked as the Business Development Coordinator for Presidio Insurance Agency for 4 years. She became a full-time mom, which she loved! When she became aware of the severity of human trafficking, she reached out to see what she could do to help. She became the San Diego Volunteer Team Leader. In July 2020 she was happy to accept a full-time position with Operation Underground Railroad because she loves working with all the volunteers and feels so strongly about fighting human trafficking. She lives with her husband and four children in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Marisol Nichols can be seen starring as 'Hermione Lodge' on The CW’s “Riverdale”. She will next appear as the female lead alongside Samuel L Jackson, Chris Rock and Max Minghella in the reboot Saw franchise, releasing May 15, 2020. She has appeared as the mysterious and elusive “Desert Wolf” on the popular MTV series “Teen Wolf" and had significant recurring roles as 'ATF Special Agent Zoe Keates’ on “NCIS" and 'Agent Natalie Colfax’ on the staple crime series “Criminal Minds”. Showcasing her versatile acting skills, Marisol next played the Pakistani-American 'Nadia Yassir,' who commands CTU in Season Six of the hot series  “24". Additionally, she starred as 'Sarah Monahan' on ABC’s "The Gates" and as 'Heather Cruz' in the Darren Star produced ABC show “GCB" opposite Kristin Chenoweth and Leslie Bibb.

In addition to her work on screen, Marisol fights for the rights of young girls and women through her philanthropic and activism work with her non-profit organization Foundation for a Slavery Free World as well as Youth for Human Rights International. Both organizations fight to bring awareness and shine a light on modern day slavery and the commercial sexual exploitation of children on a global level, as well as here in the United States. Additionally, she produces the annual Human Rights Hero Awards, where she awards other organizations and individuals that are doing heroic work in this field.

Early in her career, Nichols landed a role in Showtime’s groundbreaking "Resurrection Boulevard", for which she received critical acclaim for her defiant portrayal of troubled teen 'Victoria Santiago’. After a three-year run on "Resurrection Boulevard", Marisol starred in the Steven Bochco drama “Blind Justice” as 'Detective Karen Bettancourt’.

Her breakout role as 'Audrey Griswold’, alongside Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo in Vegas Vacation brought her to the forefront of classic American cinema. She then appeared as Windsor College student and Omega Beta Zeta sorority girl ‘ Dawnie' in horror box office thriller Scream 2, which was followed by appearances on the big screen hits Can’t Hardly Wait, and Mafia! From there she went on to star opposite Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House 2 and opposite Larry the Cable Guy in Delta Farce.

Three-time ALMA Award nominee and Latin beauty, Marisol Nichols is one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities. According to The Washington Post, she “brings spirit and even a [dash] of sizzle and easily manages to be the most magnetic presence around.” This Chicago born beauty’s career, like her Mexican-Hungarian-Romanian roots, can be best described as deliciously diverse. Marisol currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Rain.

In his 11 seasons as head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin accomplished many things that have never been done in the team's storied history. A franchise known for stability at the head coaching position, Tomlin ranks among the League's longest-tenured head coaches following the 2017 season.

Tomlin became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII (36 years, 323 days). In his 11 years as head coach of the Steelers, Tomlin has led Pittsburgh to six AFC North titles and has guided the Steelers to the playoffs eight times, including two trips to the Super Bowl (XLIII and XLV).

Tomlin is very active in the community and was recognized, along with his wife Kiya, in February 2013, by the Chuck Cooper Foundation with the Career Achievement in Leadership Diversity and Community Service Award. He has also been a spokesman for the Steelers' and UPMC Sports Medicine's "Don't Hit the Head, Don't Use the Head" program, which was in conjunction with USA Football's Heads Up program that promotes safety in all levels of football. Tomlin also participates in the annual ManUp Pittsburgh conference which encourages local men to be better fathers and role models.

Mr. Williams is an internationally recognized, award winning media personality, decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide. Williams earned his degree in General Engineering and minor in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy. In 2011 Williams founded the neuroscience technology company, Neurohabilitation, Inc, which is now a subsidiary of Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. The company is working with the US Army to further research to potentially treat TBI and clinical trials are in progress in multiple locations. Williams is also a principal of Pure Blue Resources, LLC, an innovative renewable energy technology company. Williams serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition and as a board member to the Fisher House Foundation, The Freedom Festival and Military Adaptive Sports, Inc, host of the 2016 Invictus Games.

Brooke White, the quirky rhaspy-voiced blonde, moved to LA from her native hometown of Mesa, AZ in hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter. After a handful of years spent chasing the dream, writing songs, cutting hair in her bathroom and nannying twins, she finally landed her big break when she was granted a golden ticket to perform on the nation's biggest stage, where millions of viewers formed an emotional bond and welcomed her barefoot at the piano style into their homes on a weekly basis. Since her Top five finish on American Idol, Brooke has continued to pave her own path as a relevant independent artist in the entertainment industry. She started her own record label "June Baby Records" and has independently released 6 records including 3 EP's from her band Jack and White. She has played live for thousands, touring the nation from arenas and theaters to clubs and radio stations. She has hosted live from the red carpet for TV guide, judged Miss America, starred in two TV movies: Change of Plans that aired on FOX and Banner 4th of July for the Hallmark Channel. She currently co-hosts The Girls With Glasses Show, a whimsical web channel and lifestyle series alongside model and actress Summer Bellessa that can be found on YouTube, Ulive and The Design Network. Her most recent song "Something Divine" written nearly 10 years ago about discovering your worth, has been recorded and released also as a music video on the Mormon channel.

On a personal note Brooke and her husband Dave Ray, have been married for over 10 years and welcomed their first child, daughter London also known as "Londy Loo", in May of 2012. The one-time nanny has come full circle, living and loving the roll of a lifetime, now juggling her passions with motherhood. Today her efforts are focused less on massive commercial success and more upon utilizing her talents and platform to truly connect with people in a more honest and hopeful way as to fulfill her greater purpose to uplift others and help them feel less alone. Brooke feels she was "divinely inspired" to find Operation Underground Railroad, after she was generously gifted $20,000 by Foundation Entertainment (a production company she had worked with on Change of Plans) to give to a charity of her choice. After several months of searching and praying for the right charity to donate to, she happened to see a friend's (Stephanie Nielsen) Instagram post about Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue children from human trafficking.

As a protective mother of a sweet daughter of her own, this struck a chord and knew she had found the right one. While she was grateful to give the gift she was given to O.U.R. she also felt compelled to give something of herself and involve her community, which inspired her to make a special record "Never Grow Up: Lullabies and Happy Songs." Each song is an original collaboration with generous and talented artists such as Mindy Gledhill, David Archuleta, Deana Carter, Leigh Nash, Carly Smithson, Daniel Tashian, Lucy Schwartz, Jack Matranga and the late Michael Johns. Utilizing Pledge Music, "Never Grow Up" garnished incredible support from friends and fans and in just a month was able to more than double the original donation and spread awareness for the cause. All of the proceeds raised and continue to be raised (Via iTunes, Google Play etc.) all go towards Operation Underground Railroad. Brooke's work with O.U.R. isn't done, she is fully committed for the long haul as an "abolitionist" in the fight to end child sex slavery and human trafficking.

When I was made aware of the enormous scope of human trafficking, and more specifically the involvement of children in it, I couldn't let it go. The day I became a father, it felt like a primal switch was flipped. There's little I wouldn't do to secure the safety of my own children. O.U.R.'s mission to do just that for children who have been involved in modern day slavery speaks to that same feeling. I'm proud to support O.U.R.'s dedicated operatives who literally risk their own lives and dedicate countless hours to work for the betterment of those affected by human trafficking. To date they've helped save more than 2,000 kids worldwide. This is a fight I can get behind.

"Even though I'm only 13 years old, I want to do what I can to raise awareness about Operation Underground Railroad! Being an Abolitionist means that I'm sharing my voice to help bring an end to human trafficking. Shouldn't you be doing that too?? #OURrescue" - 2015

Chelsie Hightower is a well known dancer originally from Orem, Utah. She was a fan-favorite and finalist on Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, where she still makes appearances as a choreographer and all-star. Two of the pieces that were choreographed for her and her partner were nominated for Emmys. She moved straight to Dancing With the Stars where she performed for nine seasons and, while there, was nominated for an Emmy for a dance she choreographed along with Derek Hough. Her partners have included everyone from Olympic athletes to world renowned entertainers.

She was the face of Reebok's dance line and a multitude of other product endorsements, including Latisse and other national brands. She was featured in the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition with her partner, Ty Murray, where she had a two page spread and has also graced the cover of many national dance and fitness magazines. Dance continues to be a major part of Chelsie's life, and she hopes to inspire as many people to a healthier and happier life through movement and fitness.

Benjamin Pack was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT. As one of six children, he learned early on the value of hard work and serving others. His first job was delivering newspapers at the age of 12 and has worked ever since to provide for his family and others. The lessons learned at a young age helped to set him on a lifelong path of hard work and service.

Since 1996, Ben has worked in the Real Estate and Finance industry. He has helped grow mortgage companies from the ground up as well as worked for Fortune 500 Companies. Benjamin currently works at Altabank as the Mortgage Division President. His responsibilities include business planning and development, compliance, growth, budgets, team management, and directing the day to day operations.

Ben and his wife Kelly enjoy volunteering in their church and community and strive to teach the same work ethics to each member of their family. As a family, they love spending time camping, boating and river rafting. They love spending together working, playing and serving others.

Julianne has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a background in teaching and mentoring children. She loves being part of O.U.R.’s efforts and cannot imagine a greater cause than saving and rescuing children from slavery. She has been on the Board of Directors from the birth of O.U.R. and feels honored to be part of the organization.

Dr. Marc Reynolds is a native of Los Angeles, received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University, Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin.

As a Stage Director Marc Reynolds has enjoyed recent success in directing operatic works for professional and academic organizations. His work has received awards and nominations from the press and critics.

As an educator Dr. Reynolds has taught for The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop. He was a founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

Marc is currently the opera director at Utah Valley University, associate director for Utah Lyric Opera, and on staff for The Cornish American Song Institute and The Utah Lyric Opera Summer Workshop. He also maintains a private voice and acting studio. 

Stephen was born in Edmonton Alberta Canada and Moved to California at 15 years of age. He graduated college with an MS in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the Computer Peripherals Industry, Medical Electronics Device Development and Manufacturing, The Automation Industry and Irrigation Control. He currently owns and runs a company that manufactures a banding castration tools for cattle. He married his high school sweetheart Toni Risser and they have 8 children and 25 grandchildren. He has always been involved in community, church and scouting and currently serves as Scoutmaster and Scouting District Commissioner. He has been associated with Tim Ballard for years before O.U.R. was formed.

O.U.R. Promise

To the children

who we pray for daily, we say:
Your long night is coming to an end.

Hold on. We are on our way.

And to those captors and perpetrators,
even you monsters who dare offend God's
precious children, we declare to you:
Be afraid. We are coming for you.

To those who have read this far,
we plead with you: Donate to our cause
Donate. We can't do this without you.

The Underground Railroad

Why the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid 19th century. They were used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The original Underground Railroad was a group that acted and infiltrated.


Watch Tim Ballard’s inspiration behind why he chose “Operation Underground Railroad”





The Underground Railroad created a path to freedom and we are inspired to do the same.






We Need to Fight Modern Day Slavery
Parallels between historic and modern day slavery


Harriet Tubman & The Underground Railroad


The Secret History of The Underground Railroad


HistoryNet: The Underground Railroad


PBS- The Abolitionists


Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery to Freedom Museum
 

Process

Tap on an icon to learn more

  1. Assess the feasibility of rescue.

    This must take into account the willingness of local authorities to work with us since we not only want to save the children but arrest the perpetrators as well. We also want everything to be done legally and above board.

  2. Research the location

    We also search for vetted care facilities that will take the children once they are rescued and not only give them food and shelter but rehabilitate them as well. In some instances the children are able to return to their families.

  3. Design a strategy

    This is the logistical part of the process. As former CIA, Navy Seals, Special Agents, etc., we have a very unique skill set to make this happen safely, efficiently and legally. We provide local law enforcement training to support and sustain anti-trafficking operations.

  4. Take action.

    Obviously this is the most dangerous part of the operation but one well worth taking. In some instances we go undercover and arrange to "buy" a child as if we were a customer. After the purchase, we move in with the police, arrest those responsible and rescue the children. In other cases, we may act as a "client" looking for favors, etc. Again, we work with local authorities to make sure everything is done to protect the children and that the perpetrators are arrested.

  5. Recover the children.

    These children's lives will never be the same. Their innocence has been stolen and they need help to readjust to a better world. Therapy can be provided as well as food and shelter at a pre-screened facility.

  6. Arrest, try, and convict the perpetrators.

    We follow this process every step of the way to make sure they don't traffic children again. In many cases the perpetrators were sex slaves and victims of trafficking themselves and know no better way to survive. We hope to break this cycle.

We are not a government agency.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
that relies one hundred percent on
donations to save children.

And, we do it because
no child should be a sex slave.

Team

The Team

Tap on a photo to learn more

  • Tim Ballard

    Founder
    & President

    Timothy Ballard is the Founder and President of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). Ballard spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. Ballard has worked undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. In this effort, he has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued countless children from sex slavery. He is an expert at managing Internet investigations, particularly those dealing with file-share networks where pedophiles and traffickers go to trade in child pornography. He has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers and has testified before the United States Congress on best practices to liberate children from sex slavery. 

    Ballard has been featured on many national news outlets to discuss his efforts to combat child trafficking. He has appeared on Fox & Friends, Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, The Meredith Vieira Show, CBS Nightly News, ABC Nightline, and CNN Headline News, MSNBC, The Glenn Beck Program, as well as many local news shows.

    Ballard is the best-selling author of "The Covenant: One Nation Under God," and is the author of the sequel to that work, "The Covenant, Lincoln, and The War." He has taught American and International Politics courses at Imperial Valley College, San Diego State University, and American Heritage School. He has been featured regularly on both local and national TV and radio programs to discuss American history and politics and the role America has played in defending liberty at home and abroad. He has often commented on how his academic work in American history has provided him the inspiration and motivation to rescue children--to carry on the American tradition of liberating the captive. He recently received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

    After serving a church mission to Chile, Ballard graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Brigham Young University. He went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with an MA in International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He resides in California with his wife and children.

  • Brad Damon

    Chief Executive
    Officer

    Brad Damon is the Chief Executive Officer at Operation Underground Railroad.

    He formerly performed the duties of Chief Operating Officer in 2020. Prior to joining Operation Underground Railroad, Damon was the Chief Executive Officer for a 501c(3) organization.  He has accumulated over 25 years of collective business acumen and tenure in both the private and non-profit sector with significant experience in the investment and insurance industry representing a fortune 50 company both as an agency owner and senior management position.  He began his career with Richards, Merrill & Peterson, Inc., the oldest wealth management firm in Spokane, Wa., as a stockbroker and Registered Investment Advisor.  In addition, Damon has been a serial entrepreneur and over the course of his business career has been the owner and active president of 4 other successful companies in unrelated industries.  He has a passion for business and a heart for helping people. 

    Damon attended the University of Washington in 1986 on a baseball scholarship and later received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.   He is an avid outdoorsman, loves riding his Harley Davidson and is active in his church. 

  • Kevin Kozak

    Chief of International
    Operations

  • Jessica Mass

    VP of
    Aftercare

    Born and raised in the Midwest Jessica found her calling in life when she was 13 years old on a church mission trip in the inner-city of Brooklyn, New York. For the past two decades she has worked domestically and internationally in nonprofit empowering youth in foster care, areas of mental health and human trafficking. She has first-hand experience being a therapeutic foster parent for children that experienced severe neglect, abuse or human trafficking. Jessica has been a guest speaker in regards to aftercare on the Glenn Beck show, the United Nations held in Salt Lake City, the Huntsman School of Business Leadership Series, the North Carolina Human Trafficking Education Seminar, interviewed on the It’s a Penalty Campaign, as well as several news outlets and podcasts.

    Jessica has a strong belief that there is always hope for everyone and sometimes it just takes one person pouring into another that will be forever life-changing. She works with many survivors every week and they constantly inspire her to live with strength, passion and love.

    Jessica double-majored in college in Biblical Studies and Education at Multnomah University. She also completed the Arts Bridge Scholar program at the University of Utah, has been trained in NLP, lived in Africa, and was certified in the Teaching Family Model. In 2020 she completed a Masters degree in Global Development and Justice from Multnomah University. When she’s not working she loves being outdoors hiking, rock-climbing and of course eating frozen yogurt along the way.

  • J.C. Holt

    Director of Domestic
    Law Enforcement
    Relations

    J.C. joined O.U.R. in March 2021 as the Director of Domestic Operations. Prior to working with O.U.R., he served as a law enforcement officer in the state of Utah for 20 years. He served in a variety of capacities throughout his career and retired at the rank of Sergeant. He has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and specialized in establishing relationships with several NGO’s in the state of Utah during his law enforcement career.
     
    J.C. has been married for nearly 20 years and has 4 children. He loves to spend time with his family and especially in the outdoors. J.C. earned a Bachelors degree in Business Management from Western Governors University and an Associates degree in Criminal Justice from Salt Lake Community College. 
  • Matt Osborne

    Deputy Director
    International Operations

    Matt Osborne has held a variety of positions within Operation Underground Railroad since he joined the organization in 2014, focused on undercover rescue operations, aftercare, education and outreach. Before that he served a 12-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and US Department of State, where he worked issues related to terrorism against the homeland, illegal narcotics, organized crime, and human trafficking. He regularly provided secrets and analysis to US Presidents, senior cabinet officials, and the National Security Council.

    In his role as a Foreign Service Officer and diplomat, Matt served overseas tours in Madrid, Spain, Caracas, Venezuela, and Mexico City, Mexico, and organized official visits for former President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Matt holds a B.A. in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. He has been married for almost 25 years and has two teenage daughters who give him the drive to fight child exploitation and human trafficking around the world.

  • Tyler Schwab

    Senior Aftercare
    Country Specialist

    Tyler has spent the last 9 years working anti-human trafficking all over the world in over 20 countries in the areas of Central/South America, the Carribean, South Africa, and parts of Europe. He coordinates the aftercare services for survivors, including returning them back to their family or coordinating safe housing and educational resources for them. 

    He is an expert in quality aftercare services and has testified in the highest offices in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. Schwab has been featured on numerous media outlets such as ABC4 News Good for Utah, Wyoming Signatures, Star Valley Independent, Wyo4News, Casper Star Tribune, Huntsmen Business from Utah State University, The Utah Special Victims Unit Conference, The Utah Survivors Podcast, Our Deepest Fear Podcast, and El Tribuno Salta Argentina. In 2013, Tyler founded Libertas International, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and restoration of survivors of human trafficking in Latin America. Tyler is fluent in Spanish. Tyler graduated from Utah State University, University of Wyoming, and BYU-Idaho with degrees Spanish and Healthcare Administration. He was voted student entrepreneur of the year in 2016 at BYU-Idaho for his work in the For Purpose Field. He also earned the Anti Human Trafficking Certificate from Vanguard University's School for Woman and Justice in late 2020. 

    He has worked with NGOs such as the Make A Wish Foundation, The Tim Tebow Foundation, and the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. He enjoys fitness, hiking, photography, bingeing, and writing in his free time.
  • Jacob Ostler

    Aftercare
    Specialist

    Jacob first began working with survivors of sexual violence in 2016 and began volunteering with
    the O.U.R. Aftercare Team in 2017. He received a bachelor’s degree in
    Psychology in 2019 and a master’s degree in social work in 2021. Jacob spent a year providing
    therapy services for survivors of torture who reside in Utah. He has also provided therapy
    services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Jacob has worked with survivors of
    human trafficking, child marriage, and sexual abuse in Utah as well as in multiple countries
    including Ghana, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, and Malaysia. He has also provided aftercare
    trainings with NGO’s and law enforcement in Utah, Nepal, and Malaysia.
    When Jacob is not working he enjoys spending time with his amazing wife, hiking, camping,
    playing with his dog, and anything animal related.

  • Jib Tatsana

    Senior Country
    Manager, Thailand

    Jib knew she wanted to work in social services when she was is collage getting her BA in Humanities Faculty. She did several student’s activates to gain experience for herself and lead other younger students at her university including making the outreach at risk youth and people in rural areas. She gain the majority of her experience working in youth development in different jobs in the past including being a teacher. This is what led to her finding out about children who were sexually abused. After this discovery she knew she needed more specialized training in trauma healing and child protection.Jib is trained as a NLP practitioner and is certified in psycho therapeutics coaching. She loves to support survivors to build a new foundation, strengthen families and be an active member in the child protection network. Jib has worked in aftercare for 7 years. During her free time she likes to spend time on listening music, singing, and practicing meditation.

  • Ruth Appiah
    Dankyira

    Country Director,
    Ghana

    Ruth Appiah Dankyira is an accomplished professional who specializes in social work, gender rights protection, and aftercare. She has a passion for defending abused children and women, and ensuring that their rights are fully exercised. She has served in the the Abuse Relief Corps for six years, and has played a massive role in bringing many predators to justice. 

    One of her biggest aspirations in life is to be an advocate for women and children and to help them stand up to injustice. She is passionate about empowering women and children to achieve their goals and defend themselves against attackers. 

    When she is not working, Ruth loves to cook and read about law and gender, and business.

  • Paola
    Gálico Félix Díaz

    Country Director,
    Mexico

    Attorney at Law

    Ibero-American and UNESCO "Honoris Causa" Doctoral, for outstanding work in the Combat of Human Trafficking for more than 10 years.

    - Currently Managing Director of the Mexico City Tourism Board.

    - Federal Deputy for District 17 Cuajimalpa-Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City.

    Ordinary Commissions

    National Defense (Secretary)

    Public Safety (Member)

    Attention to Vulnerable Groups (Member)

    Special Commissions

    Against Human Trafficking (Secretary). In the legislative field has promoted various proposals to update and improve the legal framework regarding Trafficking in Persons, Vulnerable Groups, Public Security and National Defense.

    - Representative to the United Nations in various forums and meetings (New York, Vienna, Brussels and Washington) for Operation Blessing Mexico.

    - Positioned the issue of Human Trafficking within the European Parliament.

    - President of "Uno a Uno" UNAM, Movement Against Slavery.

    - President of the National Anti-Slavery Committee.

    - Collaborator in SDP-Noticias, news protocol.

    - Columnist in: El Universal daily newspaper, Ruiz-Healy Times and

    Signum magazines.

    - Co-host in the Ruiz Healy news program.

    - President of the Casa Refugio, a safe house which reintegrates girls, victims of trafficking.

    - Promoter of the National Campaign “Por Un Mexico Libre de Trata”, (Mexico Free of Trafficking Campaign).

    - Member and activist of Tim Ballard's “Operation Underground Railroad” Foundation.

    - Member of the “Foundation to Revert Global Warming A.C.”, an associate of the

    "Operation Blessing Mexico" foundation and activist in the "Food For Children" foundation.

    - Creator of the program "Moviendo Tu Vida" (Moving Your Life) delivering 3,368 wheelchairs since 2016.

    - Promoted the creation of the National Emergency Telephone Number for Human Trafficking complaint assistance, * 5533.

    - The first student who published in the Iuris Tantum, a publication of historical and legal research on the Anahuac University.

    - Author of the Independence Bicentennial commemoration poem “Mexico Guerras Floridas, Génesis sobre la Revolución” and collaborator in the investigation of "Guillen de Lampart Precursor de la Independencia de México".

    - Author of "La Cosification de Los Seres Humanos", (The Objectification of Human Beings) a book on the objectification of human trafficking victims.

  • Constance

    Aftercare Specialist, SE Asia

    Constance is from the United States, and has been living in Southeast Asia since 2013 reaching the locals in various capacities, leading worship, and fighting human-trafficking. She speaks the language and loves immersing herself in the culture.
    Over the course of her time in Southeast Asia, she has been a case manger of victims of human trafficking, conducted repatriations, assisted at a shelter for women who have been trafficked, collaborated with various investigative and aftercare NGO’s and law enforcement, specialized in conducting victim intakes and assessments, and directed outreaches in the redlight areas that are geared towards internationally trafficked victims and locals. 

    In 2018, Constance joined O.U.R and began developing, coordinating, and leading
    investigative outreaches in the redlight areas with the Ops Team and Aftercare
    Team. Through the outreaches, she’s been able to offer hope and a safe space to
    victims, and tackle root issues in trafficking from intel collected through outreaches. She
    has also received trainings on the various essentials of safety, surveillance, and
    investigations, and assists the Ops Team on needed cases. 
    Constance has a bachelors degree in music and speech communication, tech diploma
    in audio engineering, and a masters degree in counseling psychology. Previously as a
    therapist, she utilized cognitive methods, yet since living in Southeast Asia has attended
    seminars, workshops, and trainings for developing art therapy methods for trauma
    cases. She also specializes in suicidal ideation assessments and de-escalation. 

    Constance has traveled to 14 different countries and looks forwarded to traveling to
    many more.

  • Jerry Gowen

    Chief Experience
    Officer

    Jerry Gowen was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) in November 2014. In this role, he is responsible for development, IT, marketing, communications, donor relations, partnerships and contributing to the organization’s strategy.

    Prior to joining O.U.R., Gowen managed communications for Symantec Corp., a Fortune 500 publicly-traded software company with 21,000 employees and $7 billion in annual revenue. During his 10 year career at Symantec, Gowen was responsible for creation and execution of the public relations and social media strategies for 2 of the company's largest business units. He is recognized as one of the top trade media relations experts in the U.S. and was named Top Tech Communicator of the Year.

    Prior to Symantec, Gowen served as Senior Public Relations Manager for PowerQuest Corp. and Global Communications Manager at Legato Systems, Inc. Gowen has also served as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Washington State University, teaching courses in communications, public relations, marketing, information technology and statistics.

    Gowen earned his BA in Public Relations with a Minor in Business Management at Brigham Young University in 1998 and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Communications. He earned his MBA at Washington State University in 2010 and was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement.

    Gowen is fluent in Spanish and resides in Utah with his wife and 6 children. He is active in the community supporting the Boy Scouts of America and local youth soccer programs.

  • Emily Evans

    Chief Communications
    Officer

    Emily was born and raised in Southern California works out of the Orange County O.U.R. office. 

    After receiving her Bachelors degree in Media & Communications, Emily was asked to start a marketing department at Champion Safe. It was there where she grew a team that implemented new marketing and strategic strategies to help relaunch a new series of safes in 2012 which quickly became some of the top selling safes in the world. Emily then spent several years as a Recruiter for Red Bull North America out of their headquarters in Santa Monica.

    Emily became passionate about nonprofits when she had the opportunity to work with Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) on their yearly event, StandUp2Cancer. She also spent time volunteering for Project PLAY!, a non-profit that provides funding for sports, music and art youth programs in Los Angeles.

    She started at O.U.R. in 2014 as a volunteer and has been with the company ever since. As the current Chief Communications Officer for Operation Underground Railroad, Emily has found her true passion in ending child sex slavery around the world. When she is not working she enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga and spending time with her husband, children and King Charles Cavaliers.

    You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know. -William Wilberforce

  • Simon Brewer

    Chief Financial
    Officer

    Simon Brewer joined Operation Underground Railroad as Chief Financial Officer in February of 2021.  In this capacity, he is responsible for O.U.R.’s finance and accounting functions. Prior to O.U.R., Simon served as Chief Financial Officer of Predictive Technology Group, Inc., a publicly-traded life science company he joined in 2018. He was responsible for Predictive’s finance, accounting, HR, and IT functions. Simon served as Chief Financial Officer of Norbest, joined in 2016. He was responsible for Norbest’s finance, accounting, HR, and IT functions. Norbest employs just over 500 people. Annual revenue for Norbest was around $150 million with products being sold in the United States and numerous foreign countries through international distribution. Prior to joining Norbest, he was Vice President, Finance and IT for Wilson Electronics, LLC, in St. George, UT, where he was responsible for their finance, IT, and HR functions. Reporting directly to the CEO, Simon oversaw significant growth for the electronics company operating in all 50 states, and internationally in several countries.  Simon assisted heavily in building scalable processes, modernizing the business, international growth in Asia, and acquisition of a main competitor.  Earlier in his career, he held the position of Senior Director/Corporate Controller for Backcountry.com, Inc., where his initiatives were responsible for over 10% of the bottom line EBITDA in 2012 and 2013.  Simon was key in 2 significant acquisitions that added about $100 million annually to the top-line, growing from $150M to $500M during his tenure. Simon started his accounting career and business education as a Certified Public Accountant, an auditor for KPMG LLP. Simon began his professional career as a programmer-turned-operations manager in a Dotcom for 5 years, working full-time while attending school full-time. Simon received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a minor in Russian from the University of Utah in 2004. He completed his Master of Accounting at the same school in 2005.

  • Ayman Asfour

    Country Director, Mediterranean

  • Nate Lewis

    VP of
    Development

  • Morgan Foutz

    Director of
    Outreach

    Before having lived all over the world in Korea, Italy, and Taiwan, Morgan was born in Georgia and raised in Utah. She has acquainted herself with many cultures, learned conversational Italian and Mandarin, and has come to love the beauty of humanity.

    Morgan has served in many capacities for O.U.R. First, as a volunteer and then as Volunteer Team Leader for her local chapter which eventually led to the invitation to join the ranks as an official employee as Community Relations Manager, now she feels she has found her true calling as Director of Outreach.

    Morgan graduated with high honors from Utah Valley University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and a concentration in Psychology. She has been serving as a volunteer consistently for many organizations since 2000, from an elementary reading tutor to courtroom mediator. She was first introduced to human trafficking during college and ending human trafficking has been her passion ever since. She is a mother of 4 and wants to make the world a safer place for them and for everyone!

    If she has free time, she enjoys cooking, shooting, hiking, martial arts, Latin and Country Swing dancing, learning, and her favorite of all--making memories and sharing laughter with loved ones. 

  • Garry McIntosh

    Director of
    Donor Relations

    Garry joined Operation Underground Railroad in March 2020. He is responsible for increasing awareness about the OUR mission and donor development. Prior to joining OUR, Garry served as Chief Operating Officer for Intiva Health where he was charged with financial planning, investor relations, healthcare administration, strategic partnerships, sales and marketing, and general operations. Garry has over 8.5 years managing healthcare and software teams and holds a high importance on cultivating integrity and positivity into the workplace. 
     
    Garry and his family enjoy volunteering and have worked with a number of youth organizations over the years, including founding Sports in the Park, which offers a safe and consistent space for underserved youth to play and grow. Garry has a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s in Business Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. In his free time, Garry enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, hiking, playing hockey, and fishing.
  • Hillary Newton

    Senior Director
    of Marketing

  • Nicki Blackhurst

    Executive Assistant
    to CEO

    Nicki is a Community Relations Manager for Operation Underground Railroad in the Outreach Department. Prior to joining O.U.R. as an official staff member, Nicki served as a volunteer team leader and started the Yuma, Arizona team in 2016 and Phoenix, Arizona team in 2017 alongside her husband.
     
    Nicki has been a Certified Pediatric Nurse for 11 years working in Pediatrics, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Labor and Delivery. She is currently working on her Master's in Nursing Education. Because of her love of teaching, she looks for every opportunity to educate her community and new volunteers about human trafficking and online safety. She enjoys getting to know new volunteers and helping them learn how to get involved with O.U.R. and helping them with their fundraisers and events.
     
    She resides in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and 3 children. They enjoy being outdoors, traveling, and serving in their community as a family.
  • Mikilah Braun

    Content
    Manager

  • Hayden Paul

    Assistant Director
    of Donor Relations

    Hayden Paul grew up in Sandy, Utah. After high school, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Budapest, Hungary. Following his mission, Hayden started a video production company and spent a year and a half traveling the world visiting all but 2 continents. He became aware of the prevalent issue of human trafficking during his travels and decided to get involved with Operation Underground Railroad in early 2019. Feeling the weight of responsibility to protect his own country’s freedoms, Hayden enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September of 2019. In January of 2020, Hayden married the love of his life Savannah. Later he attended USMC recruit training and the School of Infantry for six months in California. Upon his return from training, Hayden resumed his service as an Infantry reservist at 4th LAR Charlie Company and resumed his full-time role at Operation Underground Railroad. He and his wife now live in Sandy. 

  • Chrissy Gavin

    Community Relations
    Manager

    Chrissy grew up in Kearns, Utah. After high school, she served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ft Lauderdale, FL. She worked as the Business Development Coordinator for Presidio Insurance Agency for 4 years. She became a full-time mom, which she loved! When she became aware of the severity of human trafficking, she reached out to see what she could do to help. She became the San Diego Volunteer Team Leader. In July 2020 she was happy to accept a full-time position with Operation Underground Railroad because she loves working with all the volunteers and feels so strongly about fighting human trafficking. She lives with her husband and four children in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
  • Julie Orrock

    Support Services
    Manager

Ambassadors

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  • Marisol Nichols

    Actress

    Marisol Nichols can be seen starring as 'Hermione Lodge' on The CW’s “Riverdale”. She will next appear as the female lead alongside Samuel L Jackson, Chris Rock and Max Minghella in the reboot Saw franchise, releasing May 15, 2020. She has appeared as the mysterious and elusive “Desert Wolf” on the popular MTV series “Teen Wolf" and had significant recurring roles as 'ATF Special Agent Zoe Keates’ on “NCIS" and 'Agent Natalie Colfax’ on the staple crime series “Criminal Minds”. Showcasing her versatile acting skills, Marisol next played the Pakistani-American 'Nadia Yassir,' who commands CTU in Season Six of the hot series  “24". Additionally, she starred as 'Sarah Monahan' on ABC’s "The Gates" and as 'Heather Cruz' in the Darren Star produced ABC show “GCB" opposite Kristin Chenoweth and Leslie Bibb.

    In addition to her work on screen, Marisol fights for the rights of young girls and women through her philanthropic and activism work with her non-profit organization Foundation for a Slavery Free World as well as Youth for Human Rights International. Both organizations fight to bring awareness and shine a light on modern day slavery and the commercial sexual exploitation of children on a global level, as well as here in the United States. Additionally, she produces the annual Human Rights Hero Awards, where she awards other organizations and individuals that are doing heroic work in this field.

    Early in her career, Nichols landed a role in Showtime’s groundbreaking "Resurrection Boulevard", for which she received critical acclaim for her defiant portrayal of troubled teen 'Victoria Santiago’. After a three-year run on "Resurrection Boulevard", Marisol starred in the Steven Bochco drama “Blind Justice” as 'Detective Karen Bettancourt’.

    Her breakout role as 'Audrey Griswold’, alongside Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo in Vegas Vacation brought her to the forefront of classic American cinema. She then appeared as Windsor College student and Omega Beta Zeta sorority girl ‘ Dawnie' in horror box office thriller Scream 2, which was followed by appearances on the big screen hits Can’t Hardly Wait, and Mafia! From there she went on to star opposite Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House 2 and opposite Larry the Cable Guy in Delta Farce.

    Three-time ALMA Award nominee and Latin beauty, Marisol Nichols is one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities. According to The Washington Post, she “brings spirit and even a [dash] of sizzle and easily manages to be the most magnetic presence around.” This Chicago born beauty’s career, like her Mexican-Hungarian-Romanian roots, can be best described as deliciously diverse. Marisol currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Rain.

  • Mike Tomlin

    Head Coach
    Pittsburgh Steelers

    In his 11 seasons as head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin accomplished many things that have never been done in the team's storied history. A franchise known for stability at the head coaching position, Tomlin ranks among the League's longest-tenured head coaches following the 2017 season.

    Tomlin became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII (36 years, 323 days). In his 11 years as head coach of the Steelers, Tomlin has led Pittsburgh to six AFC North titles and has guided the Steelers to the playoffs eight times, including two trips to the Super Bowl (XLIII and XLV).

    Tomlin is very active in the community and was recognized, along with his wife Kiya, in February 2013, by the Chuck Cooper Foundation with the Career Achievement in Leadership Diversity and Community Service Award. He has also been a spokesman for the Steelers' and UPMC Sports Medicine's "Don't Hit the Head, Don't Use the Head" program, which was in conjunction with USA Football's Heads Up program that promotes safety in all levels of football. Tomlin also participates in the annual ManUp Pittsburgh conference which encourages local men to be better fathers and role models.

  • Laurie Holden

    Actress

  • Carly Schroeder

    Actress

  • Montel Williams

    Media Personality

    Mr. Williams is an internationally recognized, award winning media personality, decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide. Williams earned his degree in General Engineering and minor in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy. In 2011 Williams founded the neuroscience technology company, Neurohabilitation, Inc, which is now a subsidiary of Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. The company is working with the US Army to further research to potentially treat TBI and clinical trials are in progress in multiple locations. Williams is also a principal of Pure Blue Resources, LLC, an innovative renewable energy technology company. Williams serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition and as a board member to the Fisher House Foundation, The Freedom Festival and Military Adaptive Sports, Inc, host of the 2016 Invictus Games.

  • Brooke White

    Singer/Songwriter

    Brooke White, the quirky rhaspy-voiced blonde, moved to LA from her native hometown of Mesa, AZ in hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter. After a handful of years spent chasing the dream, writing songs, cutting hair in her bathroom and nannying twins, she finally landed her big break when she was granted a golden ticket to perform on the nation's biggest stage, where millions of viewers formed an emotional bond and welcomed her barefoot at the piano style into their homes on a weekly basis. Since her Top five finish on American Idol, Brooke has continued to pave her own path as a relevant independent artist in the entertainment industry. She started her own record label "June Baby Records" and has independently released 6 records including 3 EP's from her band Jack and White. She has played live for thousands, touring the nation from arenas and theaters to clubs and radio stations. She has hosted live from the red carpet for TV guide, judged Miss America, starred in two TV movies: Change of Plans that aired on FOX and Banner 4th of July for the Hallmark Channel. She currently co-hosts The Girls With Glasses Show, a whimsical web channel and lifestyle series alongside model and actress Summer Bellessa that can be found on YouTube, Ulive and The Design Network. Her most recent song "Something Divine" written nearly 10 years ago about discovering your worth, has been recorded and released also as a music video on the Mormon channel.

    On a personal note Brooke and her husband Dave Ray, have been married for over 10 years and welcomed their first child, daughter London also known as "Londy Loo", in May of 2012. The one-time nanny has come full circle, living and loving the roll of a lifetime, now juggling her passions with motherhood. Today her efforts are focused less on massive commercial success and more upon utilizing her talents and platform to truly connect with people in a more honest and hopeful way as to fulfill her greater purpose to uplift others and help them feel less alone. Brooke feels she was "divinely inspired" to find Operation Underground Railroad, after she was generously gifted $20,000 by Foundation Entertainment (a production company she had worked with on Change of Plans) to give to a charity of her choice. After several months of searching and praying for the right charity to donate to, she happened to see a friend's (Stephanie Nielsen) Instagram post about Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue children from human trafficking.

    As a protective mother of a sweet daughter of her own, this struck a chord and knew she had found the right one. While she was grateful to give the gift she was given to O.U.R. she also felt compelled to give something of herself and involve her community, which inspired her to make a special record "Never Grow Up: Lullabies and Happy Songs." Each song is an original collaboration with generous and talented artists such as Mindy Gledhill, David Archuleta, Deana Carter, Leigh Nash, Carly Smithson, Daniel Tashian, Lucy Schwartz, Jack Matranga and the late Michael Johns. Utilizing Pledge Music, "Never Grow Up" garnished incredible support from friends and fans and in just a month was able to more than double the original donation and spread awareness for the cause. All of the proceeds raised and continue to be raised (Via iTunes, Google Play etc.) all go towards Operation Underground Railroad. Brooke's work with O.U.R. isn't done, she is fully committed for the long haul as an "abolitionist" in the fight to end child sex slavery and human trafficking.

  • Kaskade

    Artist/Producer

    When I was made aware of the enormous scope of human trafficking, and more specifically the involvement of children in it, I couldn't let it go. The day I became a father, it felt like a primal switch was flipped. There's little I wouldn't do to secure the safety of my own children. O.U.R.'s mission to do just that for children who have been involved in modern day slavery speaks to that same feeling. I'm proud to support O.U.R.'s dedicated operatives who literally risk their own lives and dedicate countless hours to work for the betterment of those affected by human trafficking. To date they've helped save more than 2,000 kids worldwide. This is a fight I can get behind.

  • Lexi Walker

    Singer

    "Even though I'm only 13 years old, I want to do what I can to raise awareness about Operation Underground Railroad! Being an Abolitionist means that I'm sharing my voice to help bring an end to human trafficking. Shouldn't you be doing that too?? #OURrescue" - 2015

  • Chelsie Hightower

    Dancer

    Chelsie Hightower is a well known dancer originally from Orem, Utah. She was a fan-favorite and finalist on Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, where she still makes appearances as a choreographer and all-star. Two of the pieces that were choreographed for her and her partner were nominated for Emmys. She moved straight to Dancing With the Stars where she performed for nine seasons and, while there, was nominated for an Emmy for a dance she choreographed along with Derek Hough. Her partners have included everyone from Olympic athletes to world renowned entertainers.

    She was the face of Reebok's dance line and a multitude of other product endorsements, including Latisse and other national brands. She was featured in the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition with her partner, Ty Murray, where she had a two page spread and has also graced the cover of many national dance and fitness magazines. Dance continues to be a major part of Chelsie's life, and she hopes to inspire as many people to a healthier and happier life through movement and fitness.

  • Burgess Owens

Directors

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  • Benjamin Pack

    Benjamin Pack was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT. As one of six children, he learned early on the value of hard work and serving others. His first job was delivering newspapers at the age of 12 and has worked ever since to provide for his family and others. The lessons learned at a young age helped to set him on a lifelong path of hard work and service.

    Since 1996, Ben has worked in the Real Estate and Finance industry. He has helped grow mortgage companies from the ground up as well as worked for Fortune 500 Companies. Benjamin currently works at Altabank as the Mortgage Division President. His responsibilities include business planning and development, compliance, growth, budgets, team management, and directing the day to day operations.

    Ben and his wife Kelly enjoy volunteering in their church and community and strive to teach the same work ethics to each member of their family. As a family, they love spending time camping, boating and river rafting. They love spending together working, playing and serving others.

  • Julianne Blake

    Julianne has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a background in teaching and mentoring children. She loves being part of O.U.R.’s efforts and cannot imagine a greater cause than saving and rescuing children from slavery. She has been on the Board of Directors from the birth of O.U.R. and feels honored to be part of the organization.

  • Marc Reynolds

    Dr. Marc Reynolds is a native of Los Angeles, received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University, Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin.

    As a Stage Director Marc Reynolds has enjoyed recent success in directing operatic works for professional and academic organizations. His work has received awards and nominations from the press and critics.

    As an educator Dr. Reynolds has taught for The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop. He was a founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

    Marc is currently the opera director at Utah Valley University, associate director for Utah Lyric Opera, and on staff for The Cornish American Song Institute and The Utah Lyric Opera Summer Workshop. He also maintains a private voice and acting studio. 

  • Stephen Fairbanks

    Stephen was born in Edmonton Alberta Canada and Moved to California at 15 years of age. He graduated college with an MS in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the Computer Peripherals Industry, Medical Electronics Device Development and Manufacturing, The Automation Industry and Irrigation Control. He currently owns and runs a company that manufactures a banding castration tools for cattle. He married his high school sweetheart Toni Risser and they have 8 children and 25 grandchildren. He has always been involved in community, church and scouting and currently serves as Scoutmaster and Scouting District Commissioner. He has been associated with Tim Ballard for years before O.U.R. was formed.

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