Critical Link International Governance

Angela Sasso, President

Maria Aguilar Solano, Vice President

Kiran Malli, Secretary

Maria Wattne, Communications

Izabel E. T. de V. Souza, Communications

Naomi Morita, Membership

Carmen Valero Garcés, Member at Large

Annike Andre-Barrett, Executive Administrator (Consultant)

Sukhi Ghuman, Digital Marketing (Consultant)










Board of Directors

Angela Sasso, President

Angela brings close to three decades of experience as an intercultural communication expert, working since 1989 to promote access, inclusion, and quality language services. A senior-level executive, educator, program manager, policy developer, and expert consultant, Angela is currently fulfilling a second, 3-year term as President of Critical Link International. The Co-founder and President of Toc, the Interpreters’ Co-op, Founder and Director of Shifting Pictures, International Expert to the ISO TC 37/SC 5 Terminology and other language content and resources, Co-chair, Health Standards Organization, Technical Committee for Communication in Health Services.

Angela is a veteran educator and curriculum developer dedicated to quality education and professional development opportunities for community and health care interpreters and has been instrumental in affecting systemic change in the provision and utilization of interpreter services in BC. Ms. Sasso has been training community and health care interpreters to work in community, healthcare, and mental health settings since 1995. In 2012, Angela founded and implemented Interpreter’s Lab, which has become a leader in interpreter training in British Columbia, Canada. Angela also teaches at Vancouver Community College – Interpreter Programs in addition to giving courses for health care providers, social workers, correctional officers, and professionals, on how to most effectively work with language services.

Maria Aguilar Solano, Vice President

Maria Aguilar Solano is an Assistant Professor of Interpreting at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She has been committed to the development of the profession and improving interpreters’ working conditions since 2007. Through her Ph.D. in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the University of Manchester, her research agenda, and her community work, she has contributed to the training of community interpreters and the development of syllabi that capacitate interpreters to empower themselves and the community. She has collaborated with other organizations in Spain and the USA. Her research agenda on non-professional interpreting, community-driven interpreter training, and migration places her in a unique position between research, professional practice, and community interpreting.

Kiran Malli, Secretary

Kiran Malli has worked in the area of improving access to health care for people with limited English proficiency since 1996. Over that time, Ms. Malli has developed and implemented interpreting service programs within various health care institutions and health regions across the Greater Vancouver area. Kiran is currently the Director of the Provincial Language Service (a program of BC’s Provincial Health Services Authority) and is in her second, 3-year term as a board of director with Critical Link International.

Kiran Malli fully understands that meaningful access to health care begins with the ability to effectively communicate with the health care provider. She is a strong advocate for equitable access to care which ties to her experience in the field of anti-racism, diversity, and access. She is an established curriculum developer and facilitator/trainer. Kiran has been training community interpreters in various aspects since 1996. She has extensive experience developing training modules to suit organizational and group needs.  She has a strong background in program planning and development as well as extensive experience consulting with community groups in designing programs and projects that reflect their needs and concerns.

Maria Wattne, Communications

Maria Wattne is a long-term member of Critical Link International with a strong commitment to community interpreting. She is based out of Oslo, Norway, and focuses on the professionalization of Norwegian interpreters, and has been involved in advancing their professional interests through organizing, in the establishment of the National Register of Interpreters, and in the processes of testing and training of interpreters. Originally an interpreter of Thai/Norwegian and a qualified journalist, Ms. Wattne worked for nine years as a communications executive in Norway’s largest union. Since 2016, she was employed at OsloMet University, piloting, establishing, and managing the Bilingual Proficiency Test, an oral screening test for aspiring interpreters of Norwegian. From November 2018, she has been focusing on her Ph.D. fellowship at the Department of International Studies and Interpreting, Faculty of Education and International Studies, OsloMet University: “Interpreter-mediated Communication as Part of the Education of Professionals in the Public Sector”.

Izabel E. T. de V. Souza, Communications

With over 35 years of service, Dr. Souza is an expert in intercultural communication. Her life’s passion has always been to work to increase language access globally as a human right. To this effect, she co-founded the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters and worked as President of the International Medical Interpreters Association and Secretary-General of the International Federation of Translators. She is the international project leader for ISO 21998 – Healthcare Interpreting Requirements and Recommendations and is also an expert with ASTM. She also heads the Healthcare Committee of the National Language Access Coalition (US). Currently, she is on the Board of Directors of the Miami Dade College Advisory Board, the Editorial Board of BABEL, and in 2020 joined the Board of Directors of Critical Link International. Dr. Souza specializes in the healthcare sector, as a consultant and researcher. Her clients include corporations, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions requiring assistance with language access initiatives,  operations, or deployment. As an educator, she also provides interpreting curriculum design and content, in addition, occasional university courses. Her research areas include healthcare language access policy, interpreting standards, competencies & certification, the simultaneous mode in healthcare, and intercultural mediation techniques. In addition to an extensive list of academic publications, she has authored the book Intercultural Mediation in Healthcare, a book primarily for interpreters, and edited The Handbook of Research on Medical Interpreting, a compendium of international interpreting research, published December 2019. She is already working on my next book, where I discuss how to fight the many forces of deprofessionalization and policies that shortchange linguistic diversity, inclusion, and access. (

Naomi Morita, Communications

Naomi started her career as a conference interpreter in the field of medicine. As she was a patient herself during her 20s and 30s, she decided to devote herself to help healthcare providers as an interpreter, which helps patients indirectly. Naomi has had experience working as a healthcare interpreter for more than a decade. She is also active in improving the working environment of healthcare interpreters, providing education, and conducting research. Since 2016, she has been the president of the National Association for Medical Interpreters (NAMI), Japan. Naomi received a Master of Public Health from the University of Tokyo (Japan) and from spring, 2020 a Ph.D. student in Social Medicine at the same university.

Carmen Valero Garcés, Member At Large

Carmen Valero-Garcés, MA, PhD, Professor of Translation, and Interpreting at the University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain. She is also the Director of the MA in Intercultural Communication and Public Service Interpreting and Translation program and of the Research Group FITISPos, a group dedicated to the study of the quality of communication in multilingual societies) as well as the editor of the online multilingual interdisciplinary double-blind peer review FITISPos International Journal and coordinator of the association AFIPTISP, and vice-president of ENPSIT (European Network for Public Service Interpreting and Translation).

Andre-Barrett, Executive Administrator (Staff)

Annike Andre-Barrett is a dedicated language professional with over 10 years in medical, legal, and community interpreting.  She has developed cultural sensitivity, awareness, and diplomacy through diverse international educational and work experiences in four continents and in three languages.  Skilled in research and advocacy, teaching, skills-assessment training, community engagement, and outreach, Annike is passionate about the professionalization and advancement of the community/public service interpreting field globally.

Sukhi Ghuman, Digital Marketing