Paula Meyer Besler, Vice President of Advocacy and Operations
Paula Meyer Besler is the Vice President of Advocacy and Operations. She has been a lifelong advocate for survivors of sexual abuse and has a passion to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking in our country. Her mission is to raise awareness, create strategic partnerships, advocate for and advance legislation, and garner individual and corporate support to combat this epidemic in America.
As the Vice President of Advocacy and Operations, Ms. Besler creates legislative partnerships at the state and federal level, engages with donors and corporate partners, and shares the current work of Selah Freedom with these partnerships to raise the awareness and support that further Selah Freedom’s mission to end sex trafficking. She also oversees the day to day operations of Selah Freedom and manages the strategic direction of departments, staff and programming.
Ms. Besler brings to this position extensive legal experience and community partnership skills from her past advocacy roles. She was the Director of Community and Health Relations with Advocate Health Care for many years, where she managed community relations, community health and government relations/advocacy. Ms. Besler was a practicing medical defense attorney and the managing law partner of a Chicago office over a twenty-year period, as well as an Administrator and Adjunct Law Professor for ten years at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is currently the President of IL District 207’s School Board, of which she has been an elected board member for over five years.
Ms. Besler also brings to this role vast experience in issues related to sex trafficking and exploitation. Over her career, Ms. Besler worked in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Sex Crime Unit, Mass Molestation Division and represented pro bono and/or counseled women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Ms. Besler graduated cum laude with a BS in Business from University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and received her JD law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She has completed her coursework for an LLM (Master of Law) in Child Law with a focus on abuse and neglect, and her thesis is to be completed.