Meet Our Staff


Andrew Beckwith

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A devout Christian, faithful husband and loving father, Andrew Beckwith deeply shares our family values, most especially the sanctity of life and the definition of marriage. No stranger to our mission, Andrew previously served on the MFI Board for three years where his leadership and wisdom were greatly valued.

Andrew, his wife Karen, and their three children live in Wenham and attend North Shore Community Baptist Church. A graduate of Gordon College and the University of Minnesota Law School, Andrew is a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps Reserve where he holds the rank of major. He has also served as an immigration trial attorney for the Boston office of the Department of Homeland Security.


Jonathan Alexandre

Legal Counsel
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Jonathan Alexandre’s professional experiences and academic training secures his passion for Legal and Legislative Advocacy. Raised in a Christian home, and the son of an ordained minister, Jonathan strongly believes that his professional career and his personal faith are seamless.

Jonathan holds a Juris Doctor (Law) Degree from Liberty University School of Law. Prior to joining MFI at age 26, Jonathan worked as the Mayoral Intern for the Mayor of the City of Worcester, a Research Assistant at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs in Jerusalem, Israel, as well as a Civilian Employee and Legal Intern at the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. In college, his hobby for Christian Apologetics spurred him to establish the Firm Foundation College-Age Ministry at Tabernacle Baptist Congregation, where he is an active member. As the youngest child in his family, Jonathan owes his successes to the support of his father, mother, and older brother. Thus, his work with MFI seeks to strengthen the Commonwealth’s critical and most durable institution – the family.

lena wakim

Lena Wakim

Director of Communications
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Lena Wakim is a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate about family and youth ministry. A recent college graduate, she received her Bachelors of Science in Communications (Journalism) from Liberty University in the Spring of 2014. While at Liberty, Lena spent two years working as a Resident Assistant where she gained experience with young adults and her passion for ministering to millennials. Lena also worked at the Liberty University Marketing Department as a student writer and videographer before coming to work at MFI in 2014.

Lena attends Fellowship Bible Church where she teaches a teen girls’ Christian Growth Class and is involved in ministering to the youth. A new face in the pro-family movement, Lena enjoys using multimedia (social media, videography, design and blogging) to reach the next generation of advocates for faith and family.

Luz Ortiz

Luz Burgos-Ortiz

Office Manager

Luz Burgos-Ortiz is an earnest Christian with a strong love and passion for helping marriages and families stay united and healthy.  Before joining MFI, Luz spent the past fifteen years of her life assisting individuals and families by providing job readiness training as well as job placement.

Luz, her husband Rafael and children attend Defenders Boston Church. There, they currently serve as Family and Community Pastors where they strive to assist families in all stages of their lives reach a point of restoration through prayer, service and Biblical guidance.  In addition, Rafael and Luz oversee the Men and Women’s Ministry of the church by providing guidance and support to the department leaders and helping them drive a successful ministry that fully supports the overall vision of the church.  Her commitment to the institution of family is therefore reinforced and strengthened through her service at Defenders Boston Church as well as Massachusetts Family Institute.


Elissa Knizewski

Community Relations Coordinator
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Elissa Knizewski’s dedication to mobilizing family values supporters is a critical resource to our mission. It takes time and intentionality to develop the relationships with churches and organizations that enable us to work together effectively as parts of the broader pro-family movement.  Elissa has a history of working with various stakeholders to pursue a common goal.

She is a former leader for TeenPact in Massachusetts, a government and leadership school for Christian students, and worked with MFI as a youth lobbyist and phone banking coordinator during the marriage amendment fight.  After college, she served as a membership coordinator for the Home School Legal Defense Association headquarters in Virginia prior to returning to Amesbury, Massachusetts. A homeschool mother of three, Elissa works part time for MFI, using her talents for connecting people to resources they need and her passion for liberty and the Biblical truths on which our Commonwealth was founded.


Kris Mineau

President Emeritus
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Kris Mineau is President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI), a non-partisan public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which the family is based.

A Massachusetts native and decorated veteran of the United States Air Force, Kris served the nation on numerous global assignments, attaining the rank of Colonel in a distinguished military career that spanned the Vietnam conflict and the first Gulf War.

A fighter pilot in both the F-4 “Phantom” and F-15 “Eagle” aircraft, Kris is a veteran of 100 combat missions over North Vietnam and one of the very few pilots in the world to have survived a supersonic ejection. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters.

Kris is a graduate of Worcester Academy and received a congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Science. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois and taught engineering calculus at the Air Force Academy. Following his military career, he graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton and served as a pastor in his hometown of North Reading, Massachusetts at Trinity Evangelical Church before joining MFI.

Kris and his wife, Lura, also a native of North Reading, Massachusetts, have four married children and ten grandchildren. They are frequently featured as motivational speakers concerning their experiences in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Asia as well as their involvement with key social issues affecting the Commonwealth and the nation.