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Michel Gabaudan, President | Read more about Michel
Kendra Davis, Vice President for Philanthropy
Dara McLeod, Director of Communications & Acting Manager of Program
Steven Most, Director of Finance and Operations
Rowena Averia, Senior Accountant
Matthew Bechtel, Database Administrator
Michael Boyce, Advocate
Dawn Calabia, Honorary Advisor
Jeff Crisp, Honorary Advisor
Alyssa Eisenstein, Press and Information Officer
Daryl Grisgraber, Senior Advocate
Rosa Guerrero, Operations Manager
Ann Hollingsworth, Senior Advocate for Government Relations
Thomas Nelson, Development Associate
Dung On, Administrative Assistant
Sarnata Reynolds, Senior Advisor on Human Rights
Tamala Scott, Senior Development Officer
Alice Thomas, Climate Displacement Program Manager
Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, Senior Advocate for Women and Girls
Mark Yarnell, Senior Advocate
Lionel Rosenblatt, President Emeritus
Ken Bacon (1944-2009), President of Refugees International from 2001 - 2009
ROWENA AVERIA, SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Rowena Averia joined Refugees International in October 2012. A certified public accountant, Ms. Averia has 15 years of experience in public accounting. She started her audit work with Arthur Andersen in Manila, Philippines working with clients in the banking, finance, and manufacturing industries. She has also worked in Indonesia as part of the internal audit department in one of the biggest conglomerates in the country. Prior to joining RI, Ms. Averia worked as an external auditor and accounting consultant working primarily with non- profit organizations. Ms. Averia holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce Degree Major in Accounting from Assumption College in Makati, Philippines and she passed the Philippine CPA Licensure Exams in October of 1989.
MATTHEW BECHTEL, DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Matthew Bechtel joined Refugees International in September of 2010 as Database Administrator and became Development Officer in September 2014. He processes, cleans, and analyzes donation data to inform future campaigns, improve the general development strategy, and provide timely service to RI’s donors. Before coming to RI, Matthew served for a year in the Americorps VISTA program at the Crispus Attucks Association of York, PA as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Mr. Bechtel holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Religion from Gettysburg College.
MICHAEL BOYCE, ADVOCATE
Michael Boyce joined Refugees International in October 2011 as Press & Information Officer. In that capacity, he was responsible for strengthening the organization's media presence across multiple platforms. He became an Advocate in January 2015 and is particularly focused on peacekeeping and the protection of civilians in situations of forced displacement. He also serves as coordinator of the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping, a non-partisan working group on peace operations co-chaired by RI. Previously, Mr. Boyce worked as a copy editor and staff writer at the Jakarta Globe, Indonesia's leading English-language daily. He has also completed internships with the International Crisis Group and the U.S. Department of State, for which he served at the American Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Mr. Boyce holds a Master's degree in Global Governance & Diplomacy from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's degree from Brown University.
DAWN CALABIA, HONORARY ADVISOR
Dawn Calabia joined Refugees International in 2004. Ms. Calabia follows executive and legislative branch developments, works to increase RI’s impact in Congress, and provides special assistance on RI’s statelessness, Burma, women’s rights, and climate advocacy. Ms. Calabia has 30 years of experience with foreign policy analysis, human rights issues, and public advocacy. She served over ten years with the United Nations, as Acting Director of the United Nations’ Washington Information Office and as External Relations Director for U.S. governmental and non-governmental relations for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Earlier, she was the Director of Refugee Policy and Development for the U.S. Catholic Conference Migration office, one of the country’s oldest service organizations for refugees and asylum seekers. Ms. Calabia worked on Capitol Hill for eleven years as a staff consultant to the House International Relations Committee specializing in refugee, human rights, and development issues, and as the senior legislative staffer to Representative Stephen J. Solarz (D-NY). One of the founders of the Women’s Refugee Commission, housed at the International Rescue Committee, Ms. Calabia has led numerous fact-finding missions to Central America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa. In December 1996, she was honored by President Clinton for her human rights work with refugee women and children. She holds a Master of Social Services degree from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in New York.
JEFF CRISP, HONORARY ADVISOR
Jeff Crisp joined Refugees International in September 2013. Previously, he served as Head of the Policy Development and Evaluation Service at the headquarters of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva, a position that he held since 2006. Jeff has also held senior positions with the Global Commission on International Migration, where he served as Director of Policy and Research; the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian issues; and the British Refugee Council. Jeff has first-hand experience of refugee situations and humanitarian operations in more than 60 countries around the world, and in May-June 2013 he led an evaluation mission to examine the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. He has published and lectured extensively on refugee, humanitarian, and migration issues, and he was responsible for the publication of two editions of UNHCR’s flagship publication, “The State of the World’s Refugees.” His most recent publications have focused on the issues of refugee protection and solutions in urban areas, protracted refugee situations, the linkage between refugee protection and international migration, as well as the gap between humanitarian relief and development aid. A British national, Jeff has a Master’s degree and a PhD in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
ALYSSA EISENSTEIN, PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICER
Alyssa Eisenstein joined Refugees International in February 2015 as the Press and Information Officer. Prior to joining RI, Alyssa served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua where she worked to improve access to maternal healthcare and the health education curriculum at local schools. Alyssa holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she also majored in International Studies and African Studies. She has interned for the communications teams at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Washington, DC; the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Uganda; the International Crisis Group in Washington, DC; and for the office of U.S. Senator Richard Durbin in Chicago. Alyssa also spent time reporting on human rights in Africa for eNews in Johannesburg, South Africa and as a documentary filmmaker in Uganda.
DARYL GRISGRABER, SENIOR ADVOCATE
Prior to joining RI, Daryl worked at a local NGO in Cairo where she managed projects providing refugees with legal assistance and psychosocial services. She also spent six years at Amnesty International USA where she handled several aspects of the organization’s refugee program including legal support to asylum seekers, advocacy on domestic and international refugee policy, and crisis response development. Earlier, Daryl was the executive director of a small research-oriented NGO that provided services to refugees and asylum seekers in detention in the United States. She has a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
ANN HOLLINGSWORTH, SENIOR ADVOCATE FOR GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Ann Hollingsworth joined Refugees International in January 2014. In her role as Senior Advocate for Government Relations, Ann leads RI’s advocacy efforts within the U.S. foreign policy community. Prior to working with Refugees International, Ann represented International Crisis Group as Senior Analyst for U.S. Advocacy and Research, participating in targeted advocacy with leading Washington policy audiences, including the State Department, the White House, the Department of Defense, USAID, and Congress, as well as think-tanks and other international organizations. She provided political and strategic analysis and covered all Crisis Group areas of reporting, with primary responsibility for advocacy and research for the Africa portfolio. Ann has been a featured panelist in a variety of foreign policy events, most notably with the State Department, the Brookings Institution, and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Ann has participated in field research on conflict minerals in Burundi and disaster relief management in Sri Lanka, which included working with IDP’s in tsunami-affected areas. She also served in the office of U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings, then Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. She earned a Master’s degree in International Development from Tulane University and a B.A. in Communications from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.
THOMAS NELSON, DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Thomas Nelson joined Refugees International in March 2015. Before joining RI, Mr. Nelson worked in sales and marketing for a media company in Washington, DC. He also served as a volunteer staff member with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, where he coordinated the design and rollout of their new website. As a Development Associate, he focuses on corporate partnerships and foundations. Mr. Nelson holds degrees in Political Science and French from McDaniel College, where he was awarded the Bates Prize for Most Outstanding Male Undergraduate.
DUNG ON, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Dung On joined Refugees International in January 2013. Prior to joining Refugees International, Ms. On worked at a law firm administering the 2010 BP Oil Spill settlement program, where she was a point-of-contact for Vietnamese-speaking claimants. As an Administrative Assistant, Ms. On works closely with the coordinator of the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping (PEP) and maintains the PEP website. Previously, Ms. On was an RI Programs Intern supporting the Southeast Asia Fellow and Middle East/North Africa Senior Advocate. Ms. On holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in International Affairs and Development at the George Washington University, where she was also awarded a Freeman Foundation Fellowship to travel and work in Vietnam for three months.
SARNATA REYNOLDS, SENIOR ADVISOR ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sarnata Reynolds joined Refugees International in October 2011 and serves as the principal liaison and focal point with United Nations agencies, the U.S. government, and focus countries on human rights issues. She has traveled to Bangladesh, Haiti, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, and South Sudan, among other countries, to document the situation of displaced populations and advocate for the protection of their human rights. Sarnata has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she taught a seminar on statelessness and a human rights fact-finding course on the repatriation of people with mental disabilities. Sarnata has served as a member of the National Lawyers Committee for Human Rights’ Mexico Advisory Team, as the Vice-Chair of Refugee Council USA, and as Chair of the Iraqi Refugee Working Group during the height of displacement in that country. Sarnata has appeared before Congress many times and represented the NGO community before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the anniversaries of the Refugee and Statelessness Conventions. Prior to joining RI, Sarnata worked as the Policy and Advocacy Director for Refugee and Migrants’ Rights at Amnesty International USA. In this position she promoted the enforcement of international human rights standards pertaining to refugees, asylum seekers, the stateless, migrants, and other uprooted people. Sarnata has also litigated asylum and deportation defense cases before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Courts, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. She has published multiple articles on international human rights and U.S. immigration issues, and she is currently writing a book on “theoretical” nationality. Sarnata completed her Women’s Studies degree magna cum laude at the University of Minnesota and the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She completed her law degree at the University of Minnesota, and studied European Union law at University College Dublin.
TAMALA SCOTT, SENIOR DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Ms. Scott joined RI in July 2015. She has over 15 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Development and Fundraising, Major Gifts, Special Events, Individual and Planned Giving and Grant Management and Advocacy. She gained this experience while working for nonprofits such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Childhelp USA, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Community Health Charities and the United Negro College Fund. In these positions, Ms. Scott has helped to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes that impact children, veterans, students and families locally in communities where we all live and work. Ms. Scott holds a B.A. in Communications and Mass Media from Temple University.
ALICE THOMAS, CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT PROGRAM MANAGER
Alice joined Refugees International in May 2010 as the Climate Displacement Program Manager. Alice previously worked as a staff attorney in the international program at Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) where she implemented programs designed to defend and seek redress for communities from the impacts of pollution and climate change. Prior to working for Earthjustice, Alice served as Deputy Director of the American Bar Association’s Asia Law Initiative where she was responsible for overall management and implementation of ABA's technical legal assistance programs in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. She has also worked in Uzbekistan and Bosnia on issues related to environmental good governance and public participation in environmental decision-making. She began her career in the litigation practice groups at Dewey Ballantine and Arnold & Porter. Alice has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University.
FRANCISCA VIGAUD-WALSH, SENIOR ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS
Francisca Vigaud-Walsh joined Refugees International (RI) in July 2015. She comes to RI from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) where she most recently served as the organization’s researcher for the Central African Republic. Prior to that, she served as the IRC’s most senior policy and advocacy advisor for women’s protection and empowerment. Francisca has over a decade of field experience in the protection sector, with a specialization in gender-based violence (GBV.) She launched her career with IRC’s resettlement office in Miami, and continued onto Church World Service and UNHCR, where she conducted refugee status determinations and resettlement eligibility verification and processing for refugees throughout East, Central and West Africa. In 2006 she joined Catholic Relief Services (CRS) where she held numerous management positions overseas. Francisca later served as the Technical Advisor for Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Programs with CRS’ Emergency Response Team, deploying to conflict and disaster-affected communities worldwide. Francisca holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where she concentrated on Conflict Management and International Human Rights Law, as well as a BA in International Relations from American University. Francisca is also a graduate of the 2005 Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in South Africa.
MARK YARNELL, SENIOR ADVOCATE
Mark joined Refugees International (RI) in December 2011. Since then, he has led field assessments to Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, as well as conducted research in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Senegal. Mark has testified before the US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and been a guest on NPR, PBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, and CBC. Prior to joining RI, Mark was a Stimson Center Congressional Fellow, based in the office of Senator Richard Lugar. He has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a field officer with Merlin, a medical relief organization, and as a food security consultant for Oxfam. Additionally, he was a program associate at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and a senior program associate at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. Mark earned a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University and was a teaching assistant to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He grew up in Ottawa, Canada.