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Leadership

  • ESKINDER NEGASH

    ESKINDER NEGASH

    PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

    Eskinder Negash is President and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and  Immigrants (USCRI), an organization founded in 1911 to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and support their transition to a dignified life. Mr. Negash is a recognized senior executive leader and brings nearly 40 years of proven non-profit management experience on behalf of refugees and immigrants.

    Prior to joining USCRI, he served from 2009-2015 as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the largest government-funded refugee resettlement organization in the world. With a budget of over $1.5 billion, the ORR plays a critical role in providing essential services to a wide range of vulnerable people through the Resettlement Program, Rescue & Restore anti-trafficking campaign, and the Unaccompanied Children’s Program. Under his leadership, ORR served more than 850,000 people in six years.

    Under Negash’s leadership, ORR served more than 400,000 refugees, 150,000 asylees, 125,000 Cuban and Haitian Entrants, nearly 21,000 Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, 3,200 Victims of Trafficking, over 32,000 U.S. repatriates, and almost 116,000 unaccompanied children, totaling more than 850,000 people during his six years of service.

    Prior to his appointment by the Obama Administration, Mr. Negash served as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of USCRI for seven years. He also was the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the International Institute of Los Angeles for 15 years. Mr. Negash served as a board member with several non-profit organizations, including two years as Chair of the Joint Voluntary Agencies Committee of California, Chair of the California State Refugee Advisory Council, and Board Member of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).

    In 2016, Mr. Negash served in the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee for Public-Private Partnership considering the formulation of U.S. polices, proposals, and strategies for developing public-private partnership that promote shares value with the private sector worldwide. In 2009, Mr. Negash received an “Outstanding American By Choice” award from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security, which recognizes naturalized U.S. citizens who have made significant contributions to both their community and their adopted country. In 2010, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) honored Mr. Negash as one of ten distinguished men and women whose stories of hope and transformation epitomize the refugee journey.

  • ANNAMARIE BENA

    ANNAMARIE BENA

    VICE PRESIDENT

    AnnaMarie Bena is responsible for overall management, growth, and quality service delivery of USCRI’s programs for unaccompanied immigrant children, including residential care program, unaccompanied minors post-release and home study services; legal services program; and trafficking survivors support programs. Her portfolio includes USCRI’s policy and advocacy unit. AnnaMarie brings over 20 years of experience working on refugee and immigrant issues. Most recently, she served as the Director of Policy in the Office of Refugee Resettlement. She also has worked for UNHCR, the HHS Office of the General Counsel and CLINIC. AnnaMarie holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Maryland. AnnaMarie served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

  • KEVIN STURTEVANT

    KEVIN STURTEVANT

    VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

    Kevin has spent a large portion of his career leading the fund development and communications efforts for various non-profits. He recently served as Chief Development Officer for the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). CSIS is a leading bipartisan DC-based think tank and under Kevin’s leadership, CSIS completed its $85 million-dollar endowment campaign focused on support from the private sector, all while weathering the worst economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Among other organizations with which he has worked, Kevin has led fundraising efforts for World Food Program USA, the US-based affiliate of the UN’s World Food Program, and Public Justice, a public interest law firm that fights polluters, unjust payday lenders, and unscrupulous corporations.

    He is a recognized leader among his peers, achieving his CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) credential and serving as President of the association of Fundraising Professionals DC chapter in 2016. He currently serves on the Membership Task Force for AFP Global. He received both his master’s degree in non-profit management and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science/International Studies from American University in Washington, DC.

Directors

  • JULIE PETRIE

    JULIE PETRIE

    SENIOR DIRECTOR OF FIELD OFFICES

    Julie leads a team of seven USCRI field offices which provide a variety of essential services for new refugee arrivals and immigrants, including refugee resettlement, employment services, health navigation, childcare, youth and elder programming, English education, interpretation services, microenterprise and savings programs, and other mission-driven community projects.
    Julie was introduced to refugee resettlement while supporting her mother's work as a social worker serving Lao, Cambodian, and Vietnamese refugee communities in Florida. She had the privilege of working in international development across eleven countries in Asia, supporting and learning from local community members and implementing partners, in areas of disaster response and recovery, community health, food security, and microcredit. She worked for Episcopal Migration Ministries in New York on a broad range of resettlement programming, while focusing on specialized care for vulnerable refugees, new program design, and monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining USCRI, at Cornell University and Northwestern University, she directed global partnership activities among international universities, aimed at the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Interreligious Engagement from Union Theological Seminary in New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies and Cultural Anthropology from Florida State University.

  • LOUISE ROSS

    LOUISE ROSS

    DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES

    Louise is an accomplished senior executive, advisor, and thought leader with more than 25 years of success. Louise was most recently Chief of Human Resources for Cornerstone Montgomery Healthcare, where she had oversight for all strategic and full spectrum of Human Resources services. She managed the human resources department's day-to-day operations, management, training, compliance, and technology management. Louise has extensive HR work experience in healthcare, public health, sports and entertainment, and the federal government sectors with organizations such as The Washington Nationals Baseball Team, the University of Maryland Medical Systems, Inova Health Systems, George Washington University Hospital, Deloitte, and The Executive Office of the White House.
    Her broad areas of expertise include employee relations and engagement, talent acquisition and recruiting, employee benefits, wellness programs and compensation, employee performance management, diversity and inclusion programs, implementation of human resources technology (HRIS and ATS systems), training and development, and learning management systems (LMS), HR compliance and strengthening improvements in policy development and implementation. She is skilled at building internal and external partnerships, identifying new opportunities in human resources, and creating innovative human resources employee programs in the pursuit of delivering strategic and operational human resources interventions

  • XAVIER GRAHAM

    XAVIER GRAHAM

    DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE

    Xavier Graham joined USCRI in 2019 as the Director of Finance and Compliance. Prior to joining USCRI, Mr. Graham served as the Executive Director of Finance with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children leading the finance operations. He also served in several leadership positions in New York City and London. He has over 15 years of accounting and finance experience working with private, non-profits and public practice. Mr. Graham is a Certified Accountant and holds a Master’s degree in Accounting & Finance studies.

  • OMER OMER

    OMER OMER

    DIRECTOR, RALEIGH, NC OFFICE

    Omer is a community development specialist with over 20 years in the international and humanitarian development sector. He graduated with a PhD. from the University of North Carolina and Msc. in International Development from the University of London. Omer has led senior leadership, advisory, and consulting positions with various international organizations across four continents in challenging and complex contexts. Omer joins USCRI North Carolina with knowledge and wide skills to address institutional, organizational, and programmatic priorities and needs.
    In North Carolina, Omer previously worked for the Center for New North Carolinians and Lutheran Services in the Carolinas, before leading the North Carolina African Services Coalition for Refugee Resettlement in Greensboro as Executive Director for 12 years. He is happy to return to the refugee services in North Carolina, and to have opportunity to engage the broader community in our mission.
    Since 2013, he has worked internationally for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Mercy Corps on operations and M&E for emergency food security, sanitation, and health programs, as well as on Syrian refugee programming in Turkey. Most recently, he has served as Chief of Party for German Portfolio Health Programs for ADRA in Yemen.

  • DARREN T. HAMM

    DARREN T. HAMM

    DIRECTOR, CLEVELAND, OH OFFICE

    For more than fifteen years, Darren Hamm has worked as a volunteer, intern, staff, manager and director in the non-profit sector, helping to improve operations, build nationally-recognized programs, secure highly-competitive awards, and maintain quality during periods of significant organizational growth. Much of Darren’s work has involved developing collaborative partnerships and seeking innovative ways to address systematic issues.
    Darren earned a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing from Kent State University and a Master’s of Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University. He has been serving as a part-time instructor of Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the Oberlin College & Conservatory. Darren served as Executive Director of the Refugee Response in Cleveland, an organization focused on supporting refugee community integration through youth mentoring and support, employment support, multilingual resources, and agricultural programming. Through his service on the leadership committee of the Refugee Services Collaborative, he has experience working in partnership with Cleveland’s refugee resettlement and social services organizations. Darren was selected as the first executive director of Oberlin Center for the Arts in 2017, providing leadership for establishing the organization’s vision and programming and support for advancing arts and culture throughout the region.

  • MARIE OLENYCH

    MARIE OLENYCH

    DIRECTOR, TRAFFICKING AND HUMAN SERVICES

    Marie oversees USCRI’s national and international anti-trafficking programs and promotes implementation of innovative human services. Early in her career, Marie taught in early childhood and inclusionary education before transitioning to human services where has held a variety of leadership positions at non-profit organizations supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Prior to joining USCRI, Marie supervised enterprise, employment, and education programs for immigrants, refugees, asylees, survivors of trafficking, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She earned a BA and MS from Florida State University.

  • MATT HAYGOOD

    MATT HAYGOOD

    CHILDREN'S SERVICES

    Matt is responsible for the oversight of USCRI’s Children’s Services including Post Release and Home Study Services for Unaccompanied Children. These programs connect children, who have arrived in the United States without their parents or guardians, to vital services that facilitate the successful integration into their new communities across the country. Matt is a clinical social worker who has been working with refugee and immigrant youth for more than 13 years in the areas of behavioral health, youth development, and child welfare. Having worked as a PRS case manager himself, Matt is dedicated to supporting the national network of case managers serving vulnerable unaccompanied children. His professional career has been driven by the belief that serving children and youth can have the greatest impact on the well-being of communities. Matt served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and received his Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. He has been working at USCRI since 2016.

  • HILA MOSS

    HILA MOSS

    MANAGING ATTORNEY

    Hila Moss joined USCRI in November 2015 as a Staff Attorney with the Nuevo Comienzo, unaccompanied minor program, in the North Carolina field office. In March of 2019, she was promoted to Managing Attorney and currently oversees USCRI’s legal department. Before joining USCRI, Hila worked at a small non-profit providing legal representation to unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers in North Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Appalachian State University and a Juris Doctorate from Campbell Law School.

  • CHELSEY BUTCHEREIT

    CHELSEY BUTCHEREIT

    STATE REFUGEE HEALTH COORDINATOR, MISSOURI OFFICE

    Chelsey Butchereit leads the USCRI Missouri field office and serves as the Refugee Health Coordinator for Missouri. She brings with her 10 years of experience coordinating community-based programs and most recently was employed as a Health Program Coordinator in the Refugee Health Program at the Utah Department of Health where efforts focused on offering culturally and linguistically appropriate health screenings, health education, and referrals to all newly arriving refugees to the state of Utah. She also previously taught an undergraduate course on refugee and migrant health at Brigham Young University. Chelsey has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Utah State University, a master’s degree in Public Health from Brigham Young University, and a certificate in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. For more than a decade she’s volunteered with new Americans in different capacities including as a family mentor, English tutor, and Citizenship tutor.

  • JESSICA MONTOUR

    JESSICA MONTOUR

    STATE REFUGEE HEALTH COORDINATOR, AUSTIN, TX OFFICE

    Jessica Montour leads the USCRI-Texas field office and serves as the Refugee Health Coordinator (RHC) for Texas. Prior to joining USCRI, Ms. Montour served as the RHC for 8 years under the state-administered refugee health program. Jessica works closely with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and is a member of the executive board of the Association of Refugee Health Coordinators. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations and East Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s in Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Texas A&M University. Jessica has published several articles and presented at international refugee health conferences. She tutored refugees learning English and has in-country experience in China, Malaysia and the Dominican Republic.

Associate Directors

  • TANISHA ELIZAIRE

    TANISHA ELIZAIRE

    ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR – REFUGEE HEALTH SERVICES

    Tanisha oversees USCRI’s Refugee Health Services Program and serves as the HIPAA Privacy Officer. She brings more than 15 years of experience managing an array of health and mental health programs, including HIV medical screening and education; psychological preparedness training for military personnel; counseling programs to Unaccompanied Children and victims of human trafficking; and coordinating the multi-state Refugee Medical Assistance program. Prior to taking the position at USCRI, Tanisha was the Assistant Director for a child welfare agency where she led a multidisciplinary team of group home managers, behavioral health specialists, HIV medical screening specialists and frontline team members, who were responsible for overseeing the health and mental health of youth in care.