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Leadership

Directors

  • KERRI TRUE-FUNK

    KERRI TRUE-FUNK

    DIRECTOR, DES MOINES, IA OFFICE

    Kerri joined the USCRI Des Moines Field Office as Director in 2019. Prior to this position, she worked in the antiviolence movement for more than a decade including as the Director of Operations and Special projects at the state sexual assault coalition and the founding Executive Director of a local rape crisis center. Kerri has presented at state, national, and international conferences on topics including mitigating vicarious trauma, services to sexual assault survivors living with disabilities, and best practices in staff supervision. She holds a master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Social Service Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Kerri was awarded the Lois Haight Award for Excellence and Innovation in 2015 by the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus.

  • JILL PECKENPAUGH

    JILL PECKENPAUGH

    DIRECTOR, ALBANY, NY OFFICE

    Jill is the Director of USCRI’s field office in Albany, NY, which resettles refugees arriving from Burma, Iraq, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and various African nations. She has over twenty years of experience in organizational development, specializing in multicultural populations in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining USCRI Albany, Jill was the Director of Program Management at Cross-Cultural Solutions, an international volunteering organization. She holds an M.S. in Training and Development from Lesley University and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • AMILA MERDZANOVIC

    AMILA MERDZANOVIC

    DIRECTOR, COLCHESTER, VT OFFICE

    Amila came to Vermont in 1995 as a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina and is the first former refugee leading the USCRI Vermont field office. She brings over 10 years of experience working in refugee resettlement providing direct services, program management, and advocacy on behalf of refugees and asylees in Vermont. Most recently, she graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University with a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. Her interests span across disciplines including forced migration, human rights, and conflict resolution. Amila is fluent in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and has basic knowledge of Russian.

  • DYLANNA GRASINGER

    DYLANNA GRASINGER

    DIRECTOR, ERIE, PA OFFICE

    An expert in the field of refugee resettlement, Dylanna has spent more than 17 years working to help refugees and immigrants throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining the International Institute of Erie in April 2012, Dylanna served as the Director of Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement for the Northern Area Multi-Service Center (NAMS) and as Director of Refugee Resettlement and Educational Programs at the International Institute of Akron (IIA). Experienced in a variety of direct service and administrative functions, including grant-writing, curriculum design, teaching, program evaluation, fiscal management, volunteer management, and program development, Dylanna combines her commitment to refugees and immigrants with her superpower of simplifying complexity to create strong client-centered programming that works. Dylanna earned her B.A. in English from Kent State University, where she also received certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), as well as her Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University.

  • TAWFIK ALAZEM

    TAWFIK ALAZEM

    DIRECTOR, DEARBORN, MI OFFICE

    In July 2007, Tawfik joined USCRI as the Director of USCRI’s Detroit, Michigan field office in Dearborn. Since that time, Mr. Alazem has been responsible for the operational and personnel management of the field office. Mr. Alazem administers the Reception and Placement, Matching Grant, Healthy Marriage & Relationship Education, Individual Development Accounts, and Preferred Communities programs. He also oversees office operations and programs delivery to immigrants and refugees who settle in the greater Detroit, Michigan area. Before joining USCRI, Mr. Alazem held several management positions in finance, marketing, sales, and general business management. Mr. Alazem holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is fluent in Arabic.

  • WONY PAK

    WONY PAK

    DIRECTOR OF MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

    Wony plans, coordinates, directs, and designs all operational activities of the MIS department, as well as provides high availability and security solutions that enhance mission-critical business operations and continuity. He has over 22 years of information technology experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining USCRI, Mr. Pak worked as a Network Engineer and System Integrator at various companies including Technology Automation Management Inc., Comstor Inc., and RHI. He completed Local Area Network study at Computer Learning Center and has achieved various IT training and certifications including CNE, MCSE, and CCSA. Mr. Pak holds B.A. in Music Composition at the University of New Orleans.

Associate Directors