connecting resettlement experts

Welcome to our one-stop resource hub for refugee service providers in the United States.

Switchboard provides tools, learning opportunities, research, and technical assistance covering a range of topics related to the newcomer experience.

Woman assisting and providing tools for a Refugee Service Provider in America.

What We Offer

click on icons to learn more

Popular Topics

Graeme Rodgers

SENIOR RESEARCHER

Graeme Rodgers is an anthropologist with more than 25 years of research experience. He studies the social, economic, and cultural effects of displacement among refugees, internally displaced persons, and persons displaced by large-scale development infrastructure. Graeme’s work examines the relationship between the effectiveness of humanitarian and development interventions and their social, economic, and political consequences. At Switchboard, he leads a study that explores the importance of compassion in service delivery for refugees resettled to the United States in a context of rapid social and technological change. He previously worked with organizations including Church World Service, the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, and UNHCR in South Africa. Graeme holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Freschta Naseri

PROGRAM COORDINATOR, DIGITAL INCLUSION

Freschta Naseri is a former refugee from Afghanistan. She was resettled by the IRC in Dallas in 2016 and began her career with the organization only two years later as a Dallas Mayor’s Intern. As a high school student, Freschta shared presentations on her lived experience at universities and places of worship, on podcasts, and with elected officials to promote empathy toward refugees in the local community. In 2019, she was honored with the Princeton Prize in Race Relations in recognition of her dedication and impact. Since her initial internship, Freschta has served the IRC in a variety of roles, including interpreter, cultural broker, youth ambassador, and most recently, digital skills instructor. In addition to her experience at the IRC, Freschta has worked in DEI at the Federal Reserve Bank and served as a cultural expert for research efforts with the University of Texas Southwestern. Freschta is actively pursuing a degree in Computer Science, aligning with her commitment to leverage technology as a means of facilitating the integration and empowerment of displaced populations.

Alisa Jimenez

PROGRAM OFFICER, PLANNING

Alisa Jimenez is a project manager with a background in justice sector legislation and reform. She has managed large team projects conducting analysis and recommending changes in justice systems and in United Nations policy. Prior to joining Switchboard, Alisa was a Project Manager for the Center for Policing Equity, an organization that finds alternatives to harmful policing practices in the U.S. She previously served on the Pathfinders’ justice team at the NYU Center on International Cooperation, where she worked alongside government representatives to produce research and analysis advocating for people-centered justice both within the UN and in domestic justice systems. During her graduate studies, she completed fellowships in program development and research at the IRC Airbel Impact Lab and the UN Development Programme in Kosovo. Alisa holds a master’s degree from the New School Graduate Program in International Affairs and a dual bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Anthropology from the University of Rochester.

Julie Heller

PROGRAM MANAGER, DIGITAL INCLUSION

Julie Heller has three decades of professional experience in the education, digital, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining Switchboard, she coordinated the IRC Salt Lake City Digital Inclusion team, which provided laptops, broadband, and computer instruction to newcomers. Before that, Julie taught intercultural communication and ESL at small colleges in the Midwest and on the East Coast for over 10 years. She also worked in public radio and television for NPR and PBS, serving as a producer, audio editor, and host. Julie is currently an NTEN Fellow, working on a Tech Squad program that pairs volunteers with newcomer clients to bridge the digital divide. She also has experience as a videographer—producing an award-winning documentary on the Dine-Navajo during her graduate studies—and is a commercial drone pilot licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration. Julie holds an MA in Intercultural Communication from the University of Illinois and a BS in Meteorology from Western Illinois University.

KATHLEEN HOFFKINS

PROGRAM COORDINATOR, MONITORING & EVALUATION

Kathleen Hoffkins is passionate about finding data-driven solutions to systemic issues. Prior to joining Switchboard, she worked at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization providing legal services to unaccompanied children. Kathleen supported their Pro Bono Partnerships team, using data to improve client experience and provide pro bono attorneys with the necessary resources to succeed in their cases. In the past, she worked with international organizations to develop innovative public health programing and draft reports on human rights issues. Kathleen also conducted participatory research on food insecurity and menstrual inequality in partnership with community organizations in Washington, DC. She received a BA in Political Science and a certificate in Community-Based Research from American University. Kathleen is currently pursuing an MSW at Boston College.

MAX GUMBEL

EDITORIAL MANAGER

Max Gumbel is an editor and consultant who has spent over a decade working on issues of displacement, migration, and resettlement. He started his career at Fenton, a political communications firm, where he drafted op-eds, speeches, and policy talking points for progressive government leaders and activists. Prior to joining Switchboard, Max served as a freelance writer and editor for academics, policymakers, and NGO directors. As an editorial and communications consultant, Max has helped Amnesty International USA, RAICES, and other organizations advocate for the improvement of U.S. migration policy. As a volunteer, he has supported asylee and refugee families both in his hometown of Los Angeles and abroad in Amman, Jordan. Max holds a BA in Anthropology and Middle East Studies from Columbia University.

Claire Hopkins

TRAINING OFFICER, CHILD & FAMILY SERVICES

Claire Hopkins is an experienced advocate for refugees and immigrants, domestic and sexual violence survivors, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. She has modeled a client-centered and trauma-informed approach through her work in training, case management, community engagement, and program development. Prior to joining Switchboard, Claire worked for nearly four years in refugee resettlement with unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) and unaccompanied children (UCs) at Bethany Christian Services. In her role, she identified subject matter experts for staff professional development while recruiting and training foster parents who reflected the diverse cultures and identities of URMs and UCs welcomed into West Michigan. Before that, Claire built a volunteer program, facilitated community education, and provided short-term crisis counseling for survivors of domestic and sexual violence at Relief After Violent Encounter. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Grand Valley State University.

Jenna Christie-Tabron

SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER

Jenna Christie-Tabron is a licensed social worker in Arizona who has nearly a decade of experience in treating adults and adolescents facing various individual and family challenges. Jenna has worked as a trauma-focused clinician, advocate, educator, and consultant in the psychiatric, health care, judicial, and education systems. Originally from The Bahamas, she returned to her homeland in 2016 to serve adolescents in the Ministry of Social Services and help launch a mental health initiative for survivors who were displaced after a natural disaster. In 2022, she returned to the U.S. to begin her work with the IRC as the Intensive Case Management Supervisor for the Phoenix office. Jenna holds a BA in Psychology from East Carolina University, a master’s in Family Therapy from Drexel University, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Central Florida. She is a candidate for a Doctor of Education degree with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Patricia Pineda

PROGRAM MANAGER, VIRTUAL EVENTS

Patricia Pineda is an operations and training professional with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Switchboard, she served for 13 years as Manager of Special Events Technology at the March of Dimes, where she managed the software technology, training, and equipment logistics for a $20 million special events portfolio. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Patricia managed a shift from running in-person events to producing virtual ones, empowering staff to navigate virtual meeting platforms. For her efforts, she received the President's Leadership Award for Outstanding Work on the “Healthy Moms, Strong Babies” Facebook Live events. Patricia has a passion for helping others and enjoys working in a team environment. She was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. at age seven. She is fluent in Spanish.

Michael Brinn

Program officer, Instructional Design

Michael Brinn is an instructional designer and educator with 15 years of experience working with learners of all ages, including newcomer students and families. Prior to joining Switchboard, he worked as a Learning Designer at 2U, helping expand access to higher education by developing pedagogical philosophy for effective online learning and collaborating with professors to design graduate-level courses for a virtual setting. Prior to that, Michael worked for 11 years in schools with significant newcomer populations in Denver, CO. He served as both a middle school language arts teacher and elementary school administrator, supporting teachers and the school community in instructional design, equity and inclusion, community engagement, and school culture. Michael holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Comparative Literature from Rutgers University.

Krysti Nellermoe

training officer, emerging technologies

Krysti Nellermoe is an experienced facilitator with nearly nine years in resettlement services. She comes to Switchboard from the IRC Salt Lake City office, where she first served as a caseworker and later worked in direct service, supervisory, and management positions designing and implementing youth and adult education programming for newcomers. At Switchboard, Krysti will lead the new Emerging Technologies and Digital Inclusion initiative, which will build service providers’ capacity to facilitate newcomers’ learning engagement, community navigation, and exposure to technology. Krysti is a former Digital Inclusion Fellow with NTEN, a technology-focused nonprofit. She holds certifications in Peace-Building and Conflict Transformation, TESOL, and Human Centered Design. Krysti completed an MA in International Studies in Shanghai, China, while teaching English to K–12 students.

dujka (juja) kovacevic

BUDGET OFFICER

Juja Kovacevic is an experienced finance professional who has worked at the IRC for the past 24 years. She was resettled in 1999 by the IRC as a refugee from Bosnia and soon began working at IRC San Diego as the Office Coordinator. Juja moved to the office’s Finance Department in 2008, where she grew into many roles. As Finance Manager, she supported the finance team and resettlement program staff and assisted in the deployment of new financial software. Juja also worked as a Regional Budget Manager for the five IRC field offices in the Pacific Mountain Region. She is now excited to join Switchboard as Budget Officer, supporting budget-versus-actual tracking, projections, re-forecasting, and budgeting for proposal development. Juja holds a bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature from the University of Sarajevo and an MA in Accountancy from National University.  

DANICA KUSHNER

TRAINING OFFICER, EMPLOYMENT

Danica Kushner is a dedicated community advocate with a decade of specialized experience in workforce development and employment integration for refugees. Prior to joining Switchboard, she played pivotal roles at World Relief, LIRS, and Emily Griffith Technical College, where she designed and implemented refugee employment programs. Danica also worked in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, where she enriched her understanding of global migration by supporting refugee projects delivering essential services such as food, shelter, and medical care. Danica holds a Master of Arts in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex and a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Biola University. She is proficient in Arabic.

Campeon Ramirez

PROGRAM COORDINATOR, EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Campeon Ramirez brings experience in digital prototyping and product design, building curriculum, and teaching. Prior to joining Switchboard, he spent one year as a Virtual Reality Digital Inclusion Intern at IRC Salt Lake City, where he facilitated the use of virtual reality (VR) with newcomers attending cultural orientation. Now, as Program Coordinator for Emerging Technologies, Campeon develops VR content for IRC clients and trains IRC staff on its implementation. Content includes 360 degree videos that allow newcomers to experience simulations of navigating schools, transportation, health care, recreation, and shopping in the United States. Campeon’s passion lies in providing folks from marginalized communities access to emerging technology and the opportunities that arise from it. Campeon holds a Bachelor of Science Design in Multidisciplinary Design from the University of Utah.

Maya Wahrman

Training Officer, Client-centered Services

Maya Wahrman is a social worker licensed in New Jersey with a lifelong commitment to working with refugees and immigrants. She brings to Switchboard seven years of experience in resettlement and immigrant services, including direct case management, mental health counseling, school and education support, program management, and state government policy and administration. Maya previously served as the Refugee Health and Wellness Specialist in the New Jersey Office of New Americans. Before that, she was the Director of Case Management and the Refugee School Impact Coordinator at Interfaith-RISE, a local refugee resettlement agency. Maya holds a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts in History with certificates in Near Eastern Studies and Creative Writing from Princeton University. She speaks English, Hebrew, and Spanish fluently, has basic proficiency in Arabic, and is currently learning Kannada. Maya grew up mostly between Israel and Indiana and now lives in New Jersey.

Emily Smith

Editorial Manager

Emily Smith is an experienced copy editor who is committed to helping refugees, immigrants, and English language learners. Prior to joining Switchboard, she worked as a legal editor for the American Association for Justice and later as an academic copy editor for non-native English speakers. In addition to editing, Emily has volunteered extensively with nonprofit organizations that support newcomers. She brings four years of experience volunteering for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, where she served as the health care coordinator for a newly resettled Syrian family. She also taught English to immigrants and refugees for six years, first as an ESOL tutor in Virginia and then as an assistant ESOL instructor with JVS Boston. In her previous career as a lawyer, Emily successfully represented two minors in their applications for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University and a JD from Cornell Law School.

Rob Callus

Training officer, Community integration

Rob Callus is a lifelong educator with extensive experience working in instructional design, global health, and refugee resettlement. Prior to joining Switchboard, he was a program manager for World Relief in Durham, NC, where he supported school and community integration for refugee and immigrant families. Rob previously worked for Curamericas Global, where he designed and implemented maternal and neonatal child health training for community health workers in rural Kenya. He also taught English writing and served as a guidance counselor for two years at a high school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. Rob speaks Swahili and Spanish, and he is ESL-certified for both adults and youth. He is based in Durham, NC.

Rosalie Arndt

Senior Program officer, Instructional design

Rosalie Arndt is an educator with 14 years of experience working with migrant and multilingual learners. Prior to joining Switchboard, she served for five years as the IRC Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration (RAI) Youth Education Coordinator in New York City. There she led programming for NYC’s refugee and asylee K–12 youth and assumed capacity-building roles across the RAI network, including Youth Education Community of Practice Leader. Rosalie began her career in Denver, CO, where she taught 1st grade for seven years and later served as an Instructional Coach and Assistant Principal, winning the Best Agent for Change Award and the Best School Leadership Award. Her experience also includes advising on culturally responsive education with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and publishing with Education Week magazine. Rosalie holds an MA in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Julie Markovitz

Program officer, Compliance

Julie Markovitz comes to Switchboard with 15 years of experience providing direct service to refugees and other newcomers at the IRC resettlement office in Dallas, TX. She started as the Office Coordinator, where she provided operations and finance support. She later became the Program Coordinator for the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program, an ORR-funded early employment program that helps people meet their most basic needs. Julie also worked with individuals in the Dallas area to complete Affidavits of Relationship (AORs) and Iranian Lautenberg (HIAS) family reunification applications to allow overseas relatives to reunite with their family in the U.S. Julie holds an MA in International Relations from Salve Regina University and a BFA in Art History with a minor in Business Law from the University of North Texas. 

David Pax K. Buatshia

Program officer, Web Development

David Pax K. Buatshia brings over a decade of experience in instructional design, web and software development, training, and project management. Prior to joining Switchboard, he worked as an instructional designer and web developer in higher education in the United States. He also served as a Microsoft Student Ambassador in Africa, providing technology training in university and corporate settings. In addition, David Pax is a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, where he discusses development issues with heads of state. He is a recipient of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) highly competitive Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA), which he received for designing an economic development plan for Congolese entrepreneurs and building a family planning app. David Pax holds a Master in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University and a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from Université Pédagogique Nationale (DR Congo). He is fluent in French, English, and Lingala.

Madina Masumi

Training officer, YOUTH EDUCATION

Madina Masumi is a licensed K–12 school counselor with over a decade of experience serving students from marginalized populations in Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. She previously worked as a case manager for public assistance programs. As the daughter of Afghan refugees, Madina has experienced firsthand the challenges of refugee integration. She holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from George Mason University. Madina speaks fluent Dari and is proficient in Spanish.

Sarah Diner

Program Officer, Research

Sarah Diner is a social scientist who comes to Switchboard from the direct service side of refugee resettlement. Prior to joining Switchboard, she worked for the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services and a local USCRI affiliate managing caseworkers and providing direct service for the Matching Grant, Reception and Placement, and Afghan Humanitarian Parole programs. While pursuing her MA in Public Anthropology, Sarah served in the Peace Corps as a Community Services Specialist in Morocco, where she researched barriers to healthcare access in rural areas. She is passionate about using her research and writing skills to create resources that help providers deliver the best services possible to their newest neighbors. Sarah holds an MA in Public Anthropology from American University in Washington, D.C., and a MPH in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa.

Sonali Jagdhane White

Program Officer, partnerships

Sonali Jagdhane White is an experienced program officer in partnership compliance and monitoring with an MA in Human Rights. Sonali’s interest in partnership work derives from her value of bringing communities together to address human rights issues. She comes to Switchboard from U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), where she served as a Program Officer for three years, providing partnership oversight to service providers in the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) network. Sonali brings a varied background in anti-trafficking work: she has raised awareness at churches, volunteered on her college campus and at a survivor shelter, and worked at Polaris connecting clients to services. She is excited to transition from partnership building in the anti-trafficking sector to the refugee resettlement field.

Selina Máté

Program manager, Digital Content

Selina Máté is a digital content manager with experience in refugee resettlement. Prior to joining Switchboard, she developed and managed a refugee youth mentorship program with World Relief in Durham, NC. In addition to her nonprofit background, she has experience in journalism, social media management, and WordPress development. Selina holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Huntington University.

Sally Beiruti

Program manager, Monitoring and evaluation

Sally Beiruti brings experience working on forced displacement and migration issues, as well as monitoring and evaluation. As a graduate research and teaching assistant in the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University, Sally worked on research projects related to health systems and displacement in various host countries. Before starting graduate school, she worked on the monitoring and evaluation of a robotics program for girls in public schools in Amman, Jordan. As an undergraduate student with the D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she helped develop and conduct workshops for refugee women and unaccompanied refugee minors in Athens, Greece. Sally holds an MPH from the Population and Family Health Department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Action, as well as a BS from the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT. She is fluent in Arabic and English and is learning French.

raluca albu

Program manager, Communications

Raluca Albu is a former refug