Staff

Michel Gabaudan, President   |  Read more about Michel

Kendra Davis, Vice President for Philanthropy
Jeff Crisp, Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy
Solomon David, Director of Finance
Dara McLeod, Director of Communications
Steven Most, Director of Operations

Rowena Averia, Senior Accountant
Matthew Bechtel, Database Administrator
Michael Boyce, Press & Information Officer
Garrett Bradford, Development Officer
Michelle Brown, Senior Advocate & United Nations Representative
Dawn Calabia, Honorary Adviser
Daryl Grisgraber, Senior Advocate
Rosa Guerrero, Operations Manager
Marcy Hersh, Senior Advocate
Ann Hollingsworth, Senior Advocate for Government Relations
Sarnata Reynolds, Senior Adviser on Human Rights
Alice Thomas, Climate Displacement Program Manager
Sarah Watkins, Senior Development Officer
Mark Yarnell, Senior Advocate


Lionel Rosenblatt, President Emeritus
Ken Bacon (1944-2009), President of Refugees International from 2001 - 2009



FULL BIOS

KENDRA DAVIS, VICE PRESIDENT FOR PHILANTHROPY
Kendra Davis joined Refugees International in April 2013 as Vice President for Philanthropy and is responsible for the organization’s development efforts.  Before she joined RI, Kendra was Director of the International Donor Advised Giving Program at United Way Worldwide, where she oversaw 700 grant projects annually in more than 100 countries and was responsible for $7 million in program expansion. Kendra enjoyed a 10-year career at the U.S. State Department, where she was head of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s program division. In that capacity, she oversaw the grant evaluation and awards process for $500 million in Congressionally-appropriated funds. In addition, she served as a program officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, where she oversaw public diplomacy initiatives in Europe/Eurasia. She received two Superior Honor Awards, two Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Foreign Service Institute’s Adjunct Faculty Award for her work at the State Department. Before her tenure at the State Department, Kendra managed a variety of international grant programs at the League of Women Voters Education Fund, including a program designed to enfranchise 100,000 Bosnian refugees living in the US. Kendra holds a BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Princeton University and an MA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan. She speaks Russian and serves on the board of directors of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

JEFF CRISP, SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR POLICY AND ADVOCACY
jeff@refugeesinternational.org
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.

SOLOMON DAVID, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Solomon David joined Refugees International in 1992. For the last 17 years, he has taken charge of the organization’s accounting and the administration of finance functions. In 2004, Mr. David saved RI thousands of dollars when he led the team in refinancing its office building from a high-interest 30-year mortgage to a lower interest 15-year loan. A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. David specializes in management and tax consulting for small businesses and non-profit organizations. He joined RI with many years of experience as an accountant and comptroller for a publishing house, employment services, and non-profit entities. Mr. David holds a Master’s degree in Commerce with an emphasis in Advanced Cost-Accounting and Management from the University of Poona. He holds undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Economics, and a minor in Religious Philosophy, from Spicer Memorial College in Poona, India.

DARA MCLEOD, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
dara@refugeesinternational.org
Dara McLeod joined Refugees International in 2011 and oversees the organization’s communications department. The department develops the organization’s profile in the media, ensures a strong online presence through its web site, and produces high quality publications. Prior to joining RI, Ms McLeod spent six years as a producer with “As It Happens” - the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) flagship radio news and current affairs program. She came to the CBC from London, England, where she worked for three years as a producer with the BBC World Service. During her career as a journalist, Ms. McLeod worked for broadcasters in England, the United States and Canada - including NPR, PRI, and Associated Press Television. Ms McLeod has a Masters in International Journalism from City University in London, England, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

STEVEN MOST, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Steven Most joined Refugees International in July 2010. His professional experience includes administration, budgets, contract writing, donor relations, finance, grant management, human resources, project management, and proposal writing for NGOs, government, international organizations, and the UN. Many of these experiences were gained while providing humanitarian assistance to crises involving displaced persons. Mr. Most's education is in business administration and international economics.


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, DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR
Matthew Bechtel joined Refugees International in September of 2010. As RI’s Database Administrator, 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, PRESS & INFORMATION OFFICER
michael@refugeesinternational.org
Michael Boyce joined Refugees International in October 2011. As press and information officer, he is responsible for strengthening the organization's media presence across multiple platforms. 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.

GARRETT BRADFORD, DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Garrett Bradford joined Refugees International in January 2011 and is responsible for online outreach and fundraising strategies. Prior to coming to RI, Mr. Bradford coordinated social media and online activities at EMBARQ, The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, and was a regular contributor to the organization’s blog, TheCityFix.com. He also served for over two years in Chile and Brazil as the communications and media coordinator for multiple local churches. Mr. Bradford holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

MICHELLE BROWN, SENIOR ADVOCATE & UNITED NATIONS REPRESENTATIVE
Michelle Brown joined Refugees International in 2000 and currently represents the organization at the United Nations. She has conducted field assessments in the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Latin America and South Asia. On her more than 20 missions in the past six years, Ms. Brown has focused her advocacy on issues such as protection of internally displaced people and refugees, reintegration assistance in post-conflict situations, and children affected by armed conflict. Before joining RI, she worked for three years as an English teacher in Japan. Ms. Brown also worked in South Asia with various women’s health organizations and with women’s micro-enterprise organizations in Cambodia. She has a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from George Washington University.

DAWN CALABIA, HONORARY ADVISER
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.

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.

MARCY HERSH, SENIOR ADVOCATE
Marcy Hersh joined Refugees International in July 2012 as a Senior Advocate focusing on women and girls' rights. Prior to joining RI, Marcy worked with UN agencies, international and local NGOs, leading programming for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and gender-based violence prevention and response. She has worked in several humanitarian contexts, including in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Haiti, Uganda, and Afghanistan. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Union College and a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

ANN HOLLINGSWORTH, SENIOR ADVOCATE FOR GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
ann@refugeesinternational.org
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.

SARNATA REYNOLDS, SENIOR ADVISER ON HUMAN RIGHTS
sarnata@refugeesinternational.org
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.

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.

SARAH WATKINS, SENIOR DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Sarah Watkins joined Refugees International in July 2013 as Senior Development Officer. Prior to joining RI, Sarah worked at American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS for 11 years as their Senior Development Manager where she was responsible for coordinating proposal processes and submissions to federal government agencies, overseas governments, and other potential donors. During her tenure at American Councils, Sarah helped to secure over $20 million in government funds each year for the organization. Sarah also has experience in foundation funding through her Assistant Director, Foundations position at the United Negro College Fund and freelance proposal writing for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Sarah began her professional career at Pacific Intercultural Exchange, where she spent eight years overseeing the recruitment of host families for over 200 international exchange students each year and monitoring students’ overall progress while in the U.S. Sarah earned a Master of Education degree from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester. In addition to her development work, Sarah owns a clothing boutique that regularly hosts fundraisers for local nonprofits and art exhibits featuring local artists.

MARK YARNELL, SENIOR ADVOCATE
Mark joined Refugees International in December 2011 as Advocate for the Horn of Africa. Since then, he has led field assessments to Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, as well as conducted research in Burkina Faso and Niger. Mark has testified before the US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and been a guest on BBC/PRI’s The World and CBC’s As It Happens, among other news programs. 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 food security consultant for Oxfam and as a field officer with Merlin, a medical relief organization. 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.