Our Team

Washington, D.C. Staff

The Jesuit Refugee Service/USA team is a group of professional, passionate individuals who are committed to assisting refugees and other forcibly displaced people heal, learn, and determine their own future.

JRS Canada Staff

Detention Chaplaincy Staff

The Jesuit Refugee Service/USA chaplaincy programs provide pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security in five U.S. federal detention centers located in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and New York. These programs enable people of all faiths to have access to pastoral care within their faith tradition.

  • Fr. Richard, Sotelo, S.J., Director, Detention Chaplaincy Program, El Paso, TX
  • Emilio Alvarez, Local Facility Chaplain at Batavia Federal Detention Facility in Buffalo, NY
  • Jorge Silva, Program Assistant at Batavia Federal Detention Facility in Buffalo, NY
  • Rebeca Marrufo, Program Assistant at  El Paso Service Processing Center in El Paso, TX
  • Dave Semmens, Local Facility Chaplain at El Paso Service Processing Center in El Paso, TX
  • Lynn Allvin, Local Facility Chaplain at Florence Service Processing Center in Florence, AZ
  • Briana Barcelo, Program Assistant at Florence Service Processing Center in Florence, AZ
  • Guillermo Dutra, Local Facility Chaplain at Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, FL
  • Adriana Tapia, Program Assistant at Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, FL
  • Jesse Araque, Local Facility Chaplain at Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Los Fresnos, TX
  • Isela Cortez, Program Assistant at Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Los Fresnos, TX



Washington, D.C. Staff Bios

Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director 

Joan is the Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. In this role, Joan leads the organization’s efforts in the U.S. to fulfill its mission – to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees and displaced people in over 50 countries around the world.

Rosenhauer is a former JRS/USA Board Member and has spent most of her career advocating for social justice and mobilizing the U.S. Catholic community to do the same. As an Executive Vice President of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Joan led the organization’s outreach, marketing, and communications – helping those in the United States respond to critical needs around the world. Prior to joining CRS, Joan spent 16 years with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she most recently served as the Associate Director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development.

Joan has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public policy management from the University of Maryland. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, Dominican College, and St. Ambrose University.


Melaku Alito, Director of Finance 

Melaku is the Director of Finance at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. He is responsible for the day to day management and oversight of all finance, accounting and financial reporting functions.  Melaku has over 10 years of finance and accounting experience in the nonprofit industry.

Over the years, he oversaw and managed the accounting, finance, and financial reporting functions of nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Melaku served as Director of Financial Reporting at Internet Society, Sr. Director of Finance/Controller at American Academy of Physician Assistants, and Director of Finance at National Volunteer Fire Council.

Melaku has a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management, Master’s Degree in Economics, Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in state of Maryland and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Sarah Carroll, Director of Communications

Sarah is the Director of Communications at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She leads all aspects of the organization’s external communications, including website, social media, messaging and branding. Sarah is a communicator, writer, advocate and policy wonk. She came to JRS/USA after a decade of working on a variety of communications campaigns and policy issues, including for the Pew Charitable Trusts, APCO Worldwide, and NETWORK: Lobby.

Sarah is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and a former Jesuit Volunteer.

 Rachael Davis, Program Officer

Rachael is the Program Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where she supports the daily operations of the Programs Department. She works closely with JRS’s Africa field offices to assist in proposal development and program management. She ensures that these programs are implemented, monitored, and evaluated in compliance with donor requirements.

Prior to joining JRS, Rachael worked at USAID with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.  She has also worked for the Institute of International Education and interned for the UN as well as a refugee resettlement agency in Denver, CO. Rachael was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa serving as a health education volunteer. Rachael has a Bachelors in History from The University of Florida and a Masters in International Human Rights from The University of Denver.


Anthony DiFlorio, Digital Communications Coordinator

Anthony is the Digital Communications Coordinator at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where he amplifies the voices of refugees and internally displaced persons served by JRS programs across social and digital media. He is passionate about the power of creative visual storytelling and new media in international development.

Prior to joining JRS, he worked as a journalist and video producer in Washington, DC. He previously worked on migration and international refugee issues with Boys & Girls Towns of Italy in Rome.

Anthony holds a Bachelors in Diplomacy & International Relations from Seton Hall University and a Masters in Journalism & Digital Storytelling from American University.

Dickie Fischer, Program Officer 

Dickie is the Program Coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where he supports the daily operations of the Programs Department. He works closely with JRS’s international field offices to assist in proposal development and program management, and ensures that these programs are implemented, monitored, and evaluated in compliance with donor requirements.

Prior to joining JRS, Dickie worked in a youth development NGO in Alexandria, Egypt, and later as a case manager for a refugee resettlement agency in Austin, Texas. Upon moving to D.C., Dickie worked for the Institute for the Study of International Migration, the American Red Cross International Services Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Unit, and most recently with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of Policy and Strategy.

Dickie completed an MA in Contemporary Arab Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and completed his undergraduate degree in Arabic at the University of Texas in Austin. Dickie is fluent in Arabic and Spanish and enjoys playing soccer, riding motorcycles, and watching Netflix with his wife and their furry daughter Ladybird

Lazreta Kote, Accounting and Payroll Manager 

Lazreta is the Accounting and Payroll Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.  She supports the day-to-day accounting and finance functions and is responsible for processing payroll. Prior to joining JRS, Lazreta worked as an Accountant in the private sector where she gained experience in finance, accounting, and financial reporting. Lazreta grew up in Albania and is fluent in Albanian, English, and Spanish. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting Economics from McDaniel College.

Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy and Operations 

Giulia is the Director of Advocacy and Operations at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She oversees JRS/USA’s policy and advocacy portfolio, with a focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises; leads a community engagement program to educate and mobilize advocates; and oversees JRS/USA’s institutional operations.

Prior to joining JRS in 2015, Giulia was with CARE USA for 11 years, most recently as Director of Citizen Advocacy. Previously, she worked in Italy and Peru for the Italian NGO CESVI as well as the Nonprofit Sector & Philanthropy Program at The Aspen Institute.

Giulia has a Bachelors in Political Science from Villanova University and a Masters in International Development Studies from The George Washington University. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Educate2Envision International and is an appointed Commissioner on the Montgomery County (MD) Commission for Women.

Katie Mullins, Psychosocial Support Specialist 

In the role of Psychosocial Support Specialist, Katie coordinates with the international, regional, and country offices to provide support for psychosocial activities. These activities help individuals and communities affected by displacement achieve better mental health, and social connections as a way of promoting their well-being and resilience.

Prior to joining JRS, Katie managed mental health, psychosocial support, and child protection projects around the world including in Liberia, Uganda, Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, and most recently in the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Katie has her Master’s in Social Work from Tel Aviv University with a concentration in Trauma and Crisis, and a Bachelor’s in Communications.


Fr. Leo J O’Donovan S.J., Director of Mission

Fr. Leo is the Director of Mission for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Fr. O’Donovan is president emeritus of Georgetown University, where he served as President from 1989 to 2001. While leading Georgetown, he led the tripling of the endowment, a major increase in the university’s research budget, and several innovative new academic endeavors such as the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, the Center for Social Justice, and a program to strengthen the University’s Catholic and Jesuit identity. Since leaving Georgetown Fr. O’Donovan has returned to teaching, serves on a number of boards, and publishes frequent articles on theology as well as on art criticism.

Born in New York City, Fr. O’Donovan is a graduate of Georgetown University, Fordham University, Woodstock College, and the University of Münster, in then West Germany, where he earned his doctoral degree under Karl Rahner. In 1966, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Society of Jesus.

Robyn Philips, Development Officer for Individual Giving 

Robyn is the Development Officer for Individual Giving at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She manages individual giving activities, including the cultivation and stewardship of donors, coordination of special events, and digital fundraising.

Prior to joining JRS/USA, Robyn was the Development Associate at the Center for Law and Social Policy, where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s individual giving and grant seeking programs. She also worked for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, where she provided support for their fundraising activities.

Robyn is a certified nonprofit professional and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Villanova University.

Anna Pigeon, Development Assistant 

Anna is the Development Assistant for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, supporting all aspects of fundraising to ensure donor satisfaction.

Anna joined JRS/USA in July 2017 after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Political science at the University of Mary Washington. While at school she was deeply involved with the school’s service organization working to help the local community.

Anna grew up in a small town in Vermont surrounded by her large family.  She is passionate about human rights, especially the rights of those in need and is very excited to be part of the JRS/USA team accompanying, serving, and advocating for refugees and displaced persons around the world.

M.K. Richardson, Director of Development

M.K. is the Director of Development at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.  M.K. brings over twenty years of fundraising, communications, and special events experience for local and national non-profit organizations. Previously she served as the Director of Development at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Her background includes Director of Communications for a national association of Catholic women religious and she also worked several years as a federal contractor for public affairs programs with NASA and Section 508 disability legislation.

M.K. has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and International Studies from Virginia Tech and is completing a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Maida Rider, Development Coordinator/Operations 

Maida is the Development Coordinator/Operations for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where she supports daily operations of the Development team to ensure successful fundraising efforts and events.

Prior to joining JRS in November 2016, Maida worked in several roles in the private sector and federal government including administrative, procurement, and project management positions. Maida was born in Colombia and grew up in Venezuela.  Maida Is fluent in Spanish, English and French

Cindy Rice, Major Gifts Officer

Cindy is the Major Gifts Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and works to develop donor engagement and investment to further the reach and scope of JRS projects serving refugees around the world.

Cindy served as Director of Development for JRS/USA for two years in 2009-2011 before she joined Blumenthal Performing Arts (Charlotte, NC) as Vice President of Development. Formerly she served seven years as Executive Director for Davidson Community Players, a non-profit community theater in Davidson, NC. Over the span of two decades she has raised funds for higher education (Davidson College), the arts, health services, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte.

Cindy received her undergraduate degree from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. She resides near Oriental, NC with frequent visits to Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, NC where she attends St. Peters Church, the best Jesuit parish on the planet.



Liana Tepperman, Director of Programs

Liana  is the Director of Programs at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She provides fundraising and grant management support to JRS programs funded by US-based donors. She works closely with JRS’s international field offices to ensure that these programs are implemented in compliance with donor requirements.

Prior to joining JRS, Liana worked with Action on Armed Violence in London for several years, most recently as Program Officer for West Africa. In these roles, she collaborated with field offices in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burundi, and Western Sahara, to develop new field programming, prepare grant proposals, support monitoring and evaluation, and write communications materials for mine action and armed violence reduction programs.

Liana completed an MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and completed her undergraduate studies in Government and Politics and Art History at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Joshua Utter, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator

Josh is the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. He assists with JRS/USA’s effort to grow and mobilize a diverse and active constituency dedicated to defending the rights of refugees and displaced persons, and to advocate on behalf of U.S. policies that support refugee needs.

Josh has a heart for serving others and is an advocate for the marginalized of our society. Before joining JRS/USA, Josh taught English to high school students in Sierra Leone as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Upon his return to the States, Josh spent the next few years in discernment with the Jesuits. This time of discernment brought Josh to the front lines of the refugee experience in the United States, by assisting with refugee resettlement efforts in Omaha and the Twin Cities. From moving families into their new homes to teaching computer skills, Josh gained an understanding of the number of challenges that refugees face.

Josh is originally from Madison, WI and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies from Loras College in Dubuque, IA.

JRS Canada Staff Bio

Norbert Piché, Country Director of JRS/Canada

Norbert is the Country Director for JRS/Canada. JRS-Canada is an apostolate work initiated jointly by the two Canadian Jesuit Provinces; it started in August 2015. As Country Director for Canada, Norbert represents JRS to the Canadian Bishops and national organizations for the defense of refugees. He circulates information regarding JRS and its partners, particularly JRS in the Americas, within the two Canadian Provinces. He plays a role in the shaping of public opinion about the victims of forced displacement. He supports advocacy with the Canadian government on migration issues by Jesuit works or JRS’ partners.

Norbert has extensive experience in the refugee/immigration field. He worked for 15 years at the Center francophone de Toronto as a Settlement Counselor and later as the Coordinator of Settlement Services. Previous to that, he was a Jesuit Volunteer at Romero House, a welcome center for refugee claimants in Toronto. Norbert has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba.