Welcome to our page dedicated to the incredible staff team behind our USA operations! Our success is built on the hard work, dedication, and passion of our team members. Here, you’ll get an insider’s look at the talented individuals who drive our mission forward every day. From innovative leaders to dynamic support staff, each team member plays a crucial role in making our vision a reality. Read on to meet the people who are committed to excellence and discover the stories that inspire and energize our organization. Join us in celebrating the remarkable efforts and achievements of our USA staff team!

Fr. Leo J O’Donovan S.J., Senior 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.

M.K. Richardson, Vice President of Development 

M.K. is the Vice President 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 a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Giulia McPherson, Vice President of Advocacy and Operations

Giulia is the Vice President 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.

Liana Tepperman, Vice President of International Programs

Liana is the Vice President of International 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.

Bridget Cusick, Director of Marketing and Communications

Bridget Cusick is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She leads the team responsible for JRS/USA’s web, social, email, and print communications as well as earned and paid media.

Prior to joining JRS, Bridget spent nearly 20 years in corporate, nonprofit, and agency environments focused on building and elevating brands and causes through a wide variety of creative and data-driven initiatives. Most recently, Bridget was Director of Brand Marketing at Dollar Tree, Inc., where she led brand development for the Family Dollar chain and implemented a successful new approach to media planning and buying. Prior to her time at Dollar Tree, Bridget founded and led the marketing office at the Archdiocese of New York, building an in-house agency team that supported development and ministry office needs as well as led social media, web, and print communications for the Archdiocese as a whole.
Bridget has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and resides in Norfolk, Virginia, as close to the water as possible.

Joshua Utter, Advocacy Officer

Josh is the Advocacy Officer 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.

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.

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.

Clara Sayans, Outreach Officer

Clara Sayans serves as the Outreach Officer at JRS/USA. Part of her role is to engage individuals and institutions with the mission of JRS to foster spaces for learning, advocacy, and social transformation as we walk to a more fraternal and welcoming society for our siblings forcibly displaced. Before joining JRS, Clara worked in Education for Justice programs for young adults as well as civic mobilization around gender equity and migratory issues for different non-profits in Madrid, Spain. Earlier in her career, she also accompanied livelihood development for migrants, taught at-risk students and worked on a formation program for teachers at Fe y Alegria 50 in Ayacucho, Peru. She studied with the Jesuits and volunteered in a number of pastoral ministries and social justice programs. Clara has a Master’s in Education from Comillas University, and a certification in International and sustainable Development, from ESADE School of Business.

Brooke Wood, Web and Marketing Officer

Brooke is the Web and Marketing Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She works to identify trends in data to find the appropriate channels for all JRS/USA content, manages the JRS/USA website, as well as all social media accounts.

Brooke has a degree from Virginia Tech in Sociology and Peace Studies and for the last few years has been doing marketing to support a variety of clients including nonprofits and associations. Brooke has a personal passion for social justice and for accompanying, serving, and advocating for refugees and displaced persons around the world.

Anna Pigeon-Bempong, Sr. Donor Relations Officer

Anna is the Senior Donor Relations Officer 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.

Cindy Rice, Sr. Manager of Leadership 

Cindy is the Senior Major and Legacy 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 in Charlotte, NC where she attends St. Peters Church, the best Jesuit parish on the planet.

Kevin Reber, Development Officer

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

Born in Russia, he was adopted and raised in New Jersey, where he remains heavily involved in the local parish and the Boy Scouts of America. Previously, Kevin received a B.A. in Theology/Religious Studies, Politics and Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (CUA). He has studied in Rome, Leuven, and worked for the Institute for Policy Research, a CUA-based think tank.

Rachael Davis, Program Manager

Rachael is a Program Manager 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.

Cristina Donoso, Program Manager

Cristina is a Program Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA where she supports the daily operations of the Programs Department. She works closely with JRS’s Latin America, MENA & Asia Pacific 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.

Cristina previously worked in several roles within the US Refugee Resettlement Program in New York City and Texas. Prior, she worked for the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University and researched innovative financing solutions for immigrant and refugee workforce development programs in the US.

Cristina received her undergraduate degree from The University of the Incarnate Word, and graduated from a MA program in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights from the American University’s School of International Service (SIS) in Washington, DC.

Katie Mullins-Ali, Senior 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.

Andrea Douglas, Staff Accountant

Andrea is the Staff Accountant at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She is responsible for administering all accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit card reconciliations, bank reconciliations, and other day to day accounting and finance activities. Prior to joining JRS, Andrea was employed at the American Psychological Association as an Accounts Payable Specialist in Washington, DC.

Andrea has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus, formerly known as the University of Maryland University of College.

Maida Rider, Data Operations Manager

Maida is the Data Operations Manager for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where she supports JRS staff in all aspects of data management and operations.

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.