USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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Our Staff

Lavinia Limón
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lavinia Limón has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of refugees and immigrants.  Prior to joining USCRI in August of 2001, Ms. Limón was Director of the Center for the New American Community, a project of the National Immigration Forum.  During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Limón served as the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services, designing and implementing programs to assist newly arriving refugees in achieving economic and social self-sufficiency.  She served simultaneously as the Director of the Office of Family Assistance for four years, helping to devise policies and strategies for implementing national welfare reform.  Ms. Limón was previously the Executive Director of the International Institute of Los Angeles.

Eskinder Negash
Senior Vice President for Global Engagement
Mr. Eskinder Negash is a recognized Senior Executive leader and brings over 35 years of proven not-for-profit management experience working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and managing non-profit social service agencies. Mr. Negash served as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the largest government funded refugee resettlement organization in the world, within the Administration of Children and Families, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2009 - 2015. With a budget of over 1.5 billion, the Office of Refugee Resettlement plays a critical role in providing essential services to a wide range of vulnerable people through the Resettlement Program, Rescue & Restore anti-trafficking campaign, and the Unaccompanied Children's Program. Under his leadership, ORR has served more than 400,000 refugees, 150,000 asylees, 125,000 Cuban and Haitian Entrants, nearly 21,000 Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, 3,200 Victims of Trafficking, over 32,000 U.S. repatriates, and almost 116,000 unaccompanied children. Altogether, that is more than 850,000 people, in six years.

Prior to his appointment by the Obama Administration, he served as the vice president and chief operating officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide. Before joining USCRI, Mr. Negash served as vice president and chief administrative officer of the International Institute of Los Angeles for 15 years. Mr. Negash also served as a board member with several non-profit organizations, including two years as chair of the Joint Voluntary Agencies Committee of California, chair of the California State Refugee Advisory Council, and board member of Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). In 2009, Mr. Negash received an Outstanding American by Choice award from DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which recognizes naturalized U.S. citizens who have made significant contributions to both their community and their adopted country. In 2010, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) honored Mr. Negash as one of ten distinguished men and women whose stories of hope and transformation epitomize the refugee journey.

Lee Williams
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Lee Williams joined USCRI as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in August 2009.  Prior to joining, he was the Executive Director of the International Institute of Akron (Ohio), a USCRI partner agency, for two years.  Mr. Williams’ early career was in client services and international banking.  He was Vice President of the Morgan Stanley Trust Company, Vice President of Deutsche Bank Global Institutional Services, and Managing Principal of Capco – a capital markets company.  Mr. Williams holds a Graduate Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University, a Master's degree in International Management from The Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bs.L from Georgetown University in Arabic.

Stacie Blake
Director of Government and Community Relations
Stacie Blake has responsibility for building and maintaining strong and positive relationships with government, elected and community supporters. From 2002-2005 she led the USCRI Vermont field office welcoming hundreds of newly arrived refugees and their families. She was recognized by the Vermont Legislature with a Joint Resolution of Appreciation for her work with refugees and immigrants across the state.  She led the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture for three years and developed and launched the National Partnership for Community Training-a research based collaborative to share best practices for communities with limited resources for torture survivors. Prior to rejoining USCRI she was the Executive Director of Community Tampa Bay promoting a vision of ending discrimination. Ms. Blake holds two degrees from the University of Vermont and was elected twice as a member of the Mount Mansfield Union School District. She is a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute and Leadership Florida.

Tawfik Alazem
Director of Detroit Field Office, USCRI Detroit
In July 2007, Tawfik Alazem joined USCRI as the Director of USCRI’s newly opened 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 both federal and state programming include  Refugee Preventative health, Reception and Placement (R&P), Matching Grant (MG), and Secondary Migration to Stability (SMS) programs and 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.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University.  He is fluent in Arabic.

Bashar Abbo
Case Manager
Prior to joining the staff at USCRI, Mr. Abbo was working with Kurdish Human Rights Watch (KHRW).   Currently he is working toward completing studies to receive a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Surveying Engineering Techniques and speaks fluent Arabic and Chaldean.

Khalid Abbo
Job Developer
As a Job Developer for the Matching Grant program, Khalid Abbo is responsible for managing Matching Grant finances.  Khalid joined USCRI Detroit in 2008.  Khalid has a Master’s degree in Computer and Information Systems from the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan.

Lamis Abbo
Case Manager
Lamis Abbo began working with USCRI Detroit in 2008 as a Case Manager.  Lamis has been working in the nonprofit sector for many years and has thirteen years of experience working with refugees as a Case Manager, helping newcomers access all the service they need.  Lamis’ experience, abilities, and passion allow her to make a positive contribution to the agency while gaining valuable experiences.  Lamis holds a Degree in Legal Science (2000). 

Hamid Al-Rubeii
Job Developer
Hamid Al-Rubeii works as a Job Developer in the Matching Grant program with over fifteen years of experience in job development activities, business management, telecommunications, and customer service.  Hamid holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Baghdad.

Zahra Alsayag
Medical Case Manager

Zahra previously worked for Wayne County Public Health as Medicaid Specialist, Angel Care-Michigan Behavioral, ACCESS Behavioral Health, and Fairlane Home Health Care as Administrative Assistant.  Zahra received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University. Zahra is fluent in Arabic. 

Ali Al-Zubaidi
Case Manager
Ali Al-Zubaidi started working with USCRI Detroit in 2010, as an on-call Reception and Placement employee.  In this position, Ali assisted with case file management and client transportation.  Later in 2010, Ali transitioned to Case Manager.  In this current position, Ali handles Reception and Placement cases.  Ali has a BSC Degree in Industrial Management from Al-Mansoor University in Baghdad.

Zeina Hamade
Community Outreach Coordinator
Zeina Hamade joined USCRI in September 2014 as the Community Outreach Coordinator. In this role, she strives to build support and awareness from the community through events and outreach activities. Before joining USCRI, Zeina earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint and gained over two years of experience in the marketing and public relations field.

Fares Hamood
Reception and Placement Case Manager
Fares Hamood started working with USCRI Detroit in 2010 as a full-time Reception and Placement Case Manager.  Fares is currently seeking a Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University and is First Aid and CPR-certified by the American Red Cross.  Fares is fluent in Arabic.

Luay Kassir
Case Manger / Job Developer
Luay Kassir brought his previous refugee resettlement experience and joined USCRI in 2015 as a case manager and job developer.  Mr. Kassir is responsible for providing resettlement, employment, and medical follow-up services to newly arrived refugees.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Technology in Iraq. Mr. Kassir is fluent in Arabic.

Ahmad Kutit
Case Manager
Ahmad joined USCRI in 2013. As a reception and placement case manager, Ahmad is responsible for providing social services for refugees and immigrants and ensuring a smooth process for resettlement. Ahmah has a business administration certificate and he is planning to continue his education in business administration. Ahmad speaks some Turkish and he is fluent in Arabic.

Wameeda Shanan
Case Manager
Wameeda Shanan serves as a Case Manager with USCRI Detroit.  She started working with USCRI as a Development Assistant with the Development Department and as Program Assistant with the Preferred Communities and Supporting the Successful Integration of Burundian Refugees programs.  Before joining USCRI, Wameeda worked with the Iraq Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with Iraqi refugees, as manager of a field office in Michigan.  Wameeda is a native of Iraq, a graduate of Wayne State, and is fluent in Arabic.

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