President and Chief Executive Officer
Lavinia Limón has more than thirty 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.
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.
Director of Field Offices
As the Director of Field Offices, Mr. Limón is responsible for the operational, financial, and personnel management of USCRI field offices in Vermont, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa and standardizes best practices in all locations. Mr. Limón has over twenty-five years of experience in business management, investment banking, financial services, telecommunications, and customer service. Mr. Limón's previous work experience includes ownership and operation of two businesses, a financial services company and a hospitality business in San Clemente, CA. Mr. Limón has designed and managed several international communications projects in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Director, International Institute of Erie
Prior to joining the International Institute of Erie in April 2012, Dylanna served as the Director of Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement for the Northern Area Multi-Service Center (NAMS) and as Director of Refugee Resettlement and Educational Programs at the International Institute of Akron (IIA). Throughout her career, Dylanna has carried out a broad range of administrative functions, including grant-writing, program evaluation, fiscal management, volunteer management, and program development. Dylanna earned her BA in English from Kent State University, where she also received certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and completed post graduate coursework in conflict management. She is proficient in Spanish and intermediate in Turkish.
Language Services Coordinator
Mensura Berberovic joined the International Institute of Erie in 1996 as an Assistant Supervisor at the Small World Preschool. In 1998 she also became a translator and was promoted to the Healthy Family Healthy Marriage Program, Nutrition Program, RSS Program, and Medical Service Program. Mensura earned the equivalent of a registered nurse’s degree in Bosnia in 1966. She has worked in the intensive care ward of a hospital and as a pediatric nurse. While she was herself a refugee in Croatia, Mensura worked as a nurse in the Rehabilitation and Research Center BOSWOFAM Europe project for Torture Victims in Zagreb, Croatia, where she treated and rehabilitated victims of multiple trauma and rape. In 1995 she moved to Erie with her family. She has been honored numerous times by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; she was awarded an annual Apprenticeship grant, which supported her in passing on the Bosnian ballad tradition to young Bosnian girls living in Erie. Mensura is currently a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, a prestigious statewide roster of experts who present in community settings.
Community Resource Case Manager
Jeff joined the International Institute of Erie in October of 2012. Prior to joining IIE, Jeff worked as Director of a Psychiatric Rehabilitation program assisting people with severe mental illness in developing skills to reintegrate into the community. He has also developed many employment, advocacy, and volunteer programs in other agencies and is proficient in grant writing. Jeff earned his BA in Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies with minors in History and Political Science. His current duties include promoting refugee issues and integration into the community and improving volunteerism and donations to the agency.
Mr. Chuwan joined USCRI/International Institute of Erie in October 2010 as a Job Developer. Prior to joining USCRI, he worked as an Accounting teacher in Nepal for two years. In addition, I worked as a teacher on a voluntary basis in the Bhutanese Refugee Education Program (BREP) run by CARITAS Nepal for three years. He received a Master’s degree in Marketing from Tribhuvan University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Purvanchal University Nepal. He is originally from Bhutan and lived in Nepal for 17 years. He speaks Nepali fluently.
Lisa Demyanovich joined USCRI/International Institute of Erie in November 2010 as the Citizenship and Integration Program Coordinator, facilitating capacity building including modification and design of ESL and citizenship curriculum, ESL instruction, instructor & volunteer training, outreach services and naturalization application assistance. She has earned her Board of Immigration Appeals accreditation and provides immigration services to Erie’s refugee and immigrant communities. Prior to joining IIE, Lisa taught English as a Second Language for two years at the University of Cambridge accredited academy in Galicia, Spain. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Metropolitan State College of Denver in Denver, Colorado. She later earned a Master’s degree in Elementary and Middle School Education from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Lisa is fluent in Spanish.
Child Care Supervisor
Leah Humes joined the International Institute of Erie in 2012 in the School-Age Program and is now serving as the Child Care Supervisor. Leah holds a Bachelor degree in History, and earned a Masters degree in Education in 2010. She comes to IIE with experience teaching a wide variety of students of all ages in urban, suburban and rural settings. She also taught English as a Second Language in China. Additionally, Leah has a background in nonprofit work and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Erie Peace and Justice Center.
Coordinator of Refugee Services Programs
Meliha Huseinagic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and lived there until war broke out in 1992. She was exchanged as a civilian prisoner and stayed in Croatia for three years. In 1995, Meliha arrived to the United States as a refugee with her family and was resettled by IIE. Meliha finished high school in Bosnia for the specific occupation of Economy Technician, which would be equivalent to an Accounting Assistant in the United States. In 1998, she started working at IIE as a part-time Bosnian interpreter and worked her way through the agency to her present position. She has served as a Case Manager, Employment Specialist, Department Supervisor, and now is responsible for the coordination of Refugee Services programs. Meliha has successfully written several grant proposals and received an Award for Program Development Excellence from the Pennsylvania Workforce Improvement Network (PAWIN), administered by Penn State University.
Fadhail Ibraheem joined the International Institute of Erie in October of 2007 as a Day Care Teacher, later joining the IIE staff and serving in Refugee Social Services and as the Medical and Housing Coordinator. Fadhail currently serves as a Job Developer. Prior to joining IIE, Fadhail worked as a chemistry teacher in Iraq for nine years and as a Clinical Chemist in a Baghdad hospital. Fadhail holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Baghdad University and a Diploma in Clinical Chemistry.
Dina Kovalevich came to the United States from Ukraine on December 5, 1997. She began working at the International Institute of Erie in 1999 as a Housing Coordinator. She now works as a Case Manager for refugee clients. She has a background in banking. Ms. Kovalevich speaks, reads, and writes in Ukrainian and Russian languages.
Fiseha S. Lolemu
RSS Medical Coordinator
Fiseha Lolemu joined USCRI/International Institute of Erie in February 2010 as a Refugee Social Services Coordinator and currently works as Medical Coordinator. Prior to joining USCRI, Mr. Lolemu worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he served refugees for over 10 years in multiple positions, including: Skills Training Instructor, Nutrition Program Field Supervisor, and Nutrition Program Counterpart Manager. He has volunteered for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse program (IRC) to protect the rights of refugees. Mr. Lolemu is originally from Ethiopia and lived in Kenya for over 16 years. He is fluent in Amharic and conversant in Swahili.
Child Care Program Manager
Mirela Mirkovic has been with IIE’s Child Care Program for almost 19 years. After arriving as a refugee from Romania, she began to work in the Child Care Program as an Aide. Mirela went on to get her GED and worked her way up to Assistant Group Supervisor in the Toddler Program. In 2008, Mirela became the Child Care Program’s Program Manager. In this capacity, she attends annual training conferences for Child Care Employees by the Pennsylvania KEYS program and has attended many training sessions in Child Care Programming.
Mr. Mohamed-Ali was born and raised in an Eritrean refugee camp in Eastern Sudan. He was resettled as a refugee in Erie, PA in 2008. Mr. Mohamed-Ali currently serves as the School Liaison for IIE, bridging communication barriers by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate support for school systems and parents. Prior to joining IIE, he worked as an Arabic Translator and Political Researcher at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mr. Mohamed-Ali is completing a Master’s degree in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro.
Devi Subedi joined USCRI/International Institute of Erie in October 2010 as a Case Manager. Prior to working with IIE, Devi worked as a Nepali Interpreter with IIE and MHEDS clinic for about three years. Devi is originally from Bhutan, but was forced to leave in 1992 due to the civil war and then spent eighteen years in a refugee camp in Nepal. While in Nepal, Devi worked as a teacher for ten years in Math and Environmental Science, at the same time serving as the Head of the School of Bhutanese refugees. Devi spent two years studying Political Science in India and is fluent in Nepali and conversant in Hindi.
Irina Teygart joined the International Institute of Erie in 1997. She is responsible for the resettlement process of newly-arrived refugees from a variety of countries. Irina received her Bachelor’s degree from Russia in 1973.