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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.