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.
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 25 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.
Shirley A. Thoms
Director of North Carolina Field Office
Since 2007, Shirley A. Thoms has worked for USCRI as the Director of USCRI’s Raleigh, NC field office. She oversees both state and federal programming, including Reception and Placement, Matching Grant, Preferred Communities, Refugee Healthy Marriage, and NC State Refugee Assistance Program and she advocates for refugees and immigrants. She has over fifteen years of experience working with refugee and immigrant communities. Her career began as an AmeriCorps Access member working primarily with Bosnian refugees and later included large group resettlement of refugees from Kosovo, Vietnam, Somalia, and Hmong from Thailand as a Program Coordinator and Program Manager. Her work has also included assisting in the establishment of the Ethnic Community Empowerment Center, ELT and child care programs, as well as residential programs in refugee communities. She currently serves as Chairperson for the North Carolina State Advisor Council, has served on the founding board of several ethnic community-based organizations, and worked to implement and manage programming for Katrina Evacuees. The North Carolina Peace Corps Association (NCPCA) awarded the 2010 North Carolina Peace Prize to USCRI NC for their work helping refugees build new lives in North Carolina.
Before becoming the Staff Accountant for USCRI-North Carolina, Barry served as the Finance and Accounting Intern for the Finance and IOM departments at USCRI’s Headquarters office. Barry has experience serving underrepresented communities for organizations such as LIFT DC, Brother’s Leading Healthy Lives, and Black Child Development. Barry received his B.S. in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and in the future hopes to obtain his CPA license.
Carrie Cargile has worked with refugees since 1999, both domestically and overseas. Her related work experience includes overseeing Reception and Placement services; resource and community development; and adult education program development and instruction. Ms. Cargile has served refugees from all over the world in Thailand, Portland, Oregon, New York City and the Triangle area. She worked with an NGO serving non-literate adults in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ms. Cargile has an M.A. in TESOL from Portland State University and an M.A. in International Educational Development from Techers Colleve, Columbia University.
Alaina Dabbs is the Program Coordinator for the Refugee Child Care Microenterprise Development program. Prior to joining USCRI, Alaina was a Program Manager for an education technology company that developed technology curriculum and training programs for teachers and students worldwide. She also lived and worked in Costa Rica, teaching in a school founded by Costa Rican and U.S. immigrant families. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Feven Fessehaye as an Eritrean refugee resettled through USCRI, North Carolina in the later part of 2009. Coming as a refugee, Feven’s passion is working with new arrivals and to better understand refugees’ experiences. Feven's prior experiences include work as an interpreter and administrative assistant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kenya from 2007 to 2009 and as an interpreter with United Nations Mission Between Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE). Feven plans on pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Social Work. Feven is fluent im Tigrinya and Amharic.
Case Manager - Post Release Services
Becky Kyle joined the USCRI NC office in 2013, working as a case manager serving unaccompanied immigrant children in North Carolina and beyond. Prior to joining USCRI, Becky worked with immigrant families in Durham, NC providing support and education to first time parents. Becky has also worked with vulnerable patients at a community health center and refugee children in a summer learning-loss prevention program. Becky is continually inspired by the strength and resilience in every immigrant’s story and is excited to be a part of welcoming newcomers to the US. Becky holds a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also speaks Spanish.
Prior to joining USCRI NC, she worked in refugee resettlement as a case manager and immigration counselor with Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas (Raleigh, NC). Her work experience also includes service in a diplomatic mission and research in international metal industry in Africa and Europe. She holds a Bachelor degree in African Linguistics and Literature from the University of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. She is fluent in French and Lingala.
Abdi Mohamed serves as a Case Manager for the Reception and Placement Program. As a onetime refugee, Abdi takes pleasure in serving newly-arrived refugees. Abdi previously worked for IBM in the Research Triangle Park for seven years. Abdi is from Somalia and graduated from Somalia National University in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Saida Mohamed is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia. As a onetime refugee herself, Saida enjoys the opportunity to serve newly-arrived refugees. At USCRI NC, Saida helps newly-arrived refugees find employment. Prior to joining USCRI NC, Saida served the Somali Ministry of Education as a teacher in Somalia High Schools. She then worked as an Administrative Assistant to a graduate program at Somali Institute of Development Administration and Management in collaboration with California State University, Fresno. She has also worked for a number of American oil companies including Shell, Chevron, and Pecton and for IBM at the Research Triangle Park. Saida graduated from the Somalia National University, College of Education.
Originally from Canada, Nicole has many years’ experience working with children, resettled refugee communities, and economically disadvantaged people. Nicole received her B.A. in French from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her M.S. in Global Affairs and Human Rights from New York University. Prior to joining USCRI, Nicole worked as Program Administrator and Grant Writer with the Kramden Institute in Durham, NC. Her nonprofit work began while an undergraduate student when she worked with economically disadvantaged single mothers with the YWCA of Asheville. Nicole lived in New York for four years. She taught ESL as a teacher’s assistant in one of New York City’s public schools; and worked for the Institute of International Education issuing Fulbright Scholarships to African students wishing to attend US universities. Nicole’s first passion is working with refugees, her thesis was on Education in Refugee camps and she was employed at Art for Refugees in Transition as its US Program Manager developing its programs, donor database, and volunteer program. Additionally, she resettled refugee youth with the IRC in New York.
For six years, Andrea Rojas worked as a human rights lawyer for Exil, a non-profit based in Barcelona Spain that provides medical, psychological, social support and legal assistance to political refugees and immigrants who have been victims of human right violations. She also is coordinator of The Latino Community Empowerment Fund, a non- profit micro finance fund based at the University of North Carolina that provides small business training to local Latino community members. Andrea holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and practiced law as a public defender and attorney.
Cuban Haitian Program Coordinator
Rebecca Rolfe is the Program Coordinator for the Cuban Haitian Program. Prior to joining USCRI, Rebecca performed the duties of a Junior Foreign Officer as an intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Consulate General in Quebec City. While in Quebec, Rebecca conducted visa interviews, solved concerns of American nationals abroad, and established the Quebec City Green Consulate Program. Rebecca has also lived and studied in France, where she worked as an English teacher for the French Ministry of Education. She is fluent in French.
Program Officer - Post Release Services
Amy Schafer is a Program Officer for Post Release Services with USCRI’s Immigrant Services Division. She started with USCRI in 2011 as a Post Release Case Manager with the USCRI, providing services to vulnerable unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. Prior to joining USCRI, she worked for the State of North Carolina in the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Wake County 4-H Youth Development, and a local nonprofit Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Wake County. Ms Schafer’s work has focused primarily on serving high risk, high need latino families. She worked in under served communities providing workshops to families, informing them of resources to support families, and creating opportunities for the youth to become proactive, productive members of their communities. She has served on the Wake County Gang Prevention Partnership, MentorWake, and Alianza Latina Pro-Educacion en Salud. She has also worked overseas in the Dominican Republic focusing on community health, nutrition, and education. She also speaks Spanish.