Welcome to Switchboard!
We connect resettlement practitioners and subject matter experts so that practitioners can increase the quality of their services and improve outcomes for their clients.
Here is the concept behind the name Switchboard:
A hand-operated switchboard used to be how people gained and maintained connections, whether they were calling to talk about everyday occurrences, life-changing news, or simply needed local information. While this tool may have fallen by the wayside, its core function is still very much a necessity –one our program provides. We connect people in the resettlement community to the information and advice they need.
Meet the Team
Liz Tompkins, Program Officer, Strategy and Operations brings diverse knowledge and skillsets to Switchboard, combining public administration leadership and program development experience with clinical social work abilities. Most recently, Liz served as the National Capacity Director for Refugee and Immigrant Programs with Bethany Christian Services. Her work concentrated on strategic program development and nationwide implementation of referral and placement systems for Unaccompanied Children in ORR custody, Unaccompanied Refugee Minor programs, and Home Study and Post Release Services. Liz is an experienced facilitator and public speaker, having presented at numerous conferences on topics ranging from humanitarian concerns at the southern border to ethics in administration. Liz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Michigan and received both an MSW and MPA from Grand Valley State University. Liz is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer(RPCV), having served in Peru from 2012 until 2016.
Elijah Davis, Administrative Manager, is a business administrative professional with experience in the non-profit and health care sectors. Prior to working with Switchboard, Elijah served as an administrative assistant in the Case Management and Utilization Nurse Review Department within the Johns Hopkins Medical System. Elijah has also previously worked as an office manager within the non-profit sector at a domestic violence and sexual assault center in central Maryland. Currently, Elijah is studying Business Administration at the University of Maryland Global Campus.
Raluca Albu, Program Manager for Communications, is a former refugee (sponsored by the IRC in 1989) who was born in Romania and raised in the Bronx. She most recently worked as the interim deputy editor for Doctors Without Borders and has held editorial positions at Guernicamagazine, BOMB, and Columbia University. Prior to her work in communications, she was a history teacher in the New York City public school system and taught academic writing at NYU. Herown writing has been published in The Guardian, The Village Voice, Three Percent, and elsewhere. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her two sled-pulling Samoyeds and her wood-working partner. Raluca holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, an MA in Teaching from Columbia University, and a BA in History from Bard College.
Sally Beiruti, Program Manager for Monitoring and Evaluation, brings varied experience in projects related to forced displacement in global contexts. She served as a researcher in the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University and the D-Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been involved in the M&E of projects and the development of educational content throughout her previous work. Sally holds an MPH from the Population and Family Health Department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Action, as well as a BS from the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT.
Sonali Jagdhane White, Program Officer for Partnerships, comes to Switchboard from U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), where she served as a Program Officer. In that role, Sonali provided monitoring and evaluation, outreach, and partnership support to providers in the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) network that worked with foreign national survivors of trafficking. Sonali brings a varied background in anti-trafficking work: she has raised awareness at churches, volunteered on her college campus, volunteered at a survivor shelter, and worked at Polaris and the TVAP Program connecting clients to services. Sonali holds an MA in Human Rights from the University of Arizona and a BA in Russian Language and Culture from Arizona State University.
Sarah Diner, Program Officer, Research, comes to Switchboard from the direct service side of refugee resettlement. She has worked for the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services and a local USCRI affiliate managing and providing services for the Matching Grant, Reception and Placement, and Afghan Humanitarian Parole programs. Her experience in the non-profit world started when she served in the Peace Corps as a Community Services Specialist in Morocco. She is passionate about helping others access resources and knowledge that can aid them in providing the best services possible to their newest neighbors. Sarahholds an MA in Public Anthropology from American University in Washington, D.C. and will be completing an MPH in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa.
Maliha Mirza, Training Officer, Case Management is a Social Worker who brings more than decade of experience engaging with diverse populations in community health and mental health settings. Prior to joining Switchboard, Maliha was a clinical supervisor at Refugees Northwest, where she was actively engaged in recruiting and supporting external organizations to ensure a continuum of care for clients most in need. She has previously served as a referral coordinator, trainer, and practicum instructor. Maliha speaks Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, and understands Pashto. Maliha holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington.
Rob Callus, Training Officer, Community Integration is a lifelong educator who eagerly finds himself on the Switchboard team after his time as a Youth Services Program Manager with World Relief. In that role, he launched comprehensive multi-generational support services for refugee youth and their families, including ORR-funded programs including Refugee School Impact and Refugee Youth Mentoring. He has prior experience providing technical assistance to community health workers in rural Kenya with Curamericas Global and formerly taught at a high school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Rob holds degrees in Health Science and Theology from the University of Notre Dame.
David Pax, Program Officer, Web Development brings an accomplished background in instructional design, web and software development, training, and project management in the US and Africa. A former Microsoft Student Ambassador, he worked as an Instructional Designer and Web Developer at Syracuse University and Jersey College before joining Switchboard. In addition, David is an active member of the World Economic Forum and a recipient of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) highly competitive Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) program where he designed and developed an economic development plan for local entrepreneurs and used his software development skills to build a family planning service. David holds a Master in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Université Pédagogique Nationale (DR Congo).
Julie Markovitz, Program Officer for Compliance, comes to Switchboard from the IRC resettlement office in Dallas, TX. She joined the IRC in Dallas in 2006 as the Office Coordinator, where she provided operations and finance support. In 2008, she became the Program Coordinator for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), an ORR-funded early employment cash assistance program. While at the IRC in Dallas, she also worked with U.S. ties to complete Affidavits of Relationship (AORs) and Iranian Lautenberg (HIAS) applications. Julie holds an MA in International Relations from Salve Regina University and a BFA in Art History with a Minor in Business Law from University of North Texas.
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