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

Meg comes to Switchboard from her role managing the Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Assistance (META) Project. Previously, she worked as a Program Manager for Resource Acquisition. Her work has focused on grant management, monitoring and evaluation, and instructional design. Meg holds an MA in French from Middlebury College, specializing in francophone societies, and a BA in Religion from Barnard College, specializing in Islam.
Jason is an experienced educator, trainer, and program manager who has worked in the field of refugee resettlement since 2003. He comes to Switchboard from the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE), where he directed a global CO technical assistance program for over three years. Prior to CORE, Jason worked abroad for 15 years at the Resettlement Support Center for East Asia, the Overseas Processing Entity in West Africa, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana. He holds a degree in Education from the University of Akron, Ohio.
Tigest is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience working with refugees, immigrants, and other forcibly displaced populations in direct service, supervisory, and management positions. Prior to joining Switchboard, Tigest worked at Lutheran Community Services (Seattle, WA) in ORR’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, where she provided countless client-centered consultations, guidance, and recommended resources for clients, staff, and various community agencies. Her many years of on-the-job experience as a direct line worker have afforded her a well-rounded skillset including managing adverse situations, comprehensive service planning, strengths-based and trauma-informed case management, and collaborating with interdisciplinary care teams to deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Tigest holds a Master of Social Work from University of Washington.
Leyla Dursunova, Sr. Program Officer for Measurement and Partnerships, began working with refugees in 2000 in Uzbekistan, where she coordinated a health training program for Afghan women under Mercy Corps’ operations. Her engagement in U.S. refugee resettlement started in 2004 in various capacities: providing direct services as a Reception and Placement and Matching Grant Case Manager, coordinating ethnic community building projects, supporting fundraising and development at a local resettlement agency, and providing training and technical assistance through project Strengthening Organizations Assisting Refugees (SOAR) at the IRC. Leyla was deeply involved in local resettlement efforts of her own ethnic community of Meskhetian/Ahiska Turks in 2004-2006, and later of Afghan evacuees in 2021-2022 at Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia. Leyla holds an MSW in Social Administration and International Social Welfare from Columbia University through a fellowship from the Open Society Institute. She holds a BA in English and Italian Linguistics and Teaching and is a native Russian speaker. Leyla is an alumna of International House NY and is a licensed MSW in NY State.
Kimberly Mays is a digital technology enthusiast that has over 15 years of experience in marketing, training, design, and web development. Prior to joining Switchboard, she worked for data-driven marketing technology corporations as a business analyst, project manager, and developer. She is passionate about using technology as a means to help people improve their lives, help service providers reach those who need them, and to work towards bridging the digital divide for a more equitable future for all. Kimberly holds an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business (CUNY Baruch) and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Fordham University.

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.

Farah began her career in the non-profit sector working with Mercy Corps in Lebanon as a skills-building coordinator for an economic development program. In her role, Farah oversaw the implementation of training sessions and worked with marginalized youth to help them increase their chances of employment. Prior to joining Switchboard, Farah served as a Program Manager at Amaanah Refugee Services in Houston, TX where she worked on developing and expanding programs that served immigrant and refugee youth and women. The programs she worked on focused on overcoming language barriers, isolation, and food insecurity. Farah holds an MA in International Affairs from the Lebanese American University and an MSc in Social Policy (Research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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.

Megan Rafferty, Training Officer, Mental Health, has worked in mental health settings for over a decade, providing culturally responsive, strengths-based, trauma-informed services to refugee and immigrant populations. She has provided case management, individual therapy and psychosocial group interventions to individuals experiencing a wide range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use, and adjustment difficulties. She has also held leadership positions, providing program development, project management, consultation, and supervision. Megan currently holds dual licensure in Colorado as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC).
She received her graduate training from the University of Denver’s International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health Masters program.

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.

Selina Máté, Program Manager for Digital Content, is an experienced program manager with a background in refugee youth education and mentorship. Prior to joining Switchboard, she developed two refugee assistance and advocacy programs with World Relief and the City/County of Durham in North Carolina. In addition to her non-profit background, she has experience in journalism and juvenile education. Selina holds a BA in History with a concentration in pre-law and a minor in biology.

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.

Madina Masumi, Training Officer, Cultural Awareness is a Licensed K-12 School Counselor with over 12 years of experience working with Fairfax County Public Schools. During this time, she worked closely to provide support to marginalized student populations from diverse backgrounds and support their social-emotional growth. Prior to becoming a counselor, Madina worked for Fairfax County Government to provide clients with resources and public assistance programs. Her own personal experience of being raised in an Afghan American family who came to the United States as refugees has given her first-hand experience of the challenges. For this reason, she feels strongly about empowering and supporting refugees. Madina holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from George Mason University, and a B.A.in Public Relations/Communication from George Mason University.

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.

Emily Smith, Editorial Manager, is an experienced copy editor with an interest in helping refugees, immigrants, and English language learners. Prior to joining Switchboard, she worked as a legal editor for the American Association for Justice and later as an academic copy editor for non-native English speakers. In addition to editing, Emily has volunteered extensively with nonprofit organizations that support refugees and immigrants. She brings four years of valuable experience volunteering for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, where she was the healthcare coordinator for a newly resettled Syrian family. She also has six years of experience teaching English to immigrants and refugees, first serving as an ESOL tutor in Virginia and then as an assistant ESOL instructor with JVS Boston. Emily is deeply committed to helping refugees thrive in their new communities. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Brandeis University and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

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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