RCUSA Chair: Hans Van de weerd, Vice President for u.s. programs, international rescue committee
Hans Van de Weerd is Vice President for U.S. Programs at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which has 29 offices across the nation that support refugees and immigrants with their integration. Before joining the IRC in 2012, Hans was a General Director for Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF)/Doctors without Borders and member of MSF’s global Executive Committee, where his work included co- leading MSF’s global humanitarian emergency work, campaigning for access to essential medicines and directing country programs in India and Iraq. He began his career in the humanitarian field in 2002 at ZOA Refugee Care, where he was Program Director for Afghanistan working with returned Afghan refugees from Pakistan. Hans built his leadership, management and motivational skills with a decade of experience in global finance and logistics, working for multinational companies in China and Shanghai. Currently based in New York City, he is a native of the Netherlands. He holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Master of Science in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam.
RCUSA Director: Naomi Steinberg
Naomi Steinberg is the Director of Refugee Council USA (RCUSA). In this position she leads and oversees the overall work of the Council. This work includes facilitating communication between RCUSA and other nongovernmental organizations and coalitions that share similar objectives, as well as fostering collaborations with federal and state partners and the Council. In addition, she is responsible for promoting strong communication between the Council and international bodies, including the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Prior to joining RCUSA, Naomi was the Deputy Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). At SEARAC she focused on building the capacity of community-based, refugee-led organizations. She holds an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University and a B.A. in Political Science from Macalester College.
RCUSA Associate Director: Shaina Ward
Shaina Ward is the Associate Director of Refugee Council USA (RCUSA). In this position she helps coordinate and oversee the overall work of the Council, including facilitating communication between RCUSA and other nongovernmental organizations and coalitions that share similar objectives, as well as fostering collaborations with federal and state partners and the Council. She also coordinates many of the Council’s working groups and projects. Prior to joining RCUSA, Shaina was Policy Associate at HIAS where she engaged in advocacy on domestic and international refugee issues. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Texas Grassroots Organizer: Gislaine Williams
Gislaine Williams is Refugee Council USA’s Grassroots Community Organizer, based in Texas. Prior to joining RCUSA, Gislaine was the Office Manager for the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP). Before joining IRP, she was a program manager for a refugee resettlement agencyin Houston, Texas, providing social services to international refugees, asylees, and victims of trafficking. She previously worked as the Statewide Advocacy Coordinator for the ACLU of Texas, leading the field organizing efforts for the organization’s criminal law reform, religious freedom, and youth rights campaigns. She has participated in a number of grassroots campaigns related to immigrants’ rights, with a special focus on ending the practice of immigration detention. She serves on the Board of Directors of Grassroots Leadership, a nationwide advocacy organization dedicated to ending for-profit incarceration and reducing the reliance on criminalization and detention. Gislaine holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in History from Rice University.