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 interim-Director: Joanne kelsey
Joanne Kelsey is the Interim Director for RCUSA and currently serves as a Director at Strategy for Humanity. Joanne previously worked at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service where she directed policy and advocacy. She has served as a Protection Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees where her work centered on immigration detention and statelessness. As a Director at the Women’s Refugee Commission, Joanne worked to increase protections for women and children seeking asylum in the United States and led a collaboration with Department of Justice officials, child experts and members of the film industry to create “What Happens When I Go to Immigration Court,” an informational video for immigrant children going through the immigration court process. Joanne began her career in immigration law and policy as an attorney at the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review and also worked as a fellow for Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). She is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Cornell University.
RCUSA ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: DANIELLE GRIGSBY
Danielle Grigsby is the Associate Director of Refugee Council USA (RCUSA). Prior to joining RCUSA, Danielle worked as a Project Supervisor at the Resettlement Support Center-Africa in Kenya, facilitating resettlement of refugees to the USA. Danielle also worked on Internally-Displaced Persons issues in Nigeria for the US Department of State, on coalition advocacy work for refugees across the Asia-Pacific based out of Bangkok, Thailand, as a refugee resettlement Case Manager for the International Rescue Committee, and for UNHCR-implementing partners providing protective services to Afghan and sub-Saharan African refugees in Moscow, Russia. Danielle also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in sub-Saharan Africa before obtaining a Masters of Social Work from Boston College; she has dual-Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and History from Weber State University.
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.