Senior Leadership Team | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

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Senior Leadership Team

  • Lorie Davidson

    Vice President for Children and Family Services

    Lorie Davidson is a licensed clinical social worker with over fifteen years of child welfare experience. At Global Refuge, she is responsible for overseeing a national network of providers of residential care and family reunification services for Unaccompanied Children and Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. Lorie also oversees International Programming including Global Refuge’s office in Guatemala and program development in Mexico. Prior to joining Global Refuge, she served as the Associate Director of Children’s Services and the Trafficking Victims Assistance Program at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).

  • Geri O’Donoghue

    Chief Human Resources and Facilities Officer

    Geri O’Donoghue has committed her career to helping build strong organizations by creating welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environments that foster employee collaboration and growth. She has spent most of her career working in nonprofit organizations, where she has contributed to the mission of building a healthy and strong society that celebrates everyone. Geri has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Human Resources and Organizational Development. She is the mother to two amazing little girls that remind her to keep an open mind and never stop learning.

  • F. Andrew Pepito

    Chief Financial Officer

    Mr. Pepito has 20-plus years of executive experience. He returned to Global Refuge as Chief Financial Officer after working with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a government instrumentality recognized as one of the top 10 international think tanks in the world, serving as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, Pepito worked in the DMV area as Vice President for Achieving the Dream, the Sr. Director of the Bainum Family Foundation and Vice President for Finance and Operations for the U.S. Grains Council. Before joining the nonprofit world, he held key finance positions with Fortune 500 corporations in Southern California. He has an MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. He was a recipient of an international traineeship program at PriceWaterhouse Coopers in the U.K. and has completed continuing education in Investment and Risk Simulation at the Stanford Center for Professional Studies.

    He is passionate about civic involvement and has held many volunteer work and leadership positions in local school boards, parish councils, and community-based organizations in the Silver Spring and Washington, DC area. Pepito, his wife, and 10-year old son live in the Silver Spring area of Maryland. The family enjoys traveling and has visited more than 30 countries.

  • Andrew G. Steele

    Chief Development and Mobilization Officer

    As Chief Development and Mobilization Officer, Andrew G. Steele leads a dynamic team responsible for all revenue generation, mobilization efforts and church and faith relations. Prior to joining Global Refuge, Andrew was the Assistant Vice President for Advancement & Director of Campaigns at his alma mater, Wittenberg University. Before serving in that capacity, Andrew was the Director for Global Mission Funding at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and currently serves on the boards of the ELCA Foundation and Seafarers International House. An avid traveler, Andrew annually returns to South Africa and Lesotho where he once lived and co-founded BLOOM Africa, a 501(c)3 organization. When not 30,000 feet up, Andrew can be found hiking, foraging for Paw Paw, or at a nearby farmer’s market.

  • Shelly Talcott

    Chief of Staff

    Shelly Talcott brings over 20 years of professional experience and a deep commitment to building a dynamic, inclusive and impactful organization to the Chief of Staff position at Global Refuge. Shelly plays a critical role in shaping the organization’s strategies and operations to ensure organizational excellence and effectiveness. Prior to joining Global Refuge, she was Chief of Staff at Corus International focused on developing strategy, managing change and connecting the dots across the organization. Shelly's background also includes senior-level experience in marketing communications across the for-profit, non-profit and academic sectors.

    Shelly is passionate about achieving gender equity and served on both the Girls on the Run Twin Cities and Greater Chesapeake Board of Directors for a combined 8 years, including as Marketing Chair, Vice Chair and Interim Chair. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Gustavus Adolphus College.

  • Erin Taylor

    Chief Communications Officer

    Erin Taylor is proud to serve as Chief Communications Officer at Global Refuge, a position that allows her to combine her decades of communications expertise with her commitment to helping refugees and other vulnerable groups. Before joining Global Refuge, Erin was Acting Vice President of Communications at the international, humanitarian non-profit Save the Children. Erin has also previously served as Director of Communications at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. She holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University.

  • Krish O’Mara Vignarajah

    President and CEO

    Krish is the President and CEO of Global Refuge. She previously served in the Obama White House as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.

  • Lee Williams

    Chief Programs Officer

    Lee Williams joined Global Refuge as the Vice President for Programs in August 2020. Before coming to Global Refuge, Lee was Senior Vice President at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. During his tenure at USCRI, Lee was responsible for its refugee, unaccompanied children, and human trafficking victim assistance programs, MIS, and field office operations. Lee also served as Chief Financial Officer for seven years. Before USCRI, Lee was the Executive Director of the International Institute of Akron, Ohio, a nonprofit that serves the refugee and immigrant communities of northeast Ohio. Lee’s earlier career was in financial services in the U.S. and Europe. He 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. in Arabic from Georgetown University.

  • Megan Bracy

    Vice President for Resettlement and Integration Services

    Megan Bracy has dedicated her career in service to refugees. As the Vice President for Resettlement and Integration Services, she is responsible for Global Refuge’s initial welcome and long-term integration of refugees to the United States. Prior to joining Global Refuge, Megan worked at several other refugee resettlement non-profits at both the national and local level. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and completed her master’s coursework at the School for International Training.

Global Refuge Directors

  • Rev. Dan Beirne

    Director for Mobilization & Faith Relations

  • Saba Berhane

    Programs Director

  • Chris Bizimungu

    Director for Grants Finance

  • Jill Marie Bussey

    Director for Legal Affairs

  • Beth Nelson Chase

    Director of Major and Planned Giving

    Email | 410 625 6721

  • Allison Como


  • Roosevelt Davis

    Director for Federal Contracts

  • Virginia (Ginny) Fitchett

    Director for Children and Family Services

  • John Godwin

    Director for New American Community Lending

  • Maria Maskell

    Director for IT

  • Ramish Rambissoon

    Director of Strategy

  • Andrew Rhabb

    Director for Loans Collections

  • Kimberly Stokes

    Director of Business Operations

  • Serban Szekely-Popescu

    Director of Innovation

  • Timothy Young

    Director for Public Relations

Board of Directors

The board includes former refugees or first-generation immigrants, professionals, and community members who are committed to advancing the dialogue surrounding refugees and immigrant rights.

Meet our Board of Directors