BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Stephen N. Roberts
Steve is a partner at Nossaman LLP in San Francisco, where he has practiced law as a litigator throughout his career. He earned his law degree, a J.D., from the University of Chicago Law School, and before that an A.B. in political science from the University of the South. Previously Steve chaired a committee of the American Bar Association with the responsibility of providing legal aid to refugees. He has also worked with Bay Area non-profit groups that deal with issues of the aging, and serves on the board of another non-profit addressing transportation problems.
Nabeel is a finance executive and currently the Chief Financial Officer at Wanderful Media, a company that helps retailers bring consumers into local stores and gives consumers the most convenient way to discover local merchandise. Formerly, he was the Chief Financial Officer of MarketTools, Inc., a provider of software and services for online market research. Prior to MarketTools, Nabeel was at eBay, Inc. in a variety of finance leadership roles at eBay's San Jose headquarters as well as in Germany and Switzerland. He started his career at Ernst & Young in Toronto, Canada. Nabeel's undergraduate degree is from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Canada, and he is pursuing his MBA at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Nabeel lives in San Jose with his wife and twin boys.
Refugee Ministry Advocate
Presbytery of San Jose
Melissa is partnered with Elsa Amboy (RT’s former South Bay Program Manager) in a shared Refugee Advocacy position for the San Jose Presbytery. This work involves building partnerships among Presbyterian churches as well as other faith and community organizations in order to assist refugees who are new to the South Bay. In 2009, Melissa, Elsa and colleague Andrea Lee received the National Volunteer of the Year award from Catholic Charities for their work supporting refugees in Santa Clara County. Melissa received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art form Western Maryland College in 1987 and from 1995-98 was a MFA candidate in the Visual Information Technology program at George Mason University in VA. These early educational choices led her through a career in technical illustration and graphic design, and then through 10 years in the field of 3D graphics / animation. After taking time off to travel and raise a family, Melissa has returned to her passion for fine art. In November 2009 she exhibited her paintings in her first solo show in San Jose. All proceeds from the show went to benefit Refugee Transitions.
Ko Ko Lay
National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB)
Ko Ko Lay is a Burmese activist who continually struggles for peace, social justice and freedom in Burma. While living on the Thai-Burma border, he served as Secretary of Information for the Central Executive Committee of the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF). After moving to the United States, he received an A.S. degree in Photography; B.A. degrees in Industrial Design and Global Peace; and an M.A.I.A degree in Social Change Design and Conflict Resolution with an emphasis in International Conflicts. He is a founder of the Open Students Network for Burma at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Ko Ko has also served his third term as a member of the Strategic Coordinating Committee, the only worldwide Burmese coalition group including the National Coalition Government Union of Burma (NCGUB) and National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB).
In 2008, Ko Ko acted as a representative of 88 Generation Students Exile group during their Asia Five Countries Tour, and ran as an Operations Director for the Credential Challenge campaign at the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was elected President of the International Foundation for Burma National Congress (IFBNC) which was founded at a conference in Buffalo. Currently he is serving as the President of the IFBNC, Director of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) in San Francisco, and as a core member of 88 Generation Students Exile. Additionally, Ko Ko owns a photo and design studio in San Francisco.
Brenna Marea Powell
Associate Director, Stanford Center on Int'l Conflict and Negotiation
Principal and Chairman, the IPRE Group
FSG Social Impact Advisors
Samira is a consultant at FSG Social Impact Advisors, a nonprofit consulting and research firm. Prior to joining FSG Samira was a financial analyst in JPMorgan’s Tax Exempt Capital Markets Group, where she helped develop debt and derivative-based financing solutions for the capital projects of government authorities and nonprofit organizations. She was the lead analyst on both the Bay Area Toll Authority’s multi-billion dollar financing plan for reconstruction of the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco, and the nonprofit Jewish Community Center of San Francisco’s $60 million refinancing for the construction of a new Center. While pursuing her MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Samira led the GSB’s 2008-09 Public Management Initiative on Making Markets Work for the Least Advantaged. As part of the initiative Samira organized an 8-week student course on market failures and successes in addressing the needs of the nonprofit sector, with a special emphasis on the growing social capital markets.
Samira holds an MBA from the Stanford GSB where she earned a Public Management Certificate for her study of the nonprofit sector, and a BA with honors in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Chief Operating Officer
Yaacov is the Chief Operating Officer and a Managing Partner of Rimon, P.C., a law firm based in San Francisco. Rimon is a California Benefit Corporation and a certified B Corporation, in recognition of its civic and environmental stewardship. As part of that commitment, Yaacov often acts as pro bono counsel to clients of Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, a division of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Yaacov received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. from Yeshiva University. Yaacov lives in Oakland with his wife and baby daughter.
Setren, Smallberg, and Associates, Inc.
Victor Smallberg has worked in human resources and related fields for over 25 years. After holding senior level HR management positions in Genentech, Inc. and IBM, he co-founded Setren, Smallberg & Associates in 1996. Since that time, he has worked with the CEO’s, Boards and executive teams of hundreds of life science organizations providing executive/board consulting and evaluation, organizational development and training services. Victor began volunteering as a Refugee Transitions tutor in 2003 and became a board member in 2008.
Investment Professional and Entrepreneur
Sales Manager/Team Lead
Dom is a Sales Manger and Team Lead for Eventbrite. In the past, he has worked for Wildfire Interactive and Lime Energy. Dom has been involved with RT since 2006, and has also tutored inmates at San Quentin prison.