Since joining Refugee Transitions in 2001, Laura has shown dynamic, visionary leadership through expanding the agency’s scope and power to transform lives. Laura holds an undergraduate degree in international relations with minor degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Minnesota, as well as a masters degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages from San Francisco State University. She has over 16 years of overseas and domestic classroom teaching experience and has taught English literacy and citizenship courses at City College of San Francisco and academic writing at San Francisco State University. She designs the agency’s curriculum, oversees all of programs, and trains volunteer tutors. Laura has ensured that Refugee Transitions continues to develop and strengthen its partnerships with organizations serving refugees and low-income immigrants throughout three counties: San Francisco, Alameda and most recently, Santa Clara where the agency expanded in 2008.
Director of Strategy and Development
Jane joined Refugee Transitions in August 2012 as the agency’s Director of Strategy and Development. Jane previously served as the Director of Resource Development for WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies where she was responsible for spearheading new strategic development initiatives. At WestEd, Jane also worked in the Institutional Development department where she coordinated and managed agency-wide proposal efforts and investigated new growth opportunities. Prior to that, she was Business Development Officer at the Canadian Consulate Trade Office in San Francisco, where she provided market intelligence to Canadian eLearning companies and helped them with their market penetration and expansion strategies. Jane is a board member of Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (U.S.), and has consulted with international NGOs on fundraising, policy, and program efforts. Jane holds a BMATH from the University of Waterloo in Canada, a MBA from Clarkson University, and a MA in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University.
Public Relations and Development Associate
Andrew Bogrand joined Refugee Transitions in July 2012 as the organization's Public Relations and Development Associate and its AmeriCorps VISTA member. He focuses on volunteer and donor communication, community relations, and social media. He is committed to supporting volunteers and expanding the organization's capacity. Previous to his work with RT, Andrew worked as a political field organizer and as a Development Associate for a Bay Area trafficking shelter. Andrew received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. from Stanford University, completing graduate research on emerging immigrant economic clusters, labor and trafficking, and humanitarian policy. He is dedicated to assisting our volunteers and serving local immigrant and refugee populations.
Lead Academic Tutor
Nakachi found her passion for teaching in alternative and participatory learning environments while teaching adult ESL classes five nights a week in 2006. She is passionate about creating educational strategies that address and counteract the challenges presented by structural violence against all youth, locally and globally. She has been the Academic Leader for Refugee Transitions at Oakland International High School since 2008.
English Language Program Manager
Previously holding the role of Refugee Transitions' English Language Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Dellaha returns to RT as the English Language Program Manager after a year of teaching abroad in Spain. As a San Francisco native, and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Elizabeth brings an intimate knowledge of growing up in San Francisco's Latino community. She is Spanish/English bilingual, has a passion for linguistics, and is committed to working with literacy-level learners. In addition to teaching at our parter agency, Good Samaritan FRC in San Francisco's Mission district, she oversees our adult on-site classes at various locations throughout the Bay Area, is responsible for RT's assessment system, and agency curriculum development. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Language Arts, and a M.A. in TESOL from San Francisco State University.
Volunteer and Program Coordinator
Nicole joined Refugee Transitions in August of 2011 to fill the position of volunteer and program coordinator. She recruits and trains the agency's many volunteer tutors. Nicole was introduced to the international humanitarian sphere while volunteering at an orphanage in Bulgaria, where she taught ESL and coordinated enrichment activities. Prior to joining Refugee Transitions, Nicole worked with the International Rescue Committee in Oakland, where she developed a deep connection to the East Bay refugee community. Nicole received her B.A. in political science from UC Santa Cruz, with a concentration in international studies.
San Francisco Program Coordinator
Grace Lau, an immigrant from Hong Kong, began working with Refugee Transitions as a program coordinator in September 2008. She works primarily with the Asian Pacific Islander community in San Francisco and to this end, contributes her intimate knowledge of China, its culture, and the challenges immigrants face resettling in the U.S. Grace supports families enrolled in Refugee Transitions’ home-based tutoring and mentoring programs and she is the key staff person involved in coordinating services with the Chinatown Neighborhood Workforce Center, helping clients access job opportunities and training programs in San Francisco. Grace received a B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Hawaii.
Zar Ni Maung
Zar Ni Maung began at Refugee Transitions in March 2008 as the agency's family advocate. Zar Ni focuses primarily on supporting volunteers and newly arrived refugee families from Burma, linking them to services and providing tutoring for youth. Zar Ni grew up in Rangoon, the former capital of Burma. As a university student, he was active in the student democracy movement. When the military crackdown began, he and his family had to flee the country. They first fled to Accra, Ghana where they lived for three years before being resettled in Daly City as political refugees. Zar Ni is active in many Burmese community organizations and has helped organize numerous events to raise money and awareness for the Burmese community. Through his work at Refugee Transitions, he is able to fuel his passion for serving refugee populations. Zar Ni is the proud father of two young sons, and in their free time, they enjoy exploring the Bay Area together.
South Bay Program Associate
Isaac provides tutoring support, data-entry assistance, and helps coordinate placement testing in the South Bay. Before joining RT, Isaac interned at Ujima in San Jose as a Community Coordinator. In this position, he worked as a School Counselor at Oak Grove High School. At Oak Grove, he worked with at-risk youth to improve their grades, relationships with teachers, and to broaden and improve their life self-expectations through study, time management skills, journaling, and life planing. Isaac is from Eritrea. He recieved a BA Business Admin./Finance from San Francisco State University and a BS in Psychology from Palo Alto University's Psychology and Social Action Program.
South Bay Family Resource Coordinator
Anh joined Refugee Transitions in February 2011 as the agency's family resource coordinator. She provides family support services, trains refugee interns, and supports volunteer tutors. Anh came to the U.S. from Vietnam and has lived in the South Bay for several years. As an immigrant herself, Anh understands the challenges that refugee and immigrant families face daily. Prior to joining Refugee Transitions, she worked with the Kinship Program to provide support for the elderly in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has a B.A. in social work from the University of South Florida.