Léonce Byimana, MPH
Léonce Byimana joined TASSC in July 2017, bringing 10 years of experience in Human Services and Program Management. He came to TASSC from the Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture at the Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County where he worked as the Program Director. He is a Health Professional and a Human Rights activist with degrees in Clinical Psychology, Public Health and Conflict Resolution. He has worked with local NGOs in Rwanda and International NGOs like Handicap International, Partners in Health, Clinton Health Access Initiative and Delagua Health/UK. His work was mainly with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), HIV/AIDS patients, PTSD clients and torture survivors.
Joshua Rigney, Esq.
Legal Services Program Manager
Josh Rigney has been working with survivors of torture seeking asylum since May 2012. He first joined the Legal Services Program (LSP) at TASSC in September 2013 as an intern and then volunteer attorney. In June 2015, he became the Staff Attorney for the Legal Services Program before transitioning into the role of Legal Services Program Manager in October 2015. Josh has degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds a Master’s in International Relations and a Juris Doctor from American University in Washington D.C. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar.
Caitlin Tromiczak, LlCSW-C
Health & Psychological Wellness Program Manager
Caitlin Tromiczak is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with immigrant communities in Washington DC for over 15 years. Her areas of expertise include trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, transnational families, domestic violence, women's empowerment, community outreach, diversity & inclusion, and using mindfulness practices as an accompanying modality to therapy. Caitlin also draws experience from working with communities abroad in Rwanda, El Salvador, Nicaragua, South Africa, and India. She strives to create and provide more culturally responsive and effective services, while helping others to do the same. Caitlin is currently pursuing her PhD in international psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Jennifer Isely, MSW, LGSW
Social Services Program Manager
Jennifer completed her Master’s of Social Work with a clinical concentration from Catholic University in June 2015. During the first year of her graduate program, Jennifer interned at TASSC, where she was incredibly inspired by the survivors she worked with. Before starting her graduate work, Jennifer spent over two years serving in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan working with local women to develop a crisis center for survivors of domestic violence and bride kidnapping. Post-Peace Corps, Jennifer worked for a local nonprofit in the Washington, DC area supporting survivors of human trafficking, and has additional experience counseling survivors of sexual assault. Jennifer is passionate about working with immigrants in the United States and is honored to be back at TASSC.
Andrea Barron, MA
Advocacy & Outreach Program Manager
Andrea Barron has been working in Advocacy and Outreach at TASSC since November 2013. She works with torture survivors and "Friends of TASSC" to educate policymakers and the broader American public about U.S. human rights policy toward countries where survivors have fled, and on issues affecting survivors in the U.S. such as the asylum backlog. Andrea also coordinates TASSC’s Truth Speakers program. Before coming to TASSC, Andrea was Senior Program Manager for Civic Engagement at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, where she organized volunteer and advocacy projects for college students, global women's rights, Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Homelessness, the environment and domestic violence. For many years she has been an interfaith leader in the Washington DC area focusing on Jewish-Muslim cooperation and combatting Islamophobia.
Kelsey Fisher, MPA
Kelsey joined TASSC in November 2015. Before TASSC, Kelsey worked at Human Rights Watch as the West Africa Associate. Additionally, she has over three years of experience providing project management and operations support at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, and has a long history of volunteering with nonprofits in the US and abroad. Kelsey received her Bachelor’s of Communication Studies from California Polytechnic University and a Master’s in Public Administration from San Jose State University. She is passionate about social justice, the immigrant community and international human rights.
Clinical Case Manager
Shanta joined TASSC as a clinical case manager in May 2015. Before that, she worked at the Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, providing case management services for torture survivors. Shanta has a passion for working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Beginning in the mid 90’s, she spent many years overseas providing direct services to marginalized populations. She has worked with people with leprosy and HIV/AIDS in Ghana for 4 years, with Burmese refugees living on the Thai-Burma border for 2 years, and with street children in India for 2 years. Shanta also lived in Burma for 3 years and served as a project coordinator for a local charity organization, where she delivered a range of services to under-served members of the community, including orphans and abandoned elderly. Shanta received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from James Madison University in Virginia.
Morgan Neibich-Gianni, MSW
Clinical Case Manager
Morgan completed her Master of Social Work degree from Barry University in December 2016. Her program was clinically focused and utilized a trauma-informed curriculum. During the final year of her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work she interned at TASSC where she fell in love with working with survivors of torture and trauma, and was inspired by their incredible resiliency. After finishing her Master’s degree Morgan went on to work in both refugee resettlement, and with survivors of torture in South Florida. Morgan has also worked in Guatemala with indigenous children, helping to spark her love of working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Additionally she has completed a Post-Masters Certificate in Mindfulness and Therapeutic Practice from Barry University. Morgan is thrilled to be back at TASSC and to continue working with survivors.
Laurie Chenoweth, MSW
Clinical Case Manager Intern
Laurie completed her Masters of Social Work with a combined concentration from Catholic University in June 2004. She then worked as Project Coordinator for the Center for Social Justice and Community Development, a research center for the National Catholic School of Social Services (NCSSS). In this role, Laurie, together with graduate students from NCSSS, partnered with residents of a gentrifying neighborhood in NE Washington, DC, together implementing a variety of social service and community organizing projects to benefit their community. In addition to working with survivors of torture , Laurie’s professional experience spans working with low-income elderly, urban youth who have been effected by grief and loss, female ex-offenders who are transitioning back into society, and homeless men and women with drug addictions. Laurie believes in the power of authentic, caring relationships to heal brokenness and restore hope into the lives of those who have experienced trauma.
Stacy Makris, Esq.
Stacy Makris has been working with TASSC’s Legal Services Program since January 2015. She initially joined the program as a Volunteer Attorney and became a Staff Attorney in April 2017. Stacy is passionate about public interest law, particularly immigration and human rights. She has been working with torture survivors seeking asylum since 2011. She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault. Stacy is a member of the Maryland Bar and District of Columbia Bar.
JoAnn Goedert, Esq.
Legal Services Pro Bono Coordinator
JoAnn is an attorney who joined TASSC's Legal Services Program as a volunteer with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps after retiring from many years with the State of Maryland in 2016. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the Georgetown University Law Center, she had served as counsel to the Maryland State Department of Education, the Governor's Office of Children, Youth and Families and the University System of Maryland, and then as an Associate Vice Chancellor for the University System. During that time, she also volunteered with CASA de Maryland, Shepherd's Table in Silver Spring, and other local non-profit groups that serve immigrants and others in need. She is honored to now work with TASSC survivors as they seek asylum in the US and to assist TASSC's Legal Services Program as the Pro Bono Coordinator .
Sara Allen, MA
Workforce Development & Job Placement Coordinator
Sara joined TASSC in May 2017, bringing 15 years' experience engaging social sector entities in strategic visioning, creative communications and tactical business development practices that move their missions forward. At TASSC, Sara facilitates individual and group experiences for members to harness their strengths and motivations to reach their professional goals. She also nurtures relationships in the community to advocate for TASSC members. Sara’s heart for the community extends beyond the office, where she has mentored a young girl since 2012, serves on her church's pastoral care team, and supported the launch of a counseling services program at a local free medical clinic. Sara has been a resident of the Washington, D.C. metro region since 2002. Originally from California and raised in Asheville, NC, she holds a master’s degree in public communication from American University and a bachelor’s degree in religion and women’s studies from Duke University.
Sister Denise Curry
Sr. Denise joined TASSC in 2007 after retiring from teaching. She has been a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for more than 50 years, and she has spent time in Mexico, Peru and Nigeria with the sisters for different international missions aimed at changing lives for the better. At TASSC, Sr. Denise works with survivors who are looking for their first job in the US. She also helps rewrite resumes and find English classes and specialized job training, including Computer Software and IT areas.
Mary Harding, Ph.D
Board Member / Truth Speakers Program
Mary Harding was born and brought up in a small town in Massachusetts. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters, where she was assigned to travel to Bolivia in 1959. Mary worked teaching elementary school children. The enormous class differences in the country, with the Catholic Church hierarchy upholding the Bolivian upper class while working people and the poor lived in poverty, convinced her in 1970 to leave Maryknoll and join the National Liberation Army. Arrested in 1972, she was held for six weeks and learned the meaning of torture. Deported in 1973, she became active in the labor movement and eventually found her way to TASSC. She is happy to work in the Truth Speakers Program and is humbled by the day-to-day contact with our survivor community. Mary also serves as the secretary on the Board of Directors.
Colin Moran, MA, MS
Colin Moran brings to TASSC twenty years of experience working in international relations and diplomatic affairs while serving in the U.S. Navy overseas and in the United States. He has graduate training in international law, diplomatic history, international economics and foreign languages while a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC and Bologna, Italy. His foreign languages skills include near fluency in German and Italian as well as credible abilities in French and Spanish. He has worked in the foreign liaison office of the U.S. Navy where he provided liaison for military officers from over 100 foreign countries to facilitate their relations with the U.S. Government and has served overseas while living in Italy, Germany, Okinawa, and Portugal. He is eager to contribute and build on his understanding of foreign cultures and languages while working part time at TASSC.