Mathew currently serves as the Policy and Research Manager for AsylumConnect, working to better quantify the LGBTQ asylum seeker population in the U.S. His primary focus is to identify the exact needs of asylum seekers in order to deliver the best catalog product possible. Matthew previously served as the Director of Partner Relations during the early phases of AsylumConnect’s development, where he worked on connecting AC with relevant outside partner organizations and identified candidates for AsylumConnect’s Advisory Team. Matthew is a freshman at Harvard University, concentrating in Government, and hopes to work in the field of international affairs and human rights in the future.
Andrew works as a paralegal in the criminal defense and internal investigations practice area of a law firm in Washington, D.C. He graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, with majors in English and philosophy-neuroscience- psychology, and a minor in computer science.
Andrew is excited to combine his interests in computer science and social justice. In his role as Web Developer, Andrew helps code the AsylumConnect catalog, and also contributes his technical knowledge to the team’s online advertising campaigns.
Aly works on the Equity Derivatives Structuring team at J.P. Morgan in New York. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Mathematics. In addition to math, Aly is passionate about foreign languages and cultures. During her undergrad, she spent a summer at the University of Salamanca in Spain and a semester at Peking University in Beijing, China.
Reena recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked closely with the Nepali-Bhutanese community in Pittsburgh and conducted independent ethnographic research on the Indo-Caribbean migrant community. Reena also served as the President of Hindu Students Council and Pitt International Students Association on campus. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama where she was an active advocate for greater immigrant rights. Starting in August, Reena will be pursuing the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. In the future, she hopes to serve as a representative for immigrants and refugees. She is excited to bring new ideas and creativity to AsylumConnect as the official blogger. Her passion for writing, immigration, and LGBTQ advocacy led her to join the team. She is excited to contribute to the mission of AsylumConnect and raise awareness on critical issues facing LGBTQ asylum-seekers.
Marie met Katie Sgarro at the Millennium Campus Conference where she first heard of AsylumConnect. As an active advocate for the LGBTQ community, Marie was hooked to be a part of this growing organization. She is best known for being very awkward and childish but yet so passionate with issues concerning inequality. Marie, aspires to be just like her idol – Nelson Mandela who though shut from the world became the biggest #sidekick known in history.
Adrian Plaisance is a senior at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD where he is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Besides working at AsylumConnect, Adrian is a research intern at The Refugee Center Online, where he works providing integration services to refugees in the United States.
Prior to joining AsylumConnect, Adrian worked for Mercy Corps as a communications intern helping to create communication plans for conflict regions around the world. In Budapest, Hungary, Adrian worked with Migrants Help Association of Hungary a local organization helping refugees integrate into European society. Adrian hopes to continue working on the issue of refugees and wants to make existing resources more accessible to refugees.
Kevin is a software engineer. He graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Master's degree in Computer Science. Before that, he studied in the UK and China. He believes technology can improve people's quality of life and enhance equality and justice.
JINAL SHAH, MEDIA RELATIONS MANAGER
Jinal is a New York-based freelance writer who specializes in immigration news and features including health, lifestyle, food, travel, arts and culture. Before moving to the United States, she worked full time as a reporter for the Indian Express Newspaper, the largest circulated daily newspapers in India, where she covered local and national health news. She extensively covered the two terrorist attacks in Mumbai, including the stories of survivors and victims of the attacks. Jinal graduated with a Master’s degree in Communications from the New York Institute of Technology.
Given the current political environment, she strongly believes that it is important now more than ever to support the LGBTQ community. At AsylumConnect she hopes to engage her head and her heart to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community not just in the U.S. but throughout the world. As AsylumConnect's Media Relations Manager, Jinal manages communications between the organization and various media outlets. She ensures that AsylumConnect’s core message is delivered to its publics.
Irina moved from Russia to the United States in 2012. She has a Master's Degree in Economics and Business Administration. Having worked for the largest organization in her country that provides public services to citizens, she knows from personal experience how essential it is for immigrants to find information and resources for support in their new country. Bringing in more than 10 years of experience in management enterprise IT, Irina manages the data and content that goes into our online resource catalog. This includes process analysis to support data and information delivery, improving the efficiency of data collection/verification and maximizing the potential for web analytics tools. She is excited by the opportunity to join our vibrant and people-oriented organization.
RENAUDO CHRISTIANSEN-ROBINSON, HR AND RECRUITMENT MANAGER
Renaudo is currently an Operations Coordinator with an IT and telephony consulting firm in Chicago. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in French and Francophone Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance. Shortly thereafter, Renaudo moved to Chicago, where he completed a Master's Degree and Performance Certificate in Violin Performance at DePaul University. In addition to his obvious love of music, Renaudo loves foreign languages and dance. A former ballroom and Latin dancer himself, he spent several years managing two dance studios. He is fluent in French, and hopes to learn Levantine Arabic and German as well over the next few years.
As the HR & Recruitment Manager for AsylumConnect, Renaudo works to attract other passionate and dedicated individuals to the AsylumConnect team. He is also responsible for cultivating a positive and open environment among its members, and assisting in organizational planning. Renaudo is excited to combine his interest in Human Resources with his passion for social justice.
Disclaimer: The AsylumConnect team will do its best to confirm basic facts about service providers listed on this website. However, we lack the necessary resources to adequately vet service providers and make no representations regarding the viability or capabilities of any such providers. Consequently, AsylumConnect assumes no responsibility for the actions of providers listed on this website and asylum seekers who contact any such providers do so at their own risk.
AsylumConnect currently operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Social Good Fund (EIN: 46-1323531), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations to AsylumConnect are tax-deductible. (We also thank our previous fiscal sponsor, the Millennium Campus Network, for their generous contributions to our initiative.)
help fund asylumconnect's lifesaving initiatives
Stay updated on AsylumConnect's lifesaving initiatives