Our People

 
US STAFF
SC-Profile-Pic.jpeg

Sara-Christine Dallain

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
scd@iact.ngo

I act because “iACT because of our shared humanity and because I believe refugee voices and leadership are essential to building a more peaceful future for everyone.”

Sara-Christine Dallain

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Sara-Christine has 11 years of experience with global non-profits: from program design and evaluation and grant management to fundraising and grantmaking. Sara-Christine Dallain holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and a Master of Public Health from UCLA. She originally joined iACT in 2012 as a project intern, and went on to work with iACT from 2013 to 2019, ending her time as co-executive director with Katie-Jay Scott. She is passionate about creating a humanitarian system that is led by the very people it was set up to serve. Before joining iACT as interim executive director in 2022, Sara-Christine was the director of development for Los Padres ForestWatch and executive director of the Fund for Refugee Initiatives.

Felicia Option 5.jpg

Felicia Lee

GLOBAL PROGRAMS MANAGER
felicia@iact.ngo

I act because “Even Jesus ‘did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28), and he tells us, in the Bible, to love one another just as he loves us (John 15:12). We’re all human, we all inhabit the same planet, and we all have equal worth. How can I not act?”

Felicia Lee

GLOBAL PROGRAMS MANAGER

Previously on staff 2015-2019, Felicia returned in 2022 to support iACT’s international programs and employees. Felicia has made over ten trips to eastern Chad refugee camps and, alongside founders Gabriel and Katie-Jay, has conducted numerous trainings for iACT’s early childhood development, sports, and leadership programs. Prior to her return to iACT, she worked with adults on the autism spectrum as a skills and behavioral coach. Felicia has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine, as well as a certificate in mindfulness fundamentals from Mindful Schools; and is currently working on a master’s in sustainable peace in the contemporary world.

Corrie looking sideways.jpeg

Corrie Hulse

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
corrie@iact.ngo

I act because "Everyone deserves to live a life full of joy, peace, and hope for their future. It shouldn’t matter where you were born, or the circumstances of your country."

Corrie Hulse

COMMUNICATIONS

Corrie first connected with iACT when she interviewed Katie-Jay and Gabriel for an article on Darfur more than a decade ago. She soon became a volunteer, and is now a staff member. Corrie has a B.A. in sociology from Pacific Lutheran University and an M.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Washington, where she focused her research on the Responsibility to Protect. She holds a certificate in peace operations from the University of Montréal, a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute, and completed the Professional Training Program on the Prevention of Mass Atrocities at the Montréal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. She has served as an international affairs editor and managing editor of an online magazine, worked as a freelance editor and writer, and spent more than a decade teaching remedial English/ESL at the university level.

Julia Profile Pic.png

Julia Schacht

PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
julia@iact.ngo

I act because “iACT because an individual is more than just their circumstances or experiences. I believe everyone deserves to feel hopeful, respected, and valued. iACT because it could be my family fleeing from violence and I would want them to be met with kindness and compassion. ”

Julia Schacht

PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Julia Schacht joined iACT in 2021 after graduating from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in non-governmental organizations and social change and a minor in nutrition and health. Since that time, Julia has served as program associate with a wide-range of responsibilities to support the iACT team both domestically and abroad. In her free time, Julia loves to cook, travel, and enjoy time outdoors. Julia currently works from iACT’s main headquarters in Southern California and loves being part of the team.

 
ARMENIA STAFF
Anush People Page.JPG

Anush

ACADEMY COACH

Anush

ACADEMY COACH

Anush is a talented soccer player and an energetic coach! She plays on a professional team in Armenia, and, like coach Mariam, splits her time between two towns. As a result, she hosts an Academy in Goris and one in Vayk. She feels proud to offer a safe and fun space for children in each community and hopes to inspire more girls to play competitively.

Sergey People Page Pic.JPG

Sergey

ACADEMY COACH

Sergey

ACADEMY COACH

Sergey is based in the small village of Tegh, not far from Goris and the border between Armenia and Artsakh. He joined iACT in July 2021 following the first training, and has been leading an Academy in his community ever since! From the feedback he’s been receiving from the community, it is evident he is doing a great job. He said that since starting the Academy, he has been receiving calls from parents asking him if their child can attend on the weekend, and his players ask him if the Academy can have longer hours.

CAMEROON STAFF
Stanislas Profile Pic.jpeg

Stanislas Ibrahim

RUSA COACH

Stanislas Ibrahim

RUSA COACH

Stan has been in refugee camp Gado since 2014. The rest of his family lives in the town of Garoua-Boulaï, 30 minutes away. They fled Bangui before he did. By the time he arrived, UNHCR told him and his brother they had to settle in Gado. Stan is a smart, hardworking man. He has completed three years of university where he was getting his license in mining, engineering, and geology. Since becoming a refugee, he has been able to pick up jobs from day to day, such as helping plan and build the latrines across the refugee site, and has also learned brick building.

Ghislaine.jpeg

Gislaine Feïdangaï

RUSA COACH

Gislaine Feïdangaï

RUSA COACH

Ghislaine is 23 years old. She lives with and cares for her young daughter and her little brother in refugee site Gado. She has been living in Gado for one year and seven months. In Bangui, before the conflict, she had been starting her last year of technical high school. In Gado, she has worked for organizations CARE and Plan International, visiting homes to raise awareness among parents of the importance of education. What Ghislaine was most excited to tell us about was her love of sports. She was previously taking karate lessons and formed a women’s soccer team, and has organized games with girls living in the local, host community.

 
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC STAFF
Mazva CAR RUSA.jpg

Mazva Gribingui

RUSA COACH

Mazva Gribingui

RUSA COACH

AWAITING

Johvana LR CAR.JPG

Johvana Ya-Houtoundou

TEACHER

Johvana Ya-Houtoundou

TEACHER

AWAITING

CHAD STAFF
Souliman-Borma-Small.png

Souleyman Adam Burma

RUSA MANAGER

Souleyman Adam Burma

RUSA MANAGER

Coach Souleyman was the captain of the original 2012 Darfur United Men’s Team (DU) that traveled to Iraq. He returned to his camp with pride, energy, and the determination to share the skills he had learned through DU with the children of his camp. After working as one of the first coaches of the Refugees United Soccer Academy in camp Goz Amer, Souleyman has since taken on the role of managing the Academy across the eastern Chad refugee camps.

Oumda Profile.jpg

Oumda Alfateh Younous Haroun

PROGRAM COORDINATOR/BOARD MEMBER

Oumda Alfateh Younous Haroun

PROGRAM COORDINATOR/BOARD MEMBER

Known in his community as Al-fateh Tarbosh, Oumda is an iACT board member and has served as the iACT program coordinator in eastern Chad since 2010. He oversees iACT’s sports, education, leadership, nutrition, and livelihood programs across eleven refugee camps in eastern Chad, providing leadership and mentorship to 165 refugee team members. Oumda is also in charge of scaling iACT’s Refugees United Soccer Academy (RUSA) and Little Ripples programs to refugee camps within the country and serves as an advisor to humanitarian organizations on iACT’s refugee-led model. Before becoming a refugee in camp Goz Amer, he was an accounts manager and traditional leader, or oumda, in his village in Darfur, Sudan. Since becoming a refugee in 2003, he has served as a primary school teacher and an English teacher, and has maintained his traditional leadership role as oumda for his community in camp Goz Amer.

I act because "I act because I want to help others be as successful as possible. As a team, we can make a difference in people's lives."

Makhboula.jpeg

Makhboula Mahamat Abakar

LITTLE RIPPLES TEACHER

Makhboula Mahamat Abakar

LITTLE RIPPLES TEACHER

AWAITING

Ache.jpeg

Ache Mahamat Abderahman

LITTLE RIPPLES EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Ache Mahamat Abderahman

LITTLE RIPPLES EDUCATION DIRECTOR

AWAITING

 
 
BOARD MEMBERS
Deb.jpeg

Deborah A. Senior 

I act because "I believe everyone deserves to live a life filled with joy, purpose, and hope."

Deborah A. Senior

Deborah’s passion for international relief and development began early in life and led her to pursue graduate studies in economic development. Her research focused on the challenges women face, particularly related to poverty, inequality, and vulnerability. After 20 years at Toyota North America, where among other accomplishments she was nominated for the Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership and Excellence Award, she started a consulting practice performing strategic planning, marketing, and research primarily for nonprofit organizations. Deborah has a PhD and M.A. in economics from USC, an MS in nonprofit/NGO leadership and social innovation from UPenn, and a B.A. in economics and history from UC Berkeley. She has taught a variety of subjects including economics and guest lectured for graduate courses on ethics and social impact and economics of philanthropy. Deborah is the co-founder and co-chair of USC’s Women in Economics organization, member of USC’s Economics Leadership Council, and member of UPenn’s Nonprofit Leadership Governance Committee and Alumni Association Board.

CHAIR
Eric_Angel_iACT.jpg

Eric Angel

I act because "I see how fortunate my children are to have peace, education, healthcare, play, and unlimited opportunities — and I believe every child deserves the same regardless of where they were born."

Eric Angel

Eric began as a volunteer with iACT in 2008 helping with video editing and technology projects. In 2009, for UN World Refugee Day, he traveled to Chad with iACT and helped establish a live video link to connect world leaders with a charismatic young refugee named Rahma. Eric’s commitment to and feeling of connection with conflict-affected and displaced people is rooted in his family's experience being incarcerated during WWII because of their Japanese ethnicity. Eric graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering. He worked for several years at a telehealth company with founding iACT board member Yuen-Lin. Today he works at the US Geological Survey, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and their two kids.

Dave-Davis.jpeg

Dave Davis

I act because "I believe we have a moral responsibility to try to heal the world."

Dave Davis

Dave is a long-time entertainment industry executive, having focused on international film and television distribution for the past fifteen years at companies like 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and NBC Universal. Dave has a deep interest in helping disadvantaged communities, especially those overseas that have been impacted by genocide. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dave has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from The University of Michigan School of Law. He has had a life-long love of soccer and international travel. Dave lives in Manhattan Beach, California with his wife Lynne and two teenage daughters.

Christian.jpeg

Christian Deitch

I act because "there's no better way to confront the challenges of our world than through action, and there is no greater challenge of our time than the mass movements of people affected by mass atrocities, climate change, and climate-related conflict."

Christian Deitch

Christian Deitch became committed to the Darfur cause when he worked at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan from 2008 to 2010 as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. He logged long hours tracking developments on the ground in the region, and focused U.S. policy on pushing rebel actors to the negotiating table. In 2010 he traveled with former President Jimmy Carter to El Fasher, and advised several Congressional delegations during their trips to Darfur. Now living in California, he currently splits his time between Oakland and Los Angeles. He is delighted to serve on the Board of Directors Development Committee for iACT.

TREASURER
Ben Profile Pic.jpg

Ben Grossman

I act because "soccer, when used for good, is one of the most powerful weapons in the world – it can give children superpowers and connect people from any background. Soccer is an opportunity for us to be united across race, religion, gender, and nationality: the beautiful game welcomes everyone. Roll a ball out anywhere and watch good things happen…

Ben Grossman

Ben has worked in and around professional soccer for decades. He is a founding co-owner of both Minnesota United (MLS) and Angel City FC (NWSL). He has been involved in four World Cups – both men’s and women’s – winning an Emmy award for his work on the TV coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He taught in the business program at UCLA’s Continuing Education Program and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Dartmouth and UCLA. A Minnesota native, he graduated with honors from Boston University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in economics and holds a MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. He and his wife, Joanna, have two soccer-crazed boys who have experienced strangers turn into new friends through pick-up games on their travels in places ranging from a blacktop field near an educational center they helped build in rural Romania to the streets of Moscow.

Joanna Profile Pic.jpg

Joanna Grossman

I act because "the world needs more joy, more opportunities to play, and more people asking others what they need. I ACT to help bring access to early childhood education to every child."

Joanna Grossman

As the child of public school teachers, access is at the heart of what drives Joanna to act. Born and raised in Sacramento, soccer was also a major part of her childhood, and she was part of one of the first competitive girls teams in the area at the time. Joanna brings more than 15 years of nonprofit experience to iACT, and is currently ensuring access to a quality education for all as the executive director of an education foundation based in the Bay Area. Soccer continues to be a major part of her life from watching her two children play to helping create a local TOPSoccer program for children with special needs.

Oumda Profile.jpg

Oumda Alfateh Younous Haroun

I act because ""

Oumda Alfateh Younous Haroun

Known in his community as Al-fateh Tarbosh, Oumda is an iACT board member and has served as the iACT program coordinator in eastern Chad since 2010. He oversees iACT’s sports, education, leadership, nutrition, and livelihood programs across eleven refugee camps in eastern Chad, providing leadership and mentorship to 165 refugee team members. Oumda is also in charge of scaling iACT’s Refugees United Soccer Academy (RUSA) and Little Ripples programs to refugee camps within the country and serves as an advisor to humanitarian organizations on iACT’s refugee-led model. Before becoming a refugee in camp Goz Amer, he was an accounts manager and traditional leader, or oumda, in his village in Darfur, Sudan. Since becoming a refugee in 2003, he has served as a primary school teacher and an English teacher, and has maintained his traditional leadership role as oumda for his community in camp Goz Amer.

Joslyn Hitter.jpeg

Joslyn Hitter

I act because "I am committed to doing what I can to ensure the peace, happiness, wellbeing, and safety of all beings everywhere, omitting none."

Joslyn Hitter

Joslyn Hitter has been studying Insight Meditation since 2008. Her approach to Insight Mediation is greatly informed by her Master’s degree in counseling and psychology along with a Master’s degree in depth psychology and somatic studies, both from Pacifica Graduate Institute. A native Angeleno and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Joslyn attended Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland for high school and American University for undergraduate study. She is a Mindfulness Facilitator certified by the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. In addition, Joslyn is certified to lead groups specializing in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as well as Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention (MBRP). Joslyn has practiced Ashtanga Yoga since 2000 and has a Master’s degree in eastern classics from St. John’s College. Joslyn credits Donald Rothberg and Trudy Goodman as her inspirations and motivation for sharing the practices of loving awareness with communities suffering from trauma and systemic violence.

Nezia-Munezero-Kubwayo.png

Nezia Munezero Kubwayo

I act because "the world is a better place when refugees have opportunities and spaces in which to thrive."

Nezia Munezero Kubwayo

Nezia Munezero Kubwayo is a Burundian American humanitarian, currently serving as the Director of Philanthropy at Shepherd’s Clinic. She has managed communications and development efforts for non-profits for over a decade. Nezia previously worked in refugee resettlement for the Ethiopian Development Council and Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. She also worked as the Executive Director of Night of Peace Family Shelter prior to serving in the information management branch of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Nezia earned her B.A. in political science and French at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and her M.A. in international human rights law from the American University in Cairo. She is currently pursuing a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution at Nova Southeastern University. Nezia lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and three children.

Stacey.jpeg

Stacey Martino Rivera

I act because "I act because it is abundantly clear to me that my own humanity is deeply entangled with the humanity of others. I have experienced the mutual healing that occurs within deep relationship, and the potential for a world based on love rather than power to emerge from seemingly impossible circumstances."

Stacey Martino Rivera

Stacey has been merging arts and activism since 1988. She began using the arts to support community engagement and movement work in response to the epidemic of homelessness in Philadelphia. Stacey later earned her MFA at The New School for Social Research in New York and is a founder of CoActive Content, a collective of grassroots activists and artists. As a teacher of relaxation techniques, sensory awareness and compassionate communication, she has worked with artists, trauma survivors, parents, and those affected by homelessness for over 20 years. As a Restorative Practices facilitator, her most recent training and community practice experiences include: The International Institute of Restorative Practices, Gregory Rouillard’s Art of Community, Impact Justice, The California Conference of Equality and Justice and ECHO Parenting and Education. Stacey is an active team member and sits on the board of iACT, and is also a board member of Family Heart Camp.

Liam.jpeg

Liam Monaghan

I act because "as Madiba said, what counts in life is the difference we have made to the lives of others."

Liam Monaghan

From South Africa, Liam experienced how the transformative power of human rights, dignity and opportunity can lift up an entire nation as it emerged from the atrocities of apartheid. He grew up learning from the freedom fighters in his own family, as well as his heroes from the liberation struggle. He pursued a career in the financial world, with the goal of helping those less fortunate gain access to financial products usually reserved for the wealthy, including working on microfinance, health and crop insurance for people in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. In the U.S., Liam was the founder of a socially-conscious impact investing platform, and now, as Chief Actuary of a successful startup, Liam is working to make life insurance easily available to everyone. For iACT, Liam offers his expertise in developing solutions for those less fortunate, especially people from his beloved Africa.

Eddie.jpeg

Eddie Salcedo

I act because "my father has shown me how much positivity one person can bring to the world, and my mother has shown me how much a parent can bring to a child.”

Eddie Salcedo

With more than 20 years of experience in sports marketing, Eddie knows what it takes to develop effective plans to reach and engage sports fans of all ages and backgrounds. He has developed platforms with blue-chip brands including Bank of America, Sprint, Red Bull, Chivas Regal and Honda. A specialist in Hispanic marketing, he has partnered with leading multicultural producers, promoters, and local heroes in co-creative campaigns across the country. In the community, he supported the fundraising efforts and program execution for the Southern California Youth Soccer Organization (SCYSO), providing opportunities for underserved youth. He has developed several programs that take youth off the street and into the classroom before lacing up and taking the field or court. He attended UCLA, representing the school in the men’s soccer program. His best times on the field are now spent on the sideline coaching his two daughters.

Marisusan.jpg

Marisusan Trout

I act because "I am inspired to take action and make things happen. Action creates hope, which then breeds new possibilities and positive change. I act because we all are one."

Marisusan Trout

With over 25 years of media and marketing experience, Marisusan has held executive positions with Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel network), Hallmark Channel, and ABC, and has earned a solid reputation as a successful domestic and international marketing strategist and revenue builder. Marisusan’s passion and focus is developing cross-media content based on human-interest stories for multi-level (television, film, digital, social, mobile, event, etc.) entertainment properties, for networks and brands designed to inspire and to move audiences into action and create positive impact. Marisusan has traveled to developing nations to assist in various education and health programs. Domestically, she has been involved in various philanthropic groups to help them build awareness and impact. She received a B.A. in Communications/Marketing from California State University, Chico. She enjoys time with her son, Alex, traveling, philanthropic and community events, wine, friends, and family, and resides in Manhattan Beach, CA.

SECRETARY
Merri.jpeg

Merri Weir

I act because "I can’t turn a blind eye to the harm so many have experienced and I’m obligated to ensure their stories are heard, their needs met & their dignity is intact."

Merri Weir

Merri found her passion for helping others while growing up in Texas. She is most interested in ensuring that the people affected are central to the conversation, planning, and implementation. She is not afraid to infuse her optimism and sense of humor in all she does. Her career has included being a paralegal then trial manager at a major U.S. law firm, NGO administrator in Hong Kong, and 16 years as an educator. She is currently working with Facing History Los Angeles as a social media coordinator. She believes in the Buddhist proverb that everyone in the world is connected by a red string that can never be broken or tangled, and that we all should strive for harmony. Merri’s work with iACT includes being a member of the Annual Event Committee, and an education specialist advisor for Little Ripples.

FOUNDERS
0.jpeg

I act because "it’s personal. I am a father and cannot help but thinking what it would be like if it was my kids sitting in the middle of the desert, with so much danger and so little hope. I know so many refugee fathers, mothers, and children. They are friends. I must act."

Gabriel Stauring

Gabriel Stauring

Gabriel was the founder and chief of vision and strategy of iACT. He held a B.S. in behavioral science from CSU at Dominguez Hills. He began leading innovative projects co-created with refugee communities in 2005, when he first visited Darfur refugee camps in eastern Chad. He returned to the region over 30 times, and expanded iACT’s award-winning programs across the globe. Gabriel oversaw the implementation of iACT’s education, sports, and human rights programs, including Little Ripples, Refugees United Soccer Academy, and Darfur United. He is featured in The Enough Moment by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle. In 2016, Gabriel was shortlisted for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity and accepted the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) Award for Innovation in Education. Read more about Gabriel on our Founders page

(1966-2021)
KTJ headshot IMG_6616.jpg

Katie-Jay Scott

I act because "I feel we are all part of one community and one humanity. It’s a value that runs deep and I feel obligated to not only share this but to help build the next generation of leaders. I’ve always felt that I will leave this world a better place, and each day there is something I can do to work towards this. Educate. Activate. Empower."

Katie-Jay Scott

Katie-Jay graduated from Portland State University with a B.A. in sociology and a focus on community development. She also holds a certificate in executive management from the Center for Nonprofit Management. Katie-Jay brought extensive leadership, community organizing, facilitation, and organizational development experience to iACT. She was a trainer, facilitator, and mentor. She began volunteering with iACT in April 2007 and in January 2019 became the co-executive director, going on to serve as the executive director. Katie-Jay brought a strong social justice lens to iACT’s work. She practiced yoga and mindfulness for over 15 years. She was trained in trauma-informed yoga, healing yoga, and completed Off the Mat and into the World’s 2019 Action and Purpose Leadership Intensive. She believed that social change begins with inner change, and that all experiences are embodied. Read more about Katie-Jay on our Founders Page.

(1981-2021)