BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORY BOARD
DR. PREETHI VARGHESE-JOSEPH
Preethi holds medical and public health degrees that are complemented by having lived, studied, and worked abroad in the Sultanate of Oman and India for more than twenty-five years. This has inspired in her a special interest in working with populations from different cultures in the New Haven area and beyond. Preethi is Assistant Director in the Interprofessional Advising Office and an adjunct faculty member of the College of Health and Human Services at Southern Connecticut State University. She currently serves as the board secretary and chairs the health and safety committee of the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten in New Haven and is also deeply involved in parent activities at The Foote School.
Jaden Harris specializes in humanitarian organizational development, medical research, and health service programs. Jaden studied International Relations and Nonprofit Management at the State University of New York, and now serves as a consultant to universities and public health agencies. Grant seeking, stewardship, and program evaluation have been common threads in his work. As Executive Director of Echo Medical Team, he works to advance the efforts of like-minded nonprofit groups building programs with a human rights approach.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Leslie is a project coordinator for IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services), representing Connecticut on a multi-year New England health research collaboration. She began her work with IRIS in 2012 as health coordinator, later transitioning to health promoter. While at IRIS she completed her MPH which involved an internship in Amman, Jordan assisting in a study assessing the impact of a mental health intervention for Syrian refugee children. For her thesis she implemented a Photovoice project documenting the health and wellness implications of acculturation on refugee women in New Haven. Previous roles included work as a court stenographer at the UN war crimes tribunal in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and as closed-caption writer for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Passionate about exploring our world’s many fascinating peoples and cultures and with a vision of gender equity, Leslie supports non-profits at home and abroad in delivering impactful programs that create opportunity. She is an American Red Cross volunteer active both locally and nationally through disaster recovery deployments.
AHMED M. BADR
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ahmed is a 23-year-old writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment. On July 25th, 2006, Ahmed's home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. He and his family relocated to Syria as refugees for two and a half years before receiving approval to move to the United States. Ahmed founded Narratio, a platform for youth empowerment through creative expression. Narratio publishes works of art from all over the globe, and hosts workshops centered around the power of storytelling and creativity. In the last three years, Ahmed’s storytelling initiatives have reached over 20 million people across the world.
DR. TRICIA RYAN
Dr. Tricia Ryan is a pediatric neuropsychologist at Gaylord Hospital Center for Brain Health. She is a consultant to the Yale Pediatric Refugee Clinic.
BARBARA O' BRIEN
BOARD OF ADVISORY
Barbara is an attorney experienced in immigration law and general legal services. She has represented refugees in obtaining their green cards, becoming naturalized citizens, and reuniting with loved ones. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she understands being the “different one” in a place. Her volunteer work with Elena’s Light involves grant management and general corporate governance.
BOARD OF ADVISORY
Marta Elisa Moret is president of Urban Policy Strategies, a New Haven-based consulting firm
that conducts research and assessment in public health. UPS evaluates the impact of community-
based interventions in areas such as HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity, substance abuse, and
cardiovascular diseases. UPS uses evidence-based approaches to enhance the capacity of
African-American, Latino, and Native American community organizations to implement
successful disease prevention programs. This work has served as a model for community-
academic partnerships in addressing public health issues facing underserved families and