Refugee Women's Network is a non-profit organization built to inspire and equip refugee and immigrant women to become leaders in their homes, businesses, and communities.
Sushma Barakoti has been a leader in the international development and nonprofit sectors for more than two decades. Most recently, Sushma has been the Clarkston Program Coordinator for Emory University’s Start: ME Accelerator Program, where she facilitates entrepreneurs in starting, sustaining, and growing their small businesses. In this role, Sushma has become deeply connected with the refugee and immigrant community in Georgia and throughout her career – whether in an official or volunteer capacity – she has worked closely with refugees in the U.S.
Prior to moving to Atlanta, Sushma served as Assistant Director at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Scranton, PA – a nonprofit dedicated to ending gender-based violence in northeastern Pennsylvania. Sushma has also held leadership roles at the United Nations Development Programme and PLAN International, where she worked on issues ranging from micro-credits and gender mainstreaming to HIV/AIDS.
Sushma holds a BS in Agriculture from India and Masters in Social Work from Marywood University in PA. She believes in feminist philosophy and practices participatory approach of community development to empower women, men and children. She served as president of Nepali Women's Global Network, North America from 2008 to 2010. She currently sits on the board of Asia Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC- GA) and is also APAC’s former General Secretary.
Awaz Jabari, is from north of Iraq, has lived in the United States since 1997. She worked as Senior Case Manager/Victim Advocate for the Refugee Family Services Domestic Violence program from 2001 through 2013. She worked as a Self-Sufficiency Manger for Partnership for Community Action. Awaz has managed microenterprise program and employment program. She has received two awards for her outstanding contributions to ending violence against women in Georgia.
Awaz has more than 17 years of experience working in nonprofit sector. She has received extensive training on providing domestic violence services, including Refugee Women’s Network leadership training, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Legal Advocate and Domestic Violence Advocacy training, GMAAC training for court interpretation, DeKalb Rape Crisis Center training on working with victims of sexual assault, and Client Services and Sensitivity. She has served on different board and committee: she has served as a member of the Policy Team of SAVE (Stop Adolescent Violence and Exploitation), The Interfaith Committee of the DeKalb County Task Force Against Domestic Violence, board member for Partnerhsip for Community Action. Awaz holds a degree in Education from Erbil Community College and a diploma as a Business Office Specialist from DeKalb Technical College. She holds a Certificate of Nonprofit Leadership and a Certificate of Supervision & Management from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Prior to joining Refugee Women’s Network, Esra worked as an academician specializing in international mobility and women’s participation into labor force. She has worked in Atlanta, Istanbul and Brussels in various academic capacities. She has received several awards including National Science Foundation Dissertation Award. Esra published articles in journals such as International Migration and Journal of Education Planning and Administration; and co-authored book chapters on women’s participation into scientific workforce. For more than ten years Esra taught graduate and undergraduate courses such as Evaluation Public Policy, Urban Planning Theory and Research Methodology. She has directed a nationwide study on reverse brain-drain in Turkey, and published on women in academia. Before she moved back to Atlanta in 2017, she worked as a consultant on international mobility to European Commission in Brussels.
Parallel to her academic work, Esra volunteered for organizations empowering girls, specifically encouraging them to participate into scientific fields. She also volunteered to help children in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Istanbul, and refugees in Brussels.
Dr. Tanyildiz holds a doctorate degree in Public Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology & Georgia State University, MA degree in Urban Policy Planning, and BA degree in City and Regional Planning from Middle East Technical University. Esra is also a passionate cook interested in migrant kitchens and traditional cooking. She has completed Istanbul Culinary Institute in Istanbul, and received certifications at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. In her new role at RWN, Esra is working with refugee women towards developing a social enterprise in cooking.
Barbara Ann Luttrell serves as Director of Communications and Marketing for Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE). In this role, she leads all internal and external communications efforts for the organization. Prior to joining PPSE, Barbara Ann served as one half of the communications and development department at The Task Force for Global Health, the fourth largest nonprofit in the U.S.
Before that, Barbara Ann served in Porter Novelli’s Health and Social Impact practice. During her time at Porter Novelli, she gained experience in strategic planning and research, expository writing, traditional and digital media, event planning and logistics, partnership development, and campaign evaluation. She has served as a public relations specialist to dozens of diverse public health organizations and agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office on Women’s Health. Early in her career, Barbara Ann worked for the Permitting and Compliance division of NASA’s Environmental Program Branch, calculating NASA’s annual carbon dioxide emissions and developing a new website.
Barbara Ann studied at both Cambridge University and University of Paris and has a degree in Political Science with a minor in French from Auburn University.
Zunera Mirza is a Research Dissemination Specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Zunera graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a dual degree in Biology and Psychology in 2005. After graduation, she moved to Tokyo for a research position and spent some time in Asia before returning to the United States to work at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. After 2 years at the local health level, Zunera moved to Atlanta where she received her MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.
Zunera spends a lot of her free time travelling, playing with the Emory gamelan ensemble, and having bake-offs against her husband Isaac.
Senior Director-Education; United Way of Greater Atlanta
Stephanie Carey Yeargan serves as Resource Development Planning and Implementation Director at Habitat for Humanity International. Stephanie acts in a chief of staff capacity for the Senior Vice President, Development in this role.
Prior to joining Habitat, Stephanie was Special Assistant to the Vice President- Program, Partnerships and Learning at CARE USA where she first started in a grants management position. Stephanie interned in Programs Development at The Carter Center during the summer of 2014.
From 2011 to 2013 Stephanie served as an Math Educator with Peace Corps Ghana which bridged her past experience in supply chain software consulting with her future work in nonprofit organization management.
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University, where she was a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow.
David Klepinger has spent over 20 years in sales and marketing development consulting and training. In his current role at RWN he is involved in Major Gift development.
Throughout his career, he has focused on helping market-leading companies implement strategic planning, opportunity planning, territory management, sales process design, consultative selling skills and coaching skills programs.
Over the last 15 years he has led several major sales transformations within the software and pharmaceutical industry. This included several major initiatives at SAS Institute, SAP and Pfizer.
David served as VP of Global Sales Development for Open Text, Inc.
David holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He resides in Newnan Georgia, with his wife and two sons. His hobbies include writing, hiking, yoga and photography.
Meagan Clem Martz is a Senior Associate Director of Development at The Carter Center. In her prior role as Prospect Research Analyst, her analytical reporting guided multiple development teams as they designed their fundraising strategies and resulted in the creation of an additional department at the Center. At RWN, Meagan provides strategic guidance and support for fundraising.
Prior to joining The Carter Center, Meagan worked as an International Trade Program Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and as a consultant for the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Meagan has a master's degree in International Affairs and a bachelor's degree in International Affairs and Japanese from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a student, she studied in Japan and Thailand and conducted her graduate field work on women's empowerment through local conservation efforts in Belize and Guatemala.
Latifa Mossajee was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. After high school, she moved to London, where she studied to become a Montessori teacher. In 1970, Latifa returned to Nairobi to work at a school for mentally challenged children – the first of its kind in Kenya. In 1972, Latifa and her family immigrated to the United States. Since being in the United States, Latifa has worked as a Montessori teacher, received her MBA, managed her husband’s two pediatric medical practices, and become co-owner of a real-estate company. Currently, Latifa manages commercial real-estate properties in and around Atlanta. She takes the greatest pleasure in her role as grandmother.
Sam Aranson is a teacher of Government, World Geography, and United States History at Dunwoody High School, through the Dekalb County School District in Atlanta, Georgia. He oversees several social justice student clubs, and roots every aspect of his career around building empathy, awareness, and being an advocate forthose who need a voice. Sam's background is in education, both as a classroom teacher, and as an experiential educator.
Sam's family came to this country four generations ago, fleeing persecution, as refugees themselves. He feels a strong connection between the work that goes on at Refugee Women's Network and his own families stories and experiences.
"Helping our Refugee and Immigrant communities is like helping my own family."