Staff

US HQ:

Jenny Koleth

Executive Director and Co-Founder: While trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas in Yunnan province, China, Jenny fell in love with the rich culture and stories of the ethnic minority groups of Dali and Lijiang (Yunnan has 51 different ethnic groups!). Since that trip many years back, she’s seized cross-cultural opportunities whenever possible, exploring Tibetan Buddhism, teaching in Afghanistan, and marrying an Indian man. Her professional experience includes 12+ years in the publishing industry. As the ED, she is responsible for the overall strategy and operation of Profugo’s staff, projects, and mission. She is passionate about people finding their “voice.”

Jess Ballance

Program Development Intern: Jess is a recent graduate of Boston College with a degree in International Studies and Economics. As a strong proponent of women’s rights, she focused her studies on the root causes of economic inequality and how to use tools for economic development as a means to empower women. Living in Washington DC for a semester during college and upon graduation, Jess worked for Human Rights First and the Council on Foreign Relations. While Jess has decided to dedicate her life to nonprofit work, she also takes the time to indulge her hobby of knitting and love of dogs.

Sami Rovins

Program Development Intern: Sami graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 with a degree in South Asia Studies. She is passionate about women’s empowerment in India, and social justice activism in the United States. Sami previously served as the Development Coordinator with the Coalition for Asian American Children + Families in New York City, and is excited to continue her engagement with Indian communities in Philadelphia. She lives with her pit bull, Zeldee, and enjoys film photography, visiting museums, and collecting antiques.

Catherine Pilling

Program Development Intern: Catherine is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania pursuing a degree in sociology. She is a member of the International Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta, which highlights the importance of scholarship, volunteer work, and leadership both in school and within the community. In the past she has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald Camp which is dedicated to providing children and siblings of children with cancer the opportunity to enjoy a full week of summer camp activities in the Pocono Mountains region. Following graduation she is hoping to pursue a career in the non-profit sector to bring about social change at home and abroad and ultimately further her education, possibly in the areas of public health or social work.  In her spare time, Catherine is an avid reader and also enjoys watching movies and writing.

Alex Escobedo

Program Development Intern: Alex is a senior at Saint Joseph’s University studying Psychology and Political science as a minor. She plans on pursuing her career in civil liberties law where she hopes to create social change while creating awareness of institutional injustices in the U.S. and around the world. Alex serves as a Community Partner Coordinator for Faith and Justice department at SJU and wants to continue working towards uplifting underprivileged communities and individuals such as advocating for women’s empowerment. Though she currently resides in Philadelphia, Alex loves traveling to California to visit her family and spend some time on the beach.

Ana Robinson

Program Development Intern: Ana is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in International Relations with an emphasis on human rights in Africa, and minoring in International Development and History. She is passionate about social justice and inequality, and hopes to pursue a career in non-profit work specifically focused on creating opportunities for women and children. Ana enjoys traveling and exploring new places, and playing soccer in her free time.

Madeline Hatcher

Program Development Intern: Madeline is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying Political Science and Global Studies  with an emphasis on European politics. She has worked with the US Chamber of Commerce’s nonprofit arm, focusing particularly on research and social media management. At school, she has served as the Panhellenic Association’s VP of Finance, as well as teaching piano and mentoring exchange students. After graduation, she plans to join the Peace Corps and teach English in Moldova, and pursue a nonprofit career in the future. 

Katie Kurtz

Program Development Intern: Katie is a recent graduate of Tufts University with a degree in Computer Science and Italian Studies.  She hoping to pursue a career that utilizes technology to assist non-profit development. In the mean time, Katie is also an adventure guide and outdoor educator, with a passion for conservation and sustainability.  She enjoys running, hiking, and anything outdoorsy.

 

INDIA COD:

Aneesh James

COD Program Manager: Aneesh earned a Masters Degree in Social Work at Little Flower Institute of Social Sciences and Health, Calicut, Kerala.  Upon graduation, he taught classes in social work at the postgraduate level. He also worked as a Project Officer with STARS Calicut where he was involved with preparation and coordination of development projects. Aneesh is interested in counseling and sustainable rural development. In his free time he enjoys reading and travelling. Aneesh is very happy to be involved in developing the community where he originates and calls home.

Jessy Dullas

COD Spoken English Teacher & Community Worker: Jessy teaches in the English Language School, acts as the translator/language tutor for Profugo’s field staff, and assists in all social matters. She has a background as a social worker and has worked for various social agencies in the area.

Gilgy Peruyaporathu

COD Operations Coordinator: Gilgy oversees the daily operation of the Center of Development, acts as the in-house handyman, and assists in all official matters. He and his family have a long history of farming.

Ansha Sony

COD Administrative Coordinator

Mary Peekunnel

COD Tailoring Program Manager & Trainer

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Friends of Profugo

We’d also like to mention the Friends of Profugo, who are an integral part of our team! They are the many dedicated and passionate volunteers who have helped Profugo become what it is today. They are not only a part of the Profugo community, but we consider them Friends of Profugo. We rely on their support and can’t thank these individuals enough for the commitment they have shown towards Profugo’s mission and making the world a better place. THANK YOU!!!

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