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We at the International Institute are authorities on refugees and America’s immigration system. We are the St. Louis region’s subject experts as a result of having had a hand in the resettlement and integration of nearly every new immigrant population for almost 100 years.

Last year, more than 10,000 St. Louisans attended one of more than 250 presentations, tours, and education events we offered. Business leaders and elected officials rely on us for data and advice. Our nationally-recognized leadership is regularly recruited for community-wide endeavors and to help formulate policy.

(Photos are web quality. Please contact juelfsc@iistl.org to request high resolution photos for use.)

President & CEO

Anna Crosslin

Anna Crosslin (crosslina@iistl.org)
President & CEO
& Director of Festival of Nations

Since 1978, Anna Crosslin has led the International Institute of St. Louis, our region’s Welcome Center for New Americans. The Institute annually serves more than 8,000 immigrants from 80 countries. In 2012, she co-founded the St. Louis Mosaic Project where she serves on the steering community. Mosaic is a nationally recognized immigration attraction initiative which engages city and county officials, corporate, higher education, and immigrant integration leaders in building a more welcoming and inclusive St. Louis to benefit all residents.

Crosslin is the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards. Since 2000, she has routinely been identified as one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s “Most Influential St. Louisans” including recognitions in Minority and Women’s Leadership. In 2016, she was the recipient of the prestigious St. Louis Award. Established in 1931 by philanthropist David P. Wohl, the award is given annually to a St. Louis resident who has brought “greatest honor to the community.”

She is also a past recipient of local leadership awards from the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, William T. Kemper Foundation, World Trade Center, YWCA, St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Board, and FOCUS St. Louis. Crosslin serves as a Board member of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and as a gubernatorial appointee to the MO Commission on Human Rights.

In June 2015, she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for World Refugee Day. Crosslin has been awarded two honorary doctorates – one from Webster University and another from Washington University, her alma mater.


Other Key Contacts

Diego Abente (abented@iistl.org)
Vice President of Economic Development Services & President of the International Institute Community Development Corporation
Small Business Center including microloans, technical assistance, income tax preparation, & credit builder support

Ana (Anita) Barker (barkera@iistl.org)
Vice President of Education
ESOL, US Citizenship, Computer classes, & Trainings

Carrie Brickey (brickeyc@iistl.org)
Sr. Communications Relations Specialist
Social Networking, Festival of Nations arts coordinator, overall volunteer coordination

Gary Broome (broomeg@iistl.org)
Director of Communications & Marketing
Communications, marketing, public relations, media engagement, ad sales & purchases, and advocacy

P. Ariel Burgess (burgessa@iistl.org)
Vice President of Client Services & Refugee Resettlement
Case management, refugee resettlement, health exchange enrollment support, and physical & mental health services

Paul Costigan (costiganp@iistl.org)
Vice President of Program Development & Quality Assurance
New program development, grants application & monitoring, and client database  

Elaine Dempsey (dempseye@iistl.org)
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Fund development, special events, marketing & communications, volunteer services & International Institute Business Solutions Center

Marisa Echevarria (echevarriam@iistl.org)
Director of Accounting Services
All accounting functions including payroll, vendor relationships, payables & receivables, and new hire processing

Cesar Figari (figaric@iistl.org)
Vice President of Operations
Facilities, Festival of Nations logistics coordinator, computer services & data lines, telephones, insurance, and vehicles

Blake Hamilton

Blake Hamilton, PHR (hamiltonb@iistl.org)
Vice President of Programs
Education, Social Work, Workforce Solutions, Client Services, Immigration, & International Institute Global Farms

Chelsea Hand (handc@iistl.org)
Workforce Solutions Manager
Employment & career path services

Christina Juelfs (juelfsc@iistl.org)
Sr. Manager for Administration & Web Operations
General administration, facility rental, Festival of Nations booth coordinator, web programming, and Board of Directors support


Kelly Moore (moorek@iistl.org)
External Relations Manager
Corporate consulting & training requests, service learning, tours & other presentations, interpretation & translation, and reception

Amy Puskas

Amy Puskas (puskasa@iistl.org)
Education Program Manager
Citizenship, Education Volunteer Coordinator & evening ESOL classes


Debra Smith (smithd@iistl.org)
Community Engagement & AmeriCorps Coordinator
Volunteer relations and AmeriCorps program

Ada Williams (williamsa@iistl.org)
Education Program Manager
Daytime ESOL and computer classes

Andrea Wren (wrena@iistl.org)
Supervisor & Senior Specialist
Interpretation and translation services including in-person and remote interpretation