II Business
Solutions Center
Other Sites
GuideStar Better Business Bureau St. Louis RCGA United Way Language Services


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.)

Executive Team

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.


Suzanne LeLaurin (lelaurins@iistl.org)
Sr. VP for Programs
President of International Institute Community Development Corporation

Suzanne LeLaurin, LCSW, has held a leadership position with the International Institute of St. Louis since 1997. She now serves as the Senior Vice-President for Programs at the Institute and President of the Institute’s Community Development Corporation.

LeLaurin leads strategy and operations for five Institute departments: Client Services, Education, Workforce Solutions, Economic Development, and Program Development/Quality Assurance (PDQA). She also oversees immigration application preparation services, the Institute’s Springfield (MO) branch office, and the Institute’s fee-based cultural competency training program. She serves on numerous community coalitions and advisory boards and is a frequent public speaker.

LeLaurin holds a Masters in Social Work from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work. She also holds a Masters Certificate in Global Mental Health from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. She has taught as an adjunct faculty member locally and is the 2005 Social Worker of the Year from the MO chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. In addition, she is a three-time recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service from the Office of the United States Attorney for Eastern MO. Prior to her career in social work, she was an actuary and executive with a major insurance company.

Other Key Contacts

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

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

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 & Director of Client Services
Case management, refugee resettlement, and physical & mental health services

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

Semere (Sam) Desu (desus@iistl.org)
Housing Manager

Refugee housing, landlord/tenant relationships, and housing goods & services

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

Lara Fallon, LCSW, ACSW (fallonl@iistl.org)
Director of Social Work
Physical & mental health referral services, group therapy, services to victims of human trafficking, health exchange enrollment support

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

Blake Hamilton

Blake Hamilton, PHR (hamiltonb@iistl.org)
VP & Director Workforce Solutions Program
Job training & placement, career path & recertification, and II Global Farms

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

Hope Thompson (thompsonh@iistl.org)
Education Office / Data Supervisor
Education registration, program data collection & reporting

Kathy Tucker

Kathy Tucker (tuckerk@iistl.org)
Refugee Resettlement Manager
Case management including arrival services, orientation, school enrollment, and information & referral


Ada Williams (williamsa@iistl.org)
Education Program Manager
Morning ESOL and Computer classes

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