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Key Staff

International Institute staff are authorities on refugees and America’s immigration system as a result of having had a hand in the resettlement and integration of nearly every immigrant population in St. Louis since 1919.

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Executive Team


Arrey Obenson

President & CEO


P. Ariel Burgess

VP of Client Care


Paul Costigan

Sr. VP & Missouri Refugee Coordinator


Blake Hamilton 

Sr. VP of Talent Development & Advocacy


Benjamin C. Washington, CPA

Sr. VP & Chief Financial Officer

Leadership Team

Communications & Development

Director of the Anna E. Crosslin Center for Multicultural Excellence
Barbara Gunn Lartey

Director of Communications
Krissy Durant

Director of Community Engagement
Kelly Moore

Director of Development

Director of Economic Development
Nadya Kanim

Director of Events
Leanne Pacheco

Talent Development & Advocacy

Director of Workforce Solutions
Anna Hall

Director of Education

Client Care

Director of International Institute of Southwest Missouri
Rebekah Thomas

Director of Resettlement
Shatha Alshati

Director of Social Work

Finance & Operations

Director of Accounting Services
Marisa Echevarria

Director of Grants Management & Financial Reporting
Rhonda Henderson

Director of HR
Christina Juelfs

Director of IT & Operations
Pedro Zaraza