Board of Directors
Rochelle Fortier Nwadibia – Board Chair
Rochelle Fortier Nwadibia is a renowned international attorney in the field of migration and human rights who represents asylum seekers and immigrants in US federal courts and administrative agencies. Ms. Nwadibia has over 30 years of experience as a human rights litigator, advisor and adjudicator. She is the former acting Chair and Commissioner of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. Her work, including the leading case in the United States on female genital mutilation, has been recognized by the Congressional Research Service and Washington University School of Law. Ms. Nwadibia works in San Francisco representing clients on issues of human rights, asylum and migration. She has a Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law, and a Master of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Mark White – Treasurer
Mark White broke into international non-profit accounting in 1999 working for Habitat for Humanity International and supported over 25 country programs across four continents in 10 years. Leaving Habitat in 2009, he joined the American Refugee Committee and spearheaded the design and global implementation of a new accounting and grant management software system in less than 12 months. He now servers as ARC’s Chief Financial Officer overseeing the financial side of new country startups, emergency responses and mergers & acquisitions. Highlights of his 16 year INGO career include responding to the Asia Tsunami, the Ebola outbreak, the Syrian crisis and witnessing two coups in Fiji and Thailand. In his spare time, you are most likely to find Mark training or running marathons or playing soccer.
Michael Failla – Director
Michael Failla is a long-time refugee advocate, LGBT refugee advocate and respected Seattle-based businessman.Dr. Failla has led anti-war and civil rights movements, pioneered natural and organic food movements in the United States, and has worked extensively with refugee communities from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia who were resettled in the Seattle area. He has also assisted several LGBT refugees. Dr. Failla holds a BS in Psychology and Anthropology, a Masters in Psychology and is a doctor of chiropractic.
Paul Bennett – Director
Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer of IDEO, is a thought leader in human-centric, commercially successful, and socially significant business, products, services and experiences. Originally from the UK, Mr. Bennett’s love of traveling, learning and working across the globe was inspired by his early years in Singapore which extended his creative leadership and cross-pollination of insights and ideas worldwide, and have left him highly sought-after. Paul has shared his innovative ideas at major forums including TED Global, The World Economic Forum and The World Government Summit, and has taught and coached students from the Royal College of Art in the UK and Stanford University in the US. He has been published in a wide array of influential media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Geographic, Monocle and The Guardian.
Richard Voelbel – Director
Richard Voelbel is an avid philanthropist, complex dispute resolution specialist and a contemplative Christian. With over 30 years of complex commercial litigation experience in courts around the United States, and over 20 years experience serving as both arbitrator and counsel in a wide variety of domestic and international alternative dispute resolution matters, Mr. Voelbel is currently Senior Counsel at the law firm of Zelle LLP. Inspired by Jesus, Mr. Voelbel continually seeks new ways to assist in paving a faith and human rights based path for humanity. He has volunteered on the Boards of multiple organizations, including the Consortium for Community Centered Comprehensive Child Care, the Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation, the American Refugee Committee and The Barnabas Group-Minnesota. Mr. Voelbel currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California, with his wife Lynn. He has three children, Richard, Mary and Joseph, and four grandchildren, Jacob, Andrew, Charlie and Asha.
Neil Grungras – Founder, Executive Director & Secretary (Board Member Ex Officio)
A worldwide recognized expert and thought leader on particularly vulnerable refugees, Neil Grungras is a refugee and immigration advocate with over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors.
Before founding ORAM, Mr. Grungras was director for Europe & the Middle East at a leading U.S.-based refugee and migration organization. Previously, he directed a U.S. Department of State Overseas Processing Entity (“OPE”), where he managed the processing of thousands of refugees from case inception to arrival in the U.S.
Mr. Grungras has served as a refugee law adviser to several NGOs, has lectured and taught extensively on refugee topics at leading law schools, and co-founded a law school clinic assisting refugees and asylum seekers.
Mr. Grungras holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany.
Charlie Rounds – Immediate Past Chair
Charlie Rounds is a global human rights strategist and LGBTI travel executive. He is currently the managing director of Out Think Partners in Los Angeles, consulting on international LGBTI rights. He was the co-founder of LGBTI marketing and philanthropy consulting agency The Forward Motion Group, and also previously worked as a trustee forThe Kevin J. Mossier Foundation, which granted over $12 million to LGBTI organizations. Mr. Rounds previously worked in Cameroon with the Peace Corps. He received his BA in French and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. He serves as a Board Member for the Center for Victims of Torture as well as Amnesty International’s Executive Director’s Leadership Council.
Rony Sagy – Past Chair
Rony Sagy’s public interest work has focused on the pursuit and advancement of education for children with disabilities. As a seasoned trial attorney and negotiator, she has represented children with disabilities in class actions, seeking the enforcement of their rights to free appropriate public education. This work included obtaining a consent decree in favor of hundreds of children in East Palo Alto in a first-of-its-kind California case.
Ms. Sagy is founder of Sagy Law associates LLP, a San Francisco law firm focused on complex litigation in the areas of corporate governance, business litigation and intellectual property. She has successfully litigated numerous cases before federal and state courts and at the World Intellectual Property Organization.