Our People

Staff Members

Neil Grungras – Founder, Executive Director & Board Secretary

Neil Grungras is a worldwide recognized expert and thought leader on particularly vulnerable refugees. Mr. Grungras has 30 years experience as a refugee and immigration attorney working in the public and private sectors.

Before founding ORAM, Mr. Grungras was Director for Europe and the Middle East at a leading U.S. based refugee and migration organization. Previously, he directed a refugee resettlement facility serving the U.S. Department of State in Vienna, Austria, where he managed the handling of thousands of refugee applications from case inception to arrival in the United States.

Mr. Grungras has served as a refugee law adviser to several NGOs, has lectured, taught, and trained extensively on refugee topics at government agencies, UNHCR, NGOs and leading law schools in twenty countries. He co-founded a law school clinic assisting refugees and asylum seekers.

He holds a Juris Doctor and a B.A. in Germanic Languages and Psychology.

Irina Kegeles – Finance Manager

Irina Kegeles has eight years experience in corporate finance and project management. Before joining ORAM, Mrs. Kegeles worked as an associate manager for a Russian private equity fund, and as a mergers and acquisitions senior consultant for a leading international audit and consulting advisor in Moscow. She holds an M.A. in Strategic and Corporate Development and Corporate Finance as well as a B.A. in General Management and Administration.

Jamie Charnock – Case and Program Coordinator

Jamie Charnock holds a BSc in Neuroscience from King’s College London, and is currently studying his Masters degree in Human Rights at the University of Vienna. Having been an active blogger on queer, gender and race rights, Jamie has always been passionate about human rights, and intends to focus his Masters thesis on the rights of LGBTIQ refugees.

Toby Lausin – Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Toby Lausin has over six years experience as an office administrator and manager. After hours, she teaches English as a Second Language to refugees and migrants from Chad, Eritrea, and South Sudan. Toby holds a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Science and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Interns & Volunteers

Ian Jaffe – Legal Program Coordinator

Ian Jaffe is an experienced employment lawyer with particular focus on migrants, refugee law and advocacy.  His work has encompassed diverse industries including care-giving, construction and services. As ORAM’s Legal Program Coordinator, Mr. Jaffe concentrates on refugee status determination and legal publications research. He holds an M.A. in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies as well as undergraduate degrees in Law and Oriental and African Studies.

Anja Catherine Limon – Legal & Research Intern

Anja Catherine Limon holds a Bachelors in Law and a LLM in International Law. For her dissertation she researched the influence of climate change on human migration and the legal gap in refugee law regarding protection for ‘climate refugees’. She recently finished an internship in a law firm in Ljubljana.

Ramiro Fernando de la Peña – Legal & Research Intern

Ramiro Fernando de la Peña is a doctor of law, who specialized in  Administrative Law and Human Rights. He completed a seminar on Public Policies and Rights Protection and a thesis on the impact that urban green spaces have on quality of life. He worked for 5 years at the Ombudsman of the City of Buenos Aires on the defense and promotion of social rights, including housing, food and health. He was a part of the Legal and Social Studies Center (CELS), an NGO focused on the protection of human rights.

Luna Lara Liboni – Legal & Research Intern

Luna Lara Liboni holds a B.A. in International Relations & European Studies and a LL.M in International Human Rights. She focused her dissertation on “LGBTI asylum seekers in the European Union – The challenge of harmonization in the handling of claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity within the Common European Asylum System”. She currently collaborates with an Italian local NGO that works for the enhancement of LGBTI rights and she plans to pursue a career in the human rights field.

Anita Bielicka – Administrative Intern

Anita Bielicka is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science & Political Communication, and has written about contemporary political issues for the undergraduate university newspaper in the Netherlands. She also holds a B.A. with majors in International Relations and International Law, in which much of the coursework was concerned with human rights, migration, and human security.

Gavi Barahona – Communications Intern

Gavi Barahona is currently pursuing a B.A. in Global Studies with minors in Jewish Studies and Race/Ethnicity. She has worked heavily in various organizations that emphasize the LGBTQ+ community and Migrant community both in Central America and the United States. Before joining ORAM, Ms. Barahona worked in outreach and translation services for new migrants in NYC and DC, and in administration with the New York City Department of Education.

Arielle Roter – Administrative Intern

Arielle Roter will be pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights Law next fall. She has interned for multiple women’s rights organizations in the U.S., Peru, and Argentina. She is excited to expand her human rights work experience by working within the LGBT refugee community. Ms. Roter currently holds B.A.s in Psychology and Criminology.

Piratheeca Vimalarajah – Legal & Research Intern

Piratheeca Vimalarajah is a J.D. (Common Law)/M.A. (International Affairs) candidate in Ottawa, Canada. She contributed to the work of many notable groups that advocate for refugee rights, including Just Governance Group and South Ottawa Community Legal Services. Her graduate paper, The Statelessness of Syrian War Refugees: Seeking Refuge Through the Universal Human Right to Non-Refoulement? was published by the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa. Ms. Vimalarajah intends to pursue a career in the field of human rights.

Christina Rosalin Peña – Legal & Research Intern

Christina Rosalin Peña is a J.D. candidate in Long Island City, New York. She is accredited as a Board of Immigration Appeals Representative by the United States Department of Justice and has experience representing LGBTIQ and HIV-Affected asylum seekers before the United States Department of Homeland Security. She holds a B.A. in International Studies  and a Graduate Certificate in Migration Studies.